Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 2, 2014 11:46PM
“What gets measured in life, gets managed” is a tried and true statement. Count your calories and you probably will lose weight. Walk 10,000 steps and the weight starts coming off if you count your calories.
Metrics for your small business are no exception. The challenge for so many small business owners and sales professionals is the only metric they may be measuring is their bank balance (cash flow).
By establishing a consistent practice of measuring one’s small business activities provides a competitive advantage of being able to recognize when the market place is changing. This change in the marketplace may require a new business growth strategy or the revision of an existing one.
In 2005, I started writing business-related articles for several article directories as a content marketing action. Over the years, I’ve continued to add articles to those sites. What I noticed through the monitoring of metrics was the traffic generated by those sites began dropping around mid to late 2010. Thankfully, I had established my blog in February 2010 and it was replacing and exceeding the traffic from those article directory sites.
This past week a colleague of mine, Alan Boyer, CEO of Leader’s Perspective, shared some analysis of several content marketing sites. He confirmed that traffic to these sites had dropped considerably as evidenced by his some of his established and popular articles no longer receiving hundreds of views a month.
We discussed the reason for this drop beyond some changes in search algorythms and concluded market has changed. Business sites, such as Business Insider, have recognized the impact of high quality content articles and have opened their sites to quality authors. LinkedIn is also changing and will be opening its publishing platform to all members. As mentioned earlier, blogs have become a strong marketing channel because they have limited upfront costs beyond the time factor.
Monitoring key specific metrics provides businesspeople the opportunity to make those necessary course corrections. Failure to measure means lost sales opportunities.
What is so surprising is how few small businesses take measurement to heart and make it a consistent behavior. Beyond not knowing what is driving the business through the doors, these sales-starved professionals also do not know these critical key metrics:
• Client acquisitions costs including marketing costs per sales lead
• Sales leads to sales converted ratio
• Best, good and poor customers by revenue and profit
• Sales generated per employee
• Customers delivered per each marketing channel
The marketplace is simultaneously expanding because it is now a global market and contracting because it is a global market. With this expansion and contraction, small business owners who fail to make metrics from their small and big data analysis a monthly if not daily practice will fall to the wayside.
And if you are thinking you don’t have time, then consider that excuse to be on the same level as the often heard childhood excuse, “the dog ate my homework.”
P.S. Shout Out: County Line Orchard in Hobart and Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso are noted destination stops for Northwest Indiana