Setting goals and milestones for a small business owner can be the difference between no results, average results and extreme success. Recording and reporting on your attempts to reach a goal and your achievements is absolutely essential. Often business owners feel like counting and measuring campaigns is never urgent or even that it is a waste of time. But the old saying comes to mind: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” For those that are rightfully convinced that setting goals and recording and reporting on their progress is beneficial here are some tips on measuring the main variables involved in business growth and development.
- Regularly record selected data
- Regularly report
- Regularly consider tactics and tune in your strategy to improve on your results
Good news is that nowadays recording and reporting online data has become as easy as child’s play and is one click away with the help of Google Analytics. Setting up this type of record and report is in the reach of any small business and is, for the most part, free. If you as a business owner are not able to read or understand the vast amount of data that www.googleanalytics.com offers, recruit people that can to your support team – business consultant, website designer, marketing specialist, etc. Collect the data and follow up on it, improve on increasing and converting traffic, understand where your customer is coming from and what seems to be of value to him/her and improve on it. Next month repeat the process of recording, reporting and improving. Set some meaningful goals and try to reach them.
Meanwhile, combine this information with data that you can record and report on your own. Figure out what variables are important for your business development and growth. For example, when reporting on marketing consider the following metrics:
- Number of Suspects (Website Visits / Direct Mail Letters Sent)
- Conversion Rate 1 (Suspects converted to Leads)
- Number of Leads (Inquiries)
- Conversion Rate 2 (Leads to Opportunities)
- Number of Opportunities
- Marketing Investment (Expenses)
- Acquisition Cost 1 (per Lead)
- Acquisition Cost 2 (per Opportunity)
- Acquisition Cost 3 (per Customer)
- Marketing ROI %
- Lead Source
Then, set up a spread sheet (or use fulfillment software or even a piece of paper) and track the data for this month, for the quarter, for the year. Consider if your business is on the right track by measuring how far below or above you are in reaching your target goals. Brainstorm with your employees or with your support team on how to improve, implement new tactics and set up new strategies.
Then, record and report again. Your efforts are likely to soon pay off and you will find that you’ve acquired a sense of achievement in addition to business growth and development.
Lastly, if you have yet to launch your business and you are still in the business planning and business plan writing stages, be sure to state your goals and objectives and begin to develop methods for how you will track your goals. Getting started on the right foot will make a big difference.