Numbers. Data. Metrics. Analytics. Whatever you want to call them, they matter. I know it seems maybe a little odd for a person in a creative field like graphic design to talk about them, but I have to talk about them – that’s how much they matter. Let’s chat about what these numbers are and why they’re important for any business.
The numbers or data in question are your marketing and sales numbers in addition to your cash flow. Now, I’m pretty sure most business owners understand why knowing your cash intake and your expenses are important. After all, you’re probably in business to make some money in addition to your other more altruistic goals. The rest of the data…well…maybe you don’t follow it so much.
You need to follow your marketing data and sales data. It’s really important to track these. This is how you will know where your sales are coming from. It’ll help you learn what to do more of and where your customers are “hanging out”. You’ll also know what is selling and when. This is how smart businesses make changes to their offerings. Keeping track of things helps your business grow.
When you avoid knowing these things you’re working blindly and running on hope which leaves a lot of room for disappointment. Essentially, you’re guessing what works and what people want versus knowing what works and what people want.
I get it, “math-y stuff” is not my favorite thing either and for some of us it can be really scary. I can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s worth it to be scared and learn this information anyways. It can make you feel more in control of your business to know what your marketing, sales, and financial data says.
Here are a few things to track to get you started:
-Who is buying and when
-Where they found you
-What they bought and how much it cost
Now if you’re math-oriented, you can track and calculate a lot of this on your own. It’s a little time-consuming, but definitely doable. Some of my more math-oriented clients have told me they track everything this way through a spreadsheet and it works for them. It might work for you too. However, if you’re not math centric or you don’t have the time or interest to track it all on your own then consider bringing in help. Help can be hiring someone to do this work for you out or investing in some good software that can track and run the reports for you. A quick online search of “marketing analytics software for small businesses” will give you a list full of options and you can choose the one that fits your needs and budget.
Remember, no matter what method you choose to use, not knowing your numbers is worse than knowing them! Happy tracking!
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