In this article, Catherine Erdly shares the importance of a monthly review, and which key figures you need to be tracking.
It’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of your business; the day to day tasks that keep things ticking over like replenishing stock, dealing with customer enquiries, posting orders, etc. Just running a small business can be an incredibly immersive experience, but if you want your business to be sustainable and long lasting, it’s important to take a step away every now and then in order to objectively evaluate your success.
I highly recommend setting aside an hour or so every month, away from distractions (if possible) to take a look at the data and statistics that your business generates, including:
Every business generates data that can help provide a snapshot of its health, but a downturn in any of the figures or statistics isn’t necessarily an immediate cause for concern! A reduction in sales of a particular item could highlight the fact that it is coming to the end of its popularity and should signal that it’s worth carefully considering whether you need to replenish your stock; a sudden drop in engagement on a social media channel like Facebook could highlight the fact that they have changed the algorithm that determines how visible your page is in the newsfeed and that you need to consider using another platform or investing in some paid-for advertising; a sudden reduction in customer satisfaction (highlighted by poor customer reviews or a lower average satisfaction score on a review platform) could suggest that there is an issue with product quality from your supplier that needs to be addressed. By identifying potential problems early, it is possible to take positive action to rectify the issues before your business is significantly affected by them.
If you find it hard to objectively evaluate your business, why not try to find a trusted peer to help you? A fellow small business owner might be a good port of call for assistance, and you could always offer to do the same for them by becoming their business ‘accountability’ buddy! Sometimes it is easier for external parties to identify patterns in your data and establish what is, and what isn’t, working for your business. Even if things haven’t changed significantly on a month to month basis, keeping these clear and concise records can help you to review your business from season to season, or year on year.
Though figures and statistics can seem daunting (particularly if you aren’t a fan of maths) they are essential if you want to build a sustainable and long-lasting business and ensure that your precious time and money isn’t consistently wasted on stock or business activities that aren’t working successfully for you.
Click here to learn more about working with Catherine to review your sales.
Catherine is the founder of Future Retail Consulting and is on a mission to help people create the life they want by growing successful product-based businesses. She helps them make money by developing a clear strategy focused on their product offering, their pricing, and their sales channels.
Catherine brings nearly twenty years of industry expertise and an inspiring passion for product businesses.