Data-Driven: Building a Successful Business by the Numbers
It’s not much of a stretch to say the lifeblood of a successful business is data.
Data gives you direct feedback on what is working, what’s not, and how time is affecting each. Gathering and using data to refine your business decisions are key secrets to success. It’s amazing how many business owners don’t track vital information beyond sales numbers.
Here are some important numbers to track:
- New clients acquired by time period (week, month, quarter, year)
- Price point at which sales occur
- Percentage of revenue contributed by each product or service you offer
- Sources of new clients including demographics, psychographics, and physical location
- Sales to repeat customers
- Sales spikes after speaking engagements, trade shows, and other events
- Conversion rate, including the number of prospects that turned into sales
- Feedback from customers, including likes and dislikes, what they want to see more of or less of and their unfulfilled needs
Customers — who are actually showing up — and their feedback might be the most underrated form of data.
Many business owners don’t start with the clients that they already have. Ask your existing customers what you’re doing right and where you can improve, then act on the suggestions that align with your plan. Find out what they think are your strengths and real appeal. You might be amazed to find out that it’s different than what you believe. Feedback also helps you stop doing what doesn’t work sooner rather than later, so you are putting your energy in the right places. It might even point to your needing to pivot into a new direction. Success requires constant refining, and feedback is an essential part of that process.
Good, bad, or ugly, data can inform what you do.
Much of the time we spend on our business is making decisions and trying to figure out what to do next. When you base your decisions on data, you have a better chance of success!
Sandra is an author, entrepreneur, and business strategist. Drawing from 30 years of business building experience, she teaches new and aspiring entrepreneurs how to achieve sustainable success.
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