“You cannot manage what you do not measure.”
To assess the impact of any changes made to the business it is necessary to understand where the business is now. This makes it possible to track whether the changes are creating positive or negative change.
Before introducing any new strategies into your business measure the results the business is currently getting. Then measure daily/weekly/monthly results to track changes.
Eventually you will need measures in all of the key areas of your business: Sales, Marketing, Financial Management, Delivery, Quality, Employee Performance, Customer Satisfaction, etc.
However, if you currently measure very little in your business then start with just a few measures and build up. I recommend you start with measures of your sales and marketing, as this is no doubt where you will want to grow first.
So what key measures do you need in sales and marketing. Let’s start with two measure: how many enquiries you have coming in to the business (phone, walk-in, email, etc.) and how many of those turn into sales.
If you don’t already do so, then start asking where every single one of your enquirers heard about you. This will tell you how effective your current marketing activities are. If they are a bit vague, ask what it was that made them call in today. If they say that they were just passing, that’s fine too – it shows how well your shop-front or location is working as a marketing tool.
This is fundamental to your success. If you are spending money on marketing and you don’t know if it’s working then you don’t know if the expense was worthwhile or not. You must find out. Some marketing media can have in-built ways of tracking, such as dedicated Yell phone numbers and your e-commerce system. It’s important to check the reports for these as well, even if you’re asking your prospects and customers.
If they are an existing customer, then record that too – we’ll want to know later how often people buy from you.
So to summarise start recording your:
- number of enquiries
- where they heard about you
- whether they are an existing customer or not
- whether they bought or not
- and what the sale value was.
A simple table or spreadsheet can capture this in most small businesses. If you have multiple salespeople, get them to complete one each and summarise at the end of the day and week.