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How do you know you’re, in fact, succeeding in your business? It may seem like you’ve had a steady flow of new customers, but are you tracking the numbers to be sure?
It’s easy to lose track of time and get confused about when you signed that new client and how many jobs you’ve had this month or this year.
Tracking key metrics for your business can help you see exactly how well your business is doing. It can help you make improvements, forecast income and set goals for your future.
But what should you track? The answer really depends on your business. What’s important to one won’t be important for another. In most cases, though, it’s best to keep it simple and not overthink it.
Track Your Income
The most important thing you must know at all times is if you’re making money. Time can pass more quickly or slowly than you believe, making you think you’ve made more or less than you actually have, so it’s important to have regular check-ins to see where you are financially. A good rule of thumb is to check in weekly to see how much you’ve made and where you are in relation to your monthly goal.
Track Your Pending Income
It may seem like you’re coming up a bit short one week, but money in the pipeline may put you back on track. Always keep an eye on the horizon so that you have a better idea of what’s to come for your business.
Track Your Clients, Customers, Jobs or Projects
You need to be able to average your income by client or project so that you can make projections and adjustments for your business and know roughly how many clients or projects you need to meet your income goals. This is also a helpful performance metric. You might see that it took you twelve projects to make the same amount of money as eight projects this time last year.
Track the Sources of Your Business
Are clients finding you through your web site, or are they being referred to you by past clients? Knowing the source of your customers and clients can help you fine-tune your marketing and lead generation plans to make the most of your resources.
Of course, there are a variety of metrics that can be tracked aside from those mentioned here, including your website traffic and subscriber counts, so you’ll need to figure out what’s most important to your business.
Keep it simple, or you’ll be less likely to keep up the tracking. Pay attention to the numbers driving your business, and then figure out how to improve or maintain them.
How do you make metric-tracking easy and painless? What have you found to be the most important things to track for your business?
Flickr image by net_efekt