Is your business successful???
That's a loaded question, right? Welllllllllllll, if you can't answer the question quantitatively with facts and figues, YOU may be loaded with inappropriate guesstimates and misguided perceptions that are often not reflective of the truth!
I remember starting my business and being overly excited about my fresh ideas and sharing with/helping the world. (Hey now... don't judge me for dreaming big!) Like clockwork, I posted flyers, quotes, and thoughts to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I would periodically check back on the posts for comments and likes. I was very proud of the likes I received... it may have only been 5 or 6 (haha). And I thought to myself, "Boy, I'm really on to something!" I thought I was doing a good job, but running a successful business was so much more!
Then, I stumbled across metrics for my website.
Instantly, that pride shriveled like a weed in the hot, Memphis sun! I was stunned to see that visits to my website were at an all-time LOW!!! Because I wasn't measuring, I was clueless of my areas of opportunity. Hence, I didn't have the knowledge to guide my focus. I was doing "stuff", but the wrong stuff and at the wrong times. I was basically shooting darts in the dark. How could I possibly hit the target, if I couldn't see it? And even worse, I had not developed a target [quantifiable goal] to reach!
So here it is... the 3 powers I obtained since I started measuring my business success:
1) Knowledge - I knoooow it's a cliche, but it's SO true. "Knowledge is power." If you don't measure your success, you don't really know if you are successful or failing... or the level of your success or failure.
Example 1: A 5% increase in internet sales typically doesn't excite you as much as a 50% increase. But you wouldn't know that 45% difference if you're not measuring. Instead, you could only answer generally, "yes, my business is successful". And as you can see, that answer provides little context.
Example 2: You missed your monthly financial goal by 10% versus 40%. Knowing that 30% difference would influence your decision-making for the next month's sales, advertising, expenditures, or etc. You may delay the investment in a 3D printer if you missed your target by 40%. However, if you missed it by 10% and the printer is going to generate additional income, you may proceed with the purchase.
2) Rate - In our microwave society, we want everything at breakneck speed. Unfortunately, businesses often realize delayed results, which means it may take days, weeks, or even months to make a profit from your initial effort. A rate is the measure of the average time it takes to experience change. This visibility not only applies to financials, but also customer repeat visits [loyalty], opt-ins, referrals, conversion, and other business trends. Understanding your rates enables better planning for customer promotions, event launches, earnings forecasting, and etc.
3) Relativity - Measuring allows focused action where attention is needed. Would you paint the bricks on your house if the wood shutters were rotten? That's not to say the fresh paint wouldn't look nice, but it's not the most relevant need... the area that warrants your immediate attention. The same applies for your business. Focus your action where your business needs it most.
Create your success metrics and start measuring ASAP!
Does this sound like something you could implement in your business? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Leave them below.
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