It’s that time of year… again. No, not the time for dressing pets in Christmas outfits. (Although if you do, please feel free to post those pictures on my Facebook page.)

It’s the end of the year. So in between holiday celebrations, gift-giving and, hopefully, taking some time off, it’s time for numbers, numbers, numbers. Yes, running reports and evaluating data is a grind, but building your business without metrics is flying blind. Plain and simple. Recognizing problems and opportunities in your business using your intuition is impossible—as much as we’d like to believe otherwise. So end of year numbers have to be done, and don’t shoot the messenger, but I’m here to remind you why!

Tracking Your Progress

Making the sale is good, and losing out is bad, right? So why not just try to make as many sales as possible, and avoid getting bogged down with numbers altogether? That sounds much easier! Well, the reason we need data is to reveal trends we otherwise don’t pick up on. If sales are better in certain months than in others, you know have the information you need to capitalize on that opportunity. You may have thought sales were better in May, and you may be right, but how much better? And is it worth running that promotional or product again? What was the real ROI?

At the same time, observing trends in the bad months will show you what to avoid and who might be dragging you down—whether it’s a product, seasonal sale that isn’t successful or a member of your team. More data means better decision making.

Spending Time in the Right Place

Above all, you want the engine of your business to run efficiently. Do seminars bring in more business than mailers? (Depends on your audience.) Is a phone call better follow-up than an email? (Probably, but let’s find out.) If you’ve been experimenting with different methods of customer service and appreciation, now is the time to dig in and review the results in the context of your entire year.

It’s true some things need to be measured over a longer period of time or are best measured anecdotally. But overall, know the ROI on your products and processes to eliminate waste. And ensure you’re directing your time, money and energy into what matters. Make 2018 the year you let go of what doesn’t work and make space for new ways of thinking.

Who’s the Best?

We’ve been talking about the Client Journey for that past couple of weeks (Get that infographic here!) You should always be aware of client value, but now is a good time to look at the real lifetime value of each client’s business. Run a report showing how much they’ve paid to your business and how often. You might surprised at how much you’re making off of whom. Show your appreciation, and have a go at turning that customer into a Raving Fan!

Get off your duff!


image credit: Bigstock/Javier Brosch

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