Sustaining Business Success Without Burnout Calls for a Balanced Set of Metrics

You have a set of metrics that help you keep score on where you are with your business. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) likely include:

  • Revenue
  • Expenses
  • Turnover: Employees, Contractors, Customers, Inventory
  • Income

You probably have other metrics for your particular industry or your current set of goals.

Generally, these business school metrics measure the performance of the business from a financial standpoint. Even the employee or contractor turnover serves as a KPI for financial stability in your business.

Most small and medium size businesses are greatly effected by the time, energy, and overall satisfaction of the founding person or team.

More importantly, many businesses are formed as mission-driven: founded out of a desire or even a need to bring something of value to the world, to have an impact, “make a dent in the universe.”

Balancing all these non-financial measures along with the standard KPIs helps to keep those influences front and center and be able to make wise decisions knowing how they’re interacting.

The KPIs to include in a balanced dashboard are entirely dependent on what matters in your business.

That said, we came up with one example of five measures that could work for many businesses.  Here’s our thinking about how that would work and what those measures would be.

Our objective: balancing time against impact against well-being against profits against joy.

The ideal is to maximize all. That means one can’t be out of balance.

These are a mixture of subjective and objective measures.


What is the target for each?

  1. Time – say its 30 hours/week
  2. Impact/Influence/Reach – percent of customers engaged with the sweet spot service – target is 100%
  3. Well-being – physical, mental, emotional health – target is a healthy average – range is at risk/unhealthy/ok/healthy/optimal
  4. Profits – target is agreed upon financial measure – net income, income paid to self, income left to use for fun activities
  5. Joy – overall feeling at the end of the week – range is unhappy/frustrated/ok/happy/thrilled – target is happy

Option for measurement: Each target is set at 100%. The measure for the week is normalized against 100% scale – so 30% of target or 75% of target, etc.
Ok to be at 120% of target – shows an excess in that area to the detriment of other areas.

Here’s the graph that would be updated every week to track performance in each key measurement.

Balanced Business KPIs