Top Five Ways to Measure Success in a Small Business
Your profit margin is crucial. You might be experiencing high-volume sales but, if your costs are too high, they will eat into your profits. Carry out a regular assessment of your prices, outgoings and profit margin. Don’t be tempted to discount prices too severely – a price increase might be more appropriate. Pay suppliers on time for cash discounts and cut back unnecessary spending.
Number of inquiries and where they come from
You need plenty of leads and inquiries from multiple marketing channels to make it in the modern business world. It’s vital to know your sources, and analyse the amount of leads coming from each channel – email marketing, website clicks, blogs, social media and traditional media advertising, to name a few. This will help you target the most popular ones, and know where money invested is failing to give a return.
Number of inquiries converted to sales
No matter how many inquiries you get, they are useless if not converted into sales. You first need to track and analyse the figures, work out the ratio of success, and implement strategies to increase your conversion rate.
The key is attracting prospects at the sharp end of the buying cycle – i.e. ready to spend money. The more of these you attract, the bigger return you get on your marketing investment.
Polish up your company sales procedures by responding quickly and professionally to customer inquiries, cutting out time spent on unnecessary quotes and unlikely conversions, and training your staff in customer service excellence.
A ringing phone
Data collected by roi.com.au shows that people who inquire by telephone convert to customers at two to three times the rate of people who fill out a form on a website. Speaking to them on the phone helps them make a decision two to three times faster and, in most instances, they’ll spend a lot more money.
So there’s nothing old-fashioned about the phone – only the technology it utilises.
There are a number of ways to upgrade to virtual phone solutions, and make sure you don’t miss out on this valuable traffic.
Go digital with a eVoice eReceptionist who will always know what to say, how to say it, and where to direct those valuable calls. The phone is still a core ingredient of every successful business, so make sure you employ the very latest technology in maximising its impact.
Customers who pay
So the work’s coming in and your staff are busy tackling it. But cash flow is a problem because many customers are delaying their payments or, worse, not paying up at all.
Make your payment plans and procedures crystal clear to new customers. Put them in writing, along with rights, responsibilities and legalities relating to ownership of products and intellectual property.
Be quick to chase missed payments, and consider employing the services of a debt collection agency.
It’s worth getting down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to leads, conversion rates and profit margin in your business. Your bottom line will benefit.