Know Where You’re at Right Now to Measure Growth & Figure Out What You Should be Working on
If you had to describe your business, what words woudl you use?
If you were asked to describe the details of your business, would you be able to give an account of your business responsibilities?
Are you ready to take your online business to the next level and watch some explosive growth unfold over the coming months? Great.
Before you plot and plan what you want to do to make that happen, it’s important to stop and look at where you’re at right now.
Business planning for future success is all about data. You can work most efficiently and spend your time and money most effectively if you know exactly where you are starting from. By recording data, you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and what trends are playing out and it all starts with recording where you’re at right now.
Let’s look at some things you want to record.
First though, decide how you want to record this information. You can write it down by hand in a notebook, open a Word document to do it digitally, or use a spreadsheet. Many prefer a spreadsheet because they have the option to have it calculate fun additional information like weekly and monthly averages and even map it all out in graphics to help me get a clearer picture.
Here are a few areas you might want to record regarding your business and its transactions:
Traffic – To grow you need to expand your reach and that means getting more traffic, but also engaging the people that come to your site by encouraging them to click around and read more. Good things to keep track of are total visitors, unique visitors, bounce rate, and where the traffic originates.
List / Subscribers – Your next goal is always to get these people on your list. In this section, you want to track a total number of subscribers, conversion rates for each of your opt-in forms and pages, open rates for your emails, and also unsubscribes. As you collect and review this data regularly, you’ll get a much better picture of your subscribers.
Customers – Subscribers are great but customers are better. You can turn your subscribers into your customers in the future. Start by keeping track of how many total customers you have and how many purchases per day, week, and month. Other good numbers to look at are total lifetime value of your average customer, repeat purchases, and refund rates.
Income & Expenses – Last but not least, look at your bottom line. This is your typical accounting data. You want to keep track of your income and your expenses. With those two sets of numbers, you can easily calculate your overall profit. I find it helpful to look at the profit for the month, but track income on a daily basis.
Yes, you can look at most of this data in different places like Google Analytics, your shopping cart, and your autoresponder service for example, but it’s important to have it all in one place. This makes it much easier to connect the dots and see the relationships between the different numbers.
Now you have your initial data collection set up, make it a habit to update the numbers regularly so you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and how much you’re growing as you move through the coming months and years.
I know these might seem like small areas, but in the big picture of creating a successful, and profitable, small business, keep records will be vital as you look at where your business is going.
To Your Success!
See you tomorrow.