Four Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Fitbit

Why FitBit's "quantified self" approach works for businesses too

There's nothing easy about launching and running a business. In today's business climate, everyone has a strategy or plan in place, but even the most talented entrepreneurs encounter challenges and pitfalls along the way. When it comes to long-term success, it's important to recognize whether or not your plan is working before it's too late.

Related: 3 Simple Financial Tools to Help Track Business Success

The popular fitness technology company, Fitbit, understands how important it is to track progress when it comes to achieving personal milestones. Fitbit, best known for keeping track of how many steps the wearer takes, is used to monitor daily activities so the wearer can change behaviors to meet clearly defined goals. That's the same approach it takes to operate a successful business.

Fitbit's personal devices and daily health monitoring helps people reach their weight loss and fitness goals. By consistently monitoring your daily activities and progress, Fitbit helps you stay motivated and make more informed lifestyle changes. Tracking financial information daily offers similar benefits for entrepreneurs. With the right financial monitoring and planning strategy, you can significantly improve the odds of achieving your long-term goals for your company.

1. Set Specific Goals. Fitbit's entire approach is based on the development of specific fitness goals. When it comes to fitness and weight loss, you need to know exactly what you're working toward to have any chance of reaching your personal goals. Business ownership is no different. The most successful entrepreneurs take the time to identify specific revenue and growth targets. They establish a clear vision of where they want to be and develop a realistic timeframe for getting there.

2. Track Your Progress. Goals are critical, but you'll never reach them unless you track your progress. Fitbit emphasizes the "quantified self." Fitbit users' visualize progress in measured increments delivered via convenient, online dashboards. A "quantified business" constantly tracks and monitors financial progress. Using similar online dashboards, you can keep daily tabs on your company's financial condition, ensuring that you always know where your business stands relative to key goals and mile markers.

3. Look for Trends. Fitbit reveals trends and bad habits that sabotage your fitness goals. From a lack of physical exercise to poor dietary habits and sleep routines, Fitbit technology shines a spotlight on issues and patterns that you probably didn't even know existed.

Like dieters, business owners are often blind to practices and behaviors that stand in the way of important business milestones. Are you spending more than you budgeted in specific expense categories? Do your customers routinely pay invoices late? Regardless of the trend, regular financial monitoring will identify it and empower you with the information you need to get your business back on track.

Related: 7 Deadly Sins of Financial Management (Infographic)

4. Make the Necessary Changes. Long-term personal fitness is a dynamic process. At various points in the fitness or weight loss journey, Fitbit expects that you will change your dietary, exercise and sleep habits based on the analysis of trends that appear on the online dashboard.

As a business owner, you also need to implement changes to achieve your goals for the company. Leveraging the trends and insights that are revealed through daily financial tracking and monitoring, you may discover that you need to change your marketing efforts, expense levels or even your product line.

Individuals and businesses that invest in tracking and planning technologies are more effective than their peers. According to Fitbit, their customers take 43% more steps each day than non-Fitbit users. And for businesses? A Cranfield University study found that businesses that plan and track their financials regularly, grow 30% faster.

As an entrepreneur, you can't afford to pass up opportunities to improve your performance. By integrating the Fitbit philosophy into your leadership model, you will become a more effective business owner. More importantly, you will equip your company with the information, insights and strategy it takes to succeed over the long-term.

Related: The Ins and Outs of Cash Flow Statements

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