When you run a small business, tracking metrics seems like a thing that you should do but can maybe get away with not doing. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing said this: “You can grow a business without metrics a lot like you can win at roulette from time to time”.
John is right. Tracking metrics is vital to the success of any small business. The thing is, most people don’t have the time to sit down and figure out what they should be tracking, much less the time to actually set up systems to track it.
Well, I’m going to take care of the first part for you. Inspired by this article by the brilliant Mr. Jantsch and adapted for general business and not just marketing, here are the things all small businesses should be tracking:
1. Money: sales, profit, expenses, cash flow, productivity
2. Conversion: goals, funnels and testing
3. Competition: how your competition performs, engages their customers and adapts their offerings
4. Content: performance, reach, impact
5. Online Traffic: overall traffic, where your traffic comes from, keyword reports
You can use simple Excel sheets to track most of this stuff, and where Excel fails you there are many free online tools to do it. If you need help getting set up, give me a shout.
At the end of the day you need metrics to determine how much money you are going to make and how you should be spending your time. They are like your little guides through life, correcting your path when you get off course. Keep them happy by paying them some attention and giving them lots of love!