What’s Your Critical Number for The Year Ahead?


questionsIt’s that time of the year again: This year is coming to a close and thoughts for what you want for your business are swirling around inside your head.  You’re probably thinking that you need to find at least half a day during your holidays so you can get those ideas in some sort of order and put a plan in place because once you get back to the office you’ll be in catch up mode and won’t have the time then, right?

When you are trying to put those ideas in some sort of order or priority, aim to bring it back to one critical number.  It is a lot easier for you to focus on one number, it is also easier to pass that focus on to your management team and for them to pass it down to the rest of the team in your organisation.  So how do you come up with that one critical number?

Your critical number must advance the organisation

Whatever the critical number is, it must be instrumental in advancing the business.  For example you may wish to expand into a new market with a product and to get a foothold in that market you need to sell X amount to make it succeed.  Whatever that quantity is will be your critical number.

Your critical number will have a cascading affect across the organisation

A focus on the one critical number will positively impact many if not all facets of the organisation.  Going back to the example of expanding into a new market.  The marketing department need to understand the critical number so they can ensure the organisation reaches out to the market and generates the interest.  The sales department understand the critical number and it will be central to their sales targets.  Production understands the critical number and will be able to ensure that they produce enough widgets to meet that number.  Human resources understand the critical number and how it will impact the team in the organisation and will be able to ensure that the organisation has additional resources if needed to take the product to market. That one critical number will re-shape the business.

Your critical number will be measurable

With a critical number in place, every facet of the organisation will have their own critical numbers for the year, each quarter and month to ensure that progress is made.  These numbers will then hold everyone in the organisation accountable to the overall success of the business and will highlight areas that may need more resources if those numbers start lagging behind.


If you know your critical number that will advance your business in the coming year and you communicate that throughout your organisation you will be giving yourself the best chance to succeed.  With good communication around that number you will ensure everyone within the organisation is aligned and accountable along the way.