Oh, the numbers! I previously had a “dislike” relationship with them until I discovered what the numbers meant and how I could use the metrics to give me insight into how to better direct my business.
Metrics are key elements used to measure progress toward your goals. They provide valuable insight into what’s working and/or what needs to be changed. They guide your decisions, influence how you spend your money, and determine where to invest your time. In many ways, they act as your GPS, navigating you successfully to your destination, while re-routing when you take a wrong turn, or the road ahead is under construction.
To give you a sense of the kind of numbers (aka metrics) you want to track, Hubspot wrote a blog recently titled Which Marketing Analytics Should You Be Looking At. The article does an excellent job of breaking down the marketing stats that you want to track based on your desired outcome.
A quick Google search provides additional metrics — including best practices and target goals — for your specific industry. Although you want to devise your own metrics and target goals, understanding best practices provide a helpful place to start.
Measure Twice…Cut Once
That’s the mantra of a good carpenter. It also speaks to the importance of measuring to track the health of your business, and preserve vital resources…as does this recent experience:
I have a client. Let’s call him “Bob” for the sake of confidentiality. “Bob” is a smart guy who really knows the ins/outs of his business. Crunched for time — like any business entrepreneur — he never quite got around to launching that marketing plan he spoke of. When client numbers were discussed, “Bob” would respond with an approximation.
Just last week I was finally able to pin “Bob” down long enough to identify some real numbers. Surprise! He had an average client turnover of 15% — twice his industry average! No wonder he was feeling as though his business had flat lined. It had!
Although Bob’s client numbers will likely continue a downward trend for the next month or two (alas, the behavior of momentum), the good news is that Bob is launching a growth initiative to bring that trend around and grow his client base in the next 9 months.
The important lesson to take from “Bob’s” experience is that tracking key metrics on a regular basis gives you the opportunity to quickly identify peaks and valleys and to adjust your plans to ensure your numbers continue on an upward trajectory.;
Numbers, numbers, and more numbers: