What should your small business measure?
As a small business, it can be challenging to find the time to look at growth and problem areas. Putting performance measurements in place will help you track the progress of your company. With so many things to measure, it’s tricky to identify which are the most important: try to focus on the key business drivers. You should think carefully about what is suitable for measuring; don’t measure something just for the sake of it. Here are some of the top factors you should prioritise.
Customer satisfaction is so important – after all, they are the reason you are in business. Yet, many companies have no idea if their customers are happy. There are a number of ways to implement a customer satisfaction measure but, to keep it simple, try to pick a few relevant questions. For example, if you are a B2C business, are customers satisfied with your support? Do you have quick response times? How likely are they to recommend you? A short survey after purchase could help you to understand the areas where you need to improve.
It can be challenging to get people to complete surveys; one way of engaging customers is to create a competition with a prize – for example, a free product or vouchers.
It goes without saying that it is essential to know the financial situation of your business. Setting up KPIs for your finances can be really helpful. Speak with your accountant to help you identify what is suitable to measure in your business as this may vary depending on your industry and the way you operate. Such measures include net profit and average margins, as well as cash flow. By reviewing your finances on a regular basis, you will be able to see which projects are the most profitable and use this information to grow your business further.
If you are using social media as a marketing tool, it is important to see whether it is actually making a difference. There’s no point in investing time and money in social media marketing when you have no way of knowing whether it has an ROI. In terms of measurements for social media, there are a number of ways to gauge its impact. You can find free resources online to regularly track conversion, consumption and engagements. If you employ someone to oversee social media for your business, ensure a report is made every month to review progress.
Many entrepreneurs discuss how finding and retaining staff is essential to their business’ progression. But how do you know if your staff are truly satisfied or if they are looking out for the next job?
Implementing an employee satisfaction measure will help you understand how your employees feel and highlight any areas that need improvement. A good place to start is by having regular one-to-one meetings to discuss their views. Surveys are also useful as some people don’t feel comfortable expressing whether they are satisfied or not in front of management. You can conduct simple surveys with an online tool such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. To get the most honest – and, therefore, useful – feedback, ensure that your surveys are anonymous.
With so many free tools available, it has never been easier to measure your business. It can give you a much better idea of the position of your company and where you can make improvements.
What measures have you implemented? Tweet us @kingstonsmith and join the conversation!