What Metrics Are and Why They Matter

Metrics, in business, are quantifiable measures that are used to track and evaluate business performance.  It’s important not to confuse business metrics with key performance indicators (KPIs). Metrics track all areas of your business, while KPIs evaluate statistical performance. Business owners use metrics before making improvements and necessary changes to their activities. By monitoring certain aspects of business operation, including finances, marketing, competition, customer expectations and requirements, businesses will determine where their priorities lay. The ones you set for your business must follow the SMART model. They must be, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. These findings will be at the base of all of your business strategies. Metrics matter for 3 different reasons.

  1. You gain critical information on the health of your business

Business owners need to identify the right metrics to use in order to evaluate the health of their business correctly. Just as a doctor monitors blood pressure, weight, height and heart rate, entrepreneurs need to do the same relative to their business on a regular basis. Knowing the metrics that will be of value to you will help you solve, and more importantly prevent, existing issues. The metrics that are essential to all businesses are those that measure revenue, growth and customer service.

Revenue- Monitoring revenue per sale, sale by category, seasonal variations, and purchasing trends will determine your business`s profitability. Also, track the details of all sales in order to determine which products are making you the most money. Don’t forget  demographic information on the consumers buying each product offering.

Growth- To determine whether your business is growing in a scaleable manner, establish the cost of acquiring a new customer. The profit margin of each product is also important. Comparing changes in the size of you customer base with variations in revenue will indicate which products your customers are gravitating towards. It would also be beneficial to calculate how much they spend, on average per transaction.

Customer service- Customer satisfaction and retention should always be a focus. Quantifying customer satisfaction should be done through surveys, soliciting customer feedback through social media, and keeping tabs on the amount of referrals you get.

  1. You build the foundation of your business strategy

Your metrics findings will map out your next steps. Depending on what you uncover, all strategies must complement the extracted data. Metrics are made of measurements with a target or goal in mind. So you must create benchmarks that will make your goal achievable over time. Then break this goal into measurable milestones. Your business strategy should work towards achieving these milestones. For instance, instead of setting the goal of increasing sales by a total of 10%, set a goal of increasing sales by specific amounts every month. Adjustments can thus be made at more incremental levels this way.

  1. Improves your time management

In addition to driving improvements, metrics help businesses focus their employees and resources on more pressing matters. The information retrieved will show you exactly where your business is falling behind and where it has most potential. this is in addition to the problems that need immediate attention. As an entrepreneur with limited resources working in the most efficient manner possible is crucial. this includes the way you lead your workforce. Metrics indicate what the priorities of a company should be and the performance and focus of its employees.

Business metrics will give you insightful information about how your business is doing. For the most accurate and relevant data, first establish the metrics that are valuable to your particular business.  Your marketing, operation management, and human resources strategies should be crafted in accordance with your findings. The goal is to establish as much specific, measurable, achievable and time-based goals based on your metrics.

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