This post is the second in a series about business metrics. If you missed the first one, check that out right here!
Ok, ready to talk some numbers?? ?
In my previous post, I laid out a couple of foundational principles that keep my company on track. Quick recap: prioritize your ultimate goal and pursue your ideal clients. Remember to conserve your energy for the stuff that really matters and let go of distractions that aren’t serving your company or your clients.
With those ideas in mind, let’s revisit something I briefly mentioned before: so many small businesses start up and then fail within the first few years because they rely too much on emotional decision making and too little on what the numbers say.
While any company can suffer from emotional decision making, it’s a particular danger for small businesses. When your company is small, you think you can keep all the details together in your own head.? But if you’re making all those daily decisions, without looking at objective data, you’re really just guessing. Trust me, I know from personal experience ? – you can be sure you know how much money you have, how many employees you need and what purchases to invest in and be totally, 100% wrong.
And that’s where business metrics step in to save the day! ?
Ready? Let’s jump in! ?
Business Metrics vs. KPIs
Metrics are what you measure.
What you measure is what you watch.
What you watch is what gets improved.
Before we go any further, let’s define a couple of terms. Business metrics are any data about your company that can be measured. But not all metrics are created equal! And if you tried to watch and measure every number you have, you’d be wasting time and probably lose a lot of sleep and sanity in the process.
Fortunately, you don’t have to watch and measure every number. What you really want to keep an eye on are your Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. These numbers speak directly to the health of your company.
Here’s why this matters: Business metrics are used to track ALL areas of your business while KPIs target CRITICAL areas of performance.
Important note here: don’t fall into the trap of monitoring “vanity metrics” too closely. I’d put things like “Twitter followers” or even “website visitors” into this category. Remember to stay focused on the #1 goal for your company. Is your number one goal to have millions of followers on social media? Probably not. ?
If you can prove (with data, not feelings!) that watching and improving metrics like these are actually driving your sales, then measure away. But otherwise, they probably aren’t worth your daily time and attention.
Examples of KPIs
Here are a few potential KPIs to start monitoring. It’s pretty difficult to give you a master list of which KPIs are right for you, because every company is so unique. But here are some possibilities:
- Sales Revenue
- Customer Loyalty and Retention (remember: find your ideal clients ?)
- Operating Productivity
- Monthly Profit/Loss
How to Determine Which KPIs to Start Tracking
Like I said, your unique business will determine which KPIs should be your focus. Here are a few questions that should help you get started:
- Am I measuring a process?
- Do I know what the objective is?
- Can it be easily measured? How will I keep track of it?
- Can I or we affect the outcome?
- Is there a review process in place? When will I review this KPI?
- Can I reward staff performance? What should the reward be, if we hit our target?
- Do I have too many KPIs? Is each one critical and worth watching?
I know this might feel overwhelming, but I promise, it’s worth it! Once you have your list of unique KPIs to track, it’s time to set up a simple way to make that happen.
How to Track Your KPIs (the easy way!)
Still with me? Good! ?
I know it’s a lot of information to take in, but trust me – you got this! ?
If you’re willing to put in a little extra work, I’d suggest setting up a dashboard, like Klipfolio.
There are a lot of benefits to the dashboard system, but the two big ones are visibility and accountability. Dashboards give your team access and insight into the exact status of projects and goals. As a result, you create instant accountability between team members and fewer tasks will slip through the cracks.
See, we talked about numbers and it wasn’t too terrible at all, right? ?
I wanted to take some time to go over metrics with you, because I sincerely want to help other business owners succeed. That’s what Control Yours is all about, really. ?
And you might not know this, but we do more than just design websites. We also offer help with content, ad campaigns and more! Let us know what we can do to help your company grow!