I’d venture to guess that many if not most small businesses are not up-to-date with their bookkeeping. I know I’m prone to falling behind. If your books are behind, using your bookkeeping to monitor day-to-day activities or to make decisions doesn’t always work. Your data may be a month to a year old.
Instead, we need to look at meaningful numbers that tell us how we’re doing. These are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Each industry has its own unique KPIs.
For small businesses working online, there are a couple of KPIs you can easily monitor on a daily or weekly basis to see whether what you’re doing is working. Also, you should be recording these numbers so you can track whether you’re improving or going backwards. Then you can make adjustments.
Traffic to your website
You should be checking your website traffic at least monthly, if not weekly. Make note of what promotional activities you’ve done so you can tell what’s working and what’s not. Your promotional activities might include blogging, commenting on other blogs, article marketing with links back to your site, social media.
Getting traffic to your website isn’t enough. You need to capture people’s email addresses so you don’t have to wait for them to come back. If you have an email newsletter, start recording the number of opt-ins each week. A general rule of thumb in internet marketing is your list is worth $1/person/month so it is really important to track this number and grow it.
Choose something you want to monitor and work at it. Number of “Likes” on your Facebook page is a good one. In addition, you’ll want to monitor activity on your posts – number of Likes, Shares and Comments. For Twitter it could be new followers, retweets, or clicks on links you share. On LinkedIn you may track new connections, people who join a group you manage or the number of times you post in other groups.
This is the number one KPI for any small business – how much money you are making each month. The KPI you track may be online purchases or numbers of invoices your send or incoming cheques. If your sales are lower than you like, track your actions that increase sales.
These are just some of the KPIs you might want to look at. Talk to your accountant or coach to determine if there are others you should be tracking for your business.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Please leave a comment and share how you track what’s going on in your business.