How often have you had the question: how’s the business doing? Your answer, of course, will be: “doing great, thanks”… but how do you know what ‘great’ is? Do you measure your performance backed by solid data or gut feeling?
When I was still working in a large multinational corporate environment, one of my senior managers would go on and on about how “you only get what you measure”, and although we didn’t always want to hear it, we knew he was right. Now I also see that this does not only ring true for large-scale corporations reporting back to their investors, but also for small businesses.
Here are some business situations in which gathering solid business data and measuring success accordingly could be of real importance to your (small) business:
Getting that start-up cash investment
What’s your launch plan vs buying plan: buying in bulk or staggered? How much is your warehousing facility going to cost? What’s your revenue projection: when are you planning to break even / turn a profit? What % are you willing to part with for the support of potential investors? What will you projected marketing investment be as a % of turnover? Yeah, I know, all very “dragons den” but nonetheless extremely important data in order to secure that much-needed injection of start-up cash.
Best sellers vs Non movers
Which items are your top sellers vs non movers and what are you going to do about it? Shuffle your online shop around to increase visibility? Run a promotion on the items that are selling the least or if they are really just gathering dust in the warehouse and cramping your online style then simply scrap from sales and start afresh with the new collection? You will only know this if you keep a close eye on your sales data and do a regular 80/20 assessment of your stock
Sales are down 40% vs YA…. ehhh why?
Well done!!! In order to know sales are down 40%, you’ll already be tracking your sales data in the first place… but now the big question is WHY? Do you have your marketing activities and investment tracked vs Year Ago (YA) as well as your sales? Do you know the size, value, and volume of your current offering vs YA? Ahhh maybe it was the huge 20% OFF on all items promotion or that shared stand at Badminton Horse Trials that boosted the sales last year? Make sure you plan for either the same level or increased visibility, promotional activity and offering to ensure a smooth growth of your business.
Choosing the right promotional support
This one offers 2 sides to the data measuring story. First, in order to know which type of support, visibility, and promotion works best for your business, you’ll have to measure the previous activity’s performance in the first place. This way you will know if that social media influencer or the facebook add brought you a better return on investment. Second, in order to make any kind of activity succesful, you’ll need to know who you want to reach and where: the better you know your potential target group, the better you can select who sees and interacts with your promotion, the better your return on investment will be.
There are many more examples of how measuring and using data can help your business run at its full potential. Here at The Stylish Equestrian Consulting we have a genuine love for a good excel sheet session and a bit of number crunching, so if this thought is a bit daunting to you or you have no idea where to find this kind of data and you’d like to focus on the creative part of designing your new collection, then feel free to get in touch for business coaching and support.