Party Professor – May 2016


First Things First

Set Objectives and Measure Your Success


Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

S o we’ve finished the first quarter of the year! That was fast. How did you do? Did you have the number of birthday parties and group events you meant to have? Did you have a goal? If not, how do you know if you won or not?

Many businesses simply measure how they did this year compared to last year. To me, it’s not enough to know that you beat last year’s numbers. For example, if you didn’t have a very good year, then that wouldn’t be a good measurement. So, here you are again facing a new quarter. I set goals in 10-day increments and love to look at the month in thirds. And, yes, we’re pretty obsessed with measuring the quarter.

A bunch of theory suggests we can only focus for about 90 days at a time. Our experience with our own company, and the companies we serve, is that by the end of the quarter everyone in every department needs a reset in order to focus and perform at a high level going forward. If you haven’t been measuring and goal setting for each area of your business, it’s never too late to start! (I encourage you to start now because, before you know it, the first half of this year will be over. You need to get a move on!)

I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. The “first things first” objective we set with sales teams is to look at measurable goals that address:

1. Number of events booked.

2. Amount of sales coming in each week.

3. How many events are coming up in the next three weeks?

4. Number of people connected with each week (that didn’t book). We define a connection as someone you had a meaningful conversation with that resulted in a “next step”.

5. 30 minutes spent on professional sales development.

When it comes to sales, it’s pretty easy to measure success. Ultimately, the dollars that come in the door let us know if the sales team is doing their job or not. But it gets more complicated with operations. You have to measure things like guest satisfaction, turnover with team members (which is a good indication of the internal guest satisfaction), and customer counts or check average.

No matter what you decide to measure, the first thing you must do is commit to what you want your business to look like. Everyone in the organization needs to measure up to the core values of the company. Whether those values are stated or not, there is definitely a culture that’s alive and well in your center, and you want to make sure it’s the culture you mean it to be!

Listen, there’s a ton of “firsts” your entertainment center could experience this year. Take a minute today to decide what those will be. Do you want to win the best birthday party place of your city award? Do you want to have a “record breaker” week in the summertime? Would you like this to be the first year you have turnover that’s less than 50 percent? I’d be interested in your “firsts” choice.

Make it a company goal to be first at…(fill in the blank). Share this goal with your team and have them help you figure out how you can accomplish it. There’s nothing like getting a group of people inspired to reach something together!

Good luck and please share your firsts with me on the TrainerTainment Facebook page: TrainerTainment.

Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and  hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at


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