Let’s talk numbers and how to easily track your business results. I love playing with numbers, it’s probably why an accounting degree appealed to me when I first went to University.
Knowing your numbers is critical to your business. If you don’t know your numbers, then how do you know if your strategy is the right one for you to focus on and whether the actions you’re taking to implement your strategy are actually working?
Let’s look at what to track, where to store what you’re tracking and how to review those numbers.
What numbers do you track?
At the start of the year I tore up the way I’d been tracking my numbers for years. Why would I start from scratch? Because what I was doing wasn’t working for me. I was tracking numbers that I didn’t need so the essential numbers were being lost.
I was tracking all of the information that I “should” which meant it took an annoying amount of time to collate my numbers, then I was frustrated because I wasn’t using most of the numbers I was collecting.
So I started with the basics:
What were my goals for the year?
What numbers did I need to see to know if I was on track to achieve my goals?
Were there any other numbers that I might need?
There are two types of numbers you want to think about; leading and lagging.
Leading metrics are a predictor of future performance. The number of sales calls you have booked in for the next month is a leading metric as it will give you an indication of your income (especially if you know what your average conversion rates are).
Lagging metrics are used to measure past performance. Your income is a lagging metric.
Do you have both leading and lagging metrics in the numbers you’re going to track?
Where do you record your numbers?
Where you choose to store your numbers will depend on the way you like to work, and whether you have a team that needs to see those numbers too. We need to ensure that you can easily track your business results.
For numbers my go-to will always be a spreadsheet. I love the ease of designing what I want and being able to add formulas that will automatically calculate the numbers I need.
You could also store your numbers in a notebook that has been set up for that purpose, within a project management tool or in your accounting software.
The key is to record your numbers in a way that is easy for you (or your team) AND make it easy for you to review them.
This is the spreadsheet I created to record my numbers.
Some of these numbers I’ll add directly into this spreadsheet at the end of the month. Some will be linked in from other spreadsheets e.g. the numbers under Financial, as they’re set out in detail there and I only need the totals for this spreadsheet.
I’m also testing out taking screenshots of various metrics within FB e.g. my top posts for the month. It’s just as easy for me to compare those images so I don’t feel it’s necessary to type out the numbers anywhere. After all I don’t want to turn my reporting into another kind of procrastination.
Make it really easy to find the numbers you need to track. If you use Google Analytics you can set up a custom dashboard that automatically populates with the numbers you need, no more fishing around for those numbers.
Create a Metrics folder on your browser tab then save links to the log in pages for each of the software tools you need to log into in that folder.
It now takes me 15 minutes to gather my numbers together and I’m thrilled it’s so quick and easy.
What do you with your numbers?
Now that you’ve taken the time to collect your numbers you want to set aside time to review them. I do this at the end of each month, at the end of each quarter and at the end of the year.
What will you look for when you review your numbers?
Trends e.g. are you seeing steady growth in your list growth?
Particular results e.g. did running that webinar increase the number of leads like you thought it would?
Goals e.g. do your numbers show that you’re on track to achieve your goals?
When you regularly reviewing your numbers you have the information to make better decisions about the actions you’ll take next. Do you continue doing what you’re doing as its working well or do you need to make adjustments to get you back on track?
By setting up a system for tracking and reviewing your numbers you’ll have a way to easily track your business results that saves you time.
I’m a total systems geek and I’d love to have a chat with you about getting your business organised and systemised. Book in your free chat HERE.