Know Your Numbers

This is not an effortless task if you have a small team or run the business with one or two people. Regardless, it is essential to monitor your business performance and know all your business numbers.

 For new or small businesses, it becomes difficult as you are the one-man army managing all things from marketing, sales, finance and products. But acquiring this knowledge is worthwhile and really shows the direction your business is heading.

 Never run your business on gut instinct.

 You can measure the performance of your business by these parameters

 1) Sales revenue

The first number that should appear in your annual report is Sales Revenue. It tells you how much money you have taken in from your product or service. Monitor it with a year-to-year comparison of months, for example, compare March sales in 2021 to March sales in 2020. Product sales fluctuate throughout the year depending on various factors such as climate, festivals, school/college exams, winter/summer holidays, etc.

If you compare it to consecutive months, one month may have high sales and the other may have lower sales, which is influenced by external factors as described above and not by your low performance.

2) Net Profit Margin and Gross Profit Margin

Sales are of no use to you if you don’t calculate your profit margin. To get this number, you need to subtract your expenses from your revenue. It is the direct amount that goes into your pocket.

Gross margin shows how efficient your process is, or simply put, it shows your markup cost on the direct cost of your goods.

 It makes more sense to calculate Gross Margin if you have a variety of products in your portfolio, as each product has a different cost, and this way you can understand which product you should spend more on to increase sales.

3) Net Promoter’s Score

It is the scale of customer satisfaction with your product or service.

Every company has its own criteria to calculate it. Some companies give customers the option to give a rating from 1 to 10 or 1 to 5, and nowadays you even see three smileys to indicate the satisfaction level. Several company names came to mind as I wrote this. As a customer, I often receive calls to rate the products I consume.

As a customer, it is sometimes annoying to respond to such satisfaction surveys. As a business owner, one should use such techniques that do not irritate the customers.

But it is important to have this parameter, as it tells you the overall customer experience.

4) Converted Leads to customers per month

Converting leads into customers is a different ball game and requires planning and efficient communication with your leads. It is therefore important to measure your efforts and see how efficient you are and if you need to improve your approach to this activity.

You do a lot of little things for lead generation and invest a lot of time. Try to express this invested time in monetary terms. For example, how much time you invested for those 4 leads can be equivalent to the money you could have earned in that time. Then compare it to the customer sales you converted. Remember that everything in business is driven by money.

 5) Weekly/Monthly Website Traffic

It is an unspoken imperative to have a good, authentic, seo-friendly website for your business that you need to continuously maintain and update.

Monitor the traffic on your website and the sources that generate that traffic. Plan your actions and devote your energy to the sources that give you maximum results.

 6) Social Media Engagement

This is another important business parameter. However, few companies monitor this.
In this digital age, maximum time goes into creating content for your business account on social platforms that can help you connect with your potential customers.
Of course, it is necessary to measure this engagement. For some portals, it depends on the social platforms how much data they show you, but in most cases, you will learn the reach of the content, the number of likes, the number of comments, how many people saved your content, how many shared it and so on. Watch that traffic month by month aggregately and see if it‘s growing or declining?
Iterate with different content and see which ones work better for your audience. Put each month’s numbers on paper and visualize them, don’t just jot them down in your head.
If you only sell through platforms like this, then you should compare the increase/decrease in your engagement with the Customer Retention factor.

7) Customer engagement
This is again an important parameter to monitor how many customers have stopped using your product and how many are joining. This helps you understand whether or not your business is growing. It really is an accurate indicator of your overall service, but it takes time to develop that maturity in the numbers it represents.

8) Employee Satisfaction

Your company’s employees hold a similar importance as your customers. Measure their satisfaction or mood as it can directly impact your business success. They might add direct value to your product, which will be affected if they are demotivated. Take extreme care of their motivation.

9) E-commerce portal efficiency
If you are selling products on various e-commerce portals like amazon, Flipkart, rediff, myntra then you should monitor this parameter.
So you can measure on which portal you are getting most sales and where you are putting your energy. Since you can’t control the logic of portals, it is important to understand which portal suits your product or what changes you should make to your product content to suit a particular ecommerce portal.
If managed and studied well, this can be a game changer for your business.

At the end, there may be several parameters, analyse which one shows the true performance of your business. Measure such parameters, but be sure to collect good data before concluding anything with such parameter. Numbers without good data points will only show a skewed result, collect enough data that will give you a realistic picture.



This post is a part of Blogchatter A-Z Challenge- #blogchatterA2Z. Check out my A-Z Challenge theme, or read previous posts.

Chetan Maheshwari

Hello, I am a Project Management Professional, and an author and a blogger by passion. I like good sarcasm and humor. Books, people around me, and nature inspire me, and my blogs and book reflect the same.


Let me know what you think

  1. This is a very helpful and enriching post, Chetan. Thank you so much for compiling the valuable information in a single post.

  2. While I totally agree with numbers carrying the utmost importance in a business, there has to be an element of hunch as well. Hunch or gut feeling drives the correct decisions which data may not validate at times.

  3. Thank you, glad !If it is helping :)

  4. @Raghav
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I agree with you, and sometimes take decisions on hunch...once or twice is fine but in business, data analysis is important because you may not get that hunch everytime, and it may happen that you keep on looking for that ....I also think that gut feeling is actually the subconscious data analysis that one may do in his or her mind, but does not know it consciously....Just my thought...Best Wishes

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