Running a business requires consistent measurements. Otherwise, you’re only managing chaos. Some basic elements that companies typically measure include:
- Hours worked and not worked by employees
Keeping track of your employees’ hours will help you separate the overachievers from the underperformers. Who’s coming in on time? Who calls in sick a little too often? Who tends to work overtime? These people are the glue that holds your business together. Their success is your success.
Making a profit is the aim of any business. Companies cannot survive without adequate sales. It’s as simple as that.
- Financial statements
We recommend that you sit down at least once per month with your company’s financial department. No one knows more about the fiscal aspect of your business, and there’s a good chance they can offer advice for improvement.
- Goal setting
Goals give businesses a direct pathway to follow. These goals must be measurable; they can’t be vague. If proper goals have been established, you can begin taking measurements. When enough measurements have been recorded, you should compare these items to the initial goals through a review session. From here, you’ll want to note any trends that appear. These trends make it possible to forecast future outcomes. If those outcomes aren’t desirable, it may be appropriate to adjust or better define your goals, beginning the cycle again.
- Specific and overall progress
It’s important to measure both the whole pie and its individual pieces. Overall measurements show how your company is functioning in the big picture and tells if individual departments are effectively working together. Departmental measurements, on the other hand, allow you to pinpoint specific issues. Only examining certain pieces of the pie could cause you to miss out on key strengths/weaknesses.
Even if companies follow all of the advice above, they may still be forgetting one crucial element - marketing.
Measuring Your Marketing
Somewhere along the way, businesses seem to have forgotten the importance of measuring their marketing.
It has become the norm for brands to carelessly throw out marketing dollars without knowing their return on investment. They spend money on marketing only because they think they should. They haven’t the slightest notion of where that money is going and how it will benefit them in the end.
That’s absolutely crazy, especially considering how easily this problem can be resolved.
Inbound marketing is great for measuring a company’s marketing. Brands can set up landing pages on their websites. This will show how much traffic is generated by their calls to action. When viewing web traffic, businesses will also want to look at the following items:
- Unique visitors – how many people viewed your site at least once (multiple visits from the same IP address are not included)
- Referrals – the amount of visitors directed to your site by other websites
- Pages viewed – which pages visitors viewed while on your website
- Exit pages – which pages visitors viewed last before leaving your site
Without measurements, there’s nothing to review, meaning there’s no way to efficiently and effectively plan for the future.