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Track your business’s health to make good decisions


How healthy is your business?

You really need to think of your business like your body. If you don’t keep on top of things, your health suffers.

This is why you constantly need to track key metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) to stay ahead of the curve. This will enable you to make informed business decisions and plan for the future. Look to the following to ensure your business is thriving.

What could be more important than your bottom line? Running a small business can often mean you don’t have a strong handle on the financials. Here we are talking about basics such as your income, expenses, cash flow and financial projections for the year ahead. Without this critical information, you will have no idea how your business is performing. There are tons of applications out there to help you, including Wave, Xero and Intuit QuickBooks. They provide the ability to invoice, make payments, integrate with payroll and super, and much more.

Automation is all about letting an application or software do the heavy lifting and take care of day-to-day admin tasks. This leaves you and your staff free to focus on building the business and generating sales. It could be anything from a payroll solution like Intuit Online Payroll to email automation with MailChimp to help you connect with your customers. You should also consider outsourcing functions (like financial management) that benefit from specific expertise. It’ll be one less thing to worry about so you can focus on running your business.

Big data is no longer just for the big guys. And the good news is there are lots of tools that can help you leverage the power of big data for free. Use them to generate insights quickly, track your online marketing efforts and make informed forecasts.A powerful – and free – web analytics tool like Google Analytics (which is good enough for a multinational like Airbnb to use) can help you improve services and plan new marketing initiatives.

Without customers, you don’t have a business – simple as that. So keeping them happy and loyal is very important. Once you have a new customer, you want them to buy from you again – and ideally spread the word about your business. You can track customer satisfaction in a number of ways, including through online surveys and monitoring online feedback and reviews. Or you can ask them the old-fashioned way, face to face or over the phone. You can then make adjustments and improvements to your business to make sure they keep on smiling.

Last but not least, take time to listen to your staff. Whether you employ one or 20 or 50 people, they are your greatest asset and should be treated as such. The link between employee attitudes and business performance is well established – ignore it at your peril. Implement these initiatives and track these metrics regularly to ensure your SMB is healthy and, most importantly, growing.