KPIs Are Your Keys to Success

Good marketing, is all about the numbers.  The question is which numbers.  Most successful small business owners check their financial statements regularly, monitoring sales, expenses, receivables, accounts payable, overhead and bottom line profit.  A monthly review of these numbers provide a quick snapshot of where you are at any point in time and how that compares to past performance.

The financials are only part of the story.  They can help you predict next month’s cash flow, but won’t provide insight into future sales.  In a way, the picture these numbers paint is like driving a car by looking in the rear view mirror. It is easy to see where you have been and how you got there, but there is no clear path to your destination on the road ahead.

Predict the future, by establishing KPIs ( key performance indicators)  which measure the activities preceding a sale. These will vary based on y our business and your customer’s buying process. To pick the right numbers outline the steps a prospective customer goes through on the way to making their purchase.

For example do they open a newsletter, click on an ad, complete a contact form? Each of these steps can be measured. Picking the right metric makes it is easier to anticipate when sales will slow down or pick up, and adjust marketing efforts accordingly.

KPIs Vary by Business

By studying behavior patterns and changes in KPIs over time you can establish targets for each metric.  If any metrics falls below the target it is easy to make small adjustments to get back on track.

KPIs might include web traffic, search position, conversion form submissions, email open rate, engagement on social media. 

Select metrics which make sense for your business, that you can impact and track.

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Tie KPIS To Specific Objectives

KPIs are a unique subset of all the metrics in your business. These metrics are directly tied to an end result. What types of things should you consider to be KPI’s?

For each business it’s different depending on what you are trying to accomplish including but not limited to: increased sales, reduced turnover, improved efficiency, and reduced errors.

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Limit the number of KPIs

It is easy to get overloaded and track too many key performance indicators at once.  The right number is between five and seven.  More than that and you will be spending your time collecting data instead of taking real steps to improve your business. Over time you may discover a particular metric doesn’t give you a good indication of future performance, so swap it out.

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Specific, Measurable and Action Oriented

If you have trouble collecting the data, it is unlikely you will do it on a regular basis.  In addition, if your KPIs are vague, it is easy to convince yourself you are doing “fine”.

Remember, you are not tracking these numbers for the sake of tracking numbers you are heading toward a specific goal. Each metric should have a specific set of actions you will take to improve performance. You will not reach a goal if you don’t know how to get there.

KPIs provide information over time.

Consistency is the key to success.

You are not going to unlock the keys to your future after one month of collecting data.  However, overtime, you will find patterns which begin to pain a picture of your future. 

Set a Goal and Track Your Progress

by Lorraine Ball | Guest: More than a Few Words