Everyone who runs a business or takes high level decisions for one wants to create success, and if you’re looking for a new job at the executive level a record of successful businesses is a useful thing to have behind you but if you don’t know what success means for your business or how to measure it, it’s hard to know whether your plans are paying off.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the key metrics you can track to get useful information on how successful your business is, and help you make your plans for a long-term future.
Its brand is one of the most important assets a company has. A strong brand is like a beacon, telling the greatest possible number of potential customers that this business is the right place to spend their money.
A weak brand, one that has contradictory values or unclear messaging doesn’t communicate your business’ character as convincingly or to as many people. If your brand has lots of negative associations it may even drive potential customers away!
Getting a quantifiable measure of brand strength isn’t easy but it is possible, and rewards the effort put in. Brand tracker surveys ask consumers to rate your brand for the key characteristics that define it. If you keep running these surveys over time, you can watch the impact of your decision making on the strength of your brand and learn if you’re growing it or undermining your own success. They also rank your brand against competitors, so you can see how you’re performing compared with the most important other players in your niche.
The big number everyone wants to know is how much money your business makes, but measuring it is tricky. Pure revenue – the amount of money coming in – doesn’t in itself tell you a lot about the success of your business. High revenue can result in low profits or even none whatsoever as it’s whittled away by high expenses, inefficient processes or a high refund rate. If someone is happy to talk about their business’ high revenue rate but doesn’t dig deeper, it could be a sign they’re avoiding a problem.
To get a useful measurement of your business’ success over time, don’t just track your revenue. Track your profit levels, track the return on investment for specific projects, track money lost due to refunds and pay attention to why. It’s a lot of work, but fortunately this is all data that’s already within your organisation. If you put in the effort to track and interpret it, it can repay you by helping you understand exactly where you’re making and losing your money – where your business is successful and where it’s not.