A phrase I hear a lot is “get results.” It’s used to encourage a specific action such as “Do XYZ to get results” or as a way to describe success as in “This program will get results.” But what does “get results” really mean?
The bottom line in any business is, well, the bottom line. If you are in business, you are trying to make money. If you aren’t trying to make money, then you are running a charitable organization or you have a hobby. However, since you are here, reading this article instead of an article on a get-rich-quick site, I assume your business is about making money while serving others. Note that the two things – making money and serving others – are not exclusive and in fact should both be a part of your work.
A tricky part of running a business is that there can be a lot of steps to making that bottom line grow, and that’s where a lot of results are. If you attend a networking event and collect a bunch of names of people who want you to call them, that’s a great result but not one that adds to your bottom line right away. Yes, eventually, the goal is to make more sales or get more referrals but the effort to get those names yields no new sales until you start following up. Ditto for building a social media following, growing an email subscriber list or getting publicity.
It can be easy to get discouraged or forget about the end result when you are working on getting results in areas other than sales. It’s also easy to be led down a rabbit hole and lose sight of why you are doing something. For example if you guest blog for someone for the purpose of getting more exposure, it’s easy to just measure how many people have seen the post. It’s satisfying, concrete and feels good to see people reading what you wrote and as that number climbs you can say you are getting results. However, if that added exposure doesn’t yield at least the possibility of new sales at some point then it may not have been worth it.
The big result in any business is whether or not it makes a profit. However, there are a lot intermediate results that happen along the way. There are things that contribute to your ability to make a profit that are important. Always know what the desired result of your action is, and how it will contribute to the bottom line.