One of the most useful tools any business can implement is a dashboard that measures the important metrics in the business. Implementing a Dashboard and tracking key measures is a pathway to business growth.
When it comes to dashboards, one of the most common questions I’m asked is “What would I measure?” Honestly this is the most important question to ask about dashboards!
The truth is that at different stages in the cycle of business some measures will be more important than others.
Here are my top 5 business startup metrics and most of my clients start with one measure in each of these 5 key areas:
- Rate of acquisition: do people care enough about your idea to act?
You might run an ad on FB, Google or LinkedIn targeting your customers no 1 issue. Measure the click throughs from an ad to your website, for example, how many click throughs per 1000 views of the ad.
You might be writing on LinkedIn or posting on other people’s blogs and people come to your website. Measure how many people visit your site, where do they go? Which pages?
All you are measuring at this stage is the interest people show for your idea, for your offer.
- Rate of activation: when people find out about what you offer are they prepared to take a proactive step?
You might have a “call to action” button on your website offering your solution to their problem, will they give you their email address? Count the number of people who click on the button per 100 visitors to the page.
You might put flyers in all the local letterboxes, measure how many phone enquiries come form the flyer drop.
You might have a “make a booking” button on your website that goes to a calendar where people can book their own appointments. How many click per 100 visitors to the page.
Your “buy now” or “shop now” button, how many people click through per 100 visitors to your website
- Rate of Conversion: are people willing to open their wallets, take out their credit card and pay for your product or service?
Maybe you want people to make an appointment with you or your team, how many appointments do you make per 100 phone enquiries?
When some one clicks through to your on-line store how many complete a purchase? vs abandon the cart?
If you are selling your products at the markets there are a number of ways you could measure the sales conversion. Number of sales per 20 customer visits, number of sales per hour at the market.
- Rate of Return: will people come back for more?
Use Google analytics to track new vs returning visitors to your page.
If you are sending out regular informative email campaigns then monitor engagement rate; open rates, click throughs, forwards/ shares.
Are customers making repeat purchases? On-line? Making repeat appointments? There is a ton of research about the cost to acquire new customers vs the cost o retain existing customers. I’ve read statistics claiming costs from 3 times to up to 65 times more expensive to acquire than to retain. This is an area of business that I encourage my clients to truly focus on.
- Viral Coefficient: do people refer you to their friends and/or family. This is often overlooked as a key metric. I believe it is one of the most important to track.
Test: use a referral program to track the number of invited and converted new customers and clients.
Choose 5 simple metrics to track on your dashboard and then start measuring them. Decide to measure them every week? or every month? You set the timing that is going to work for you. If you want some help with setting your metrics, just let me know by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is what I do.
I’m Ingrid Thompson and thank you for reading this post.
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