The new year has started and you have made some plans on what you want to achieve in your business this year. In order to make those plans a reality, you need to establish a baseline of where you are right now. The baseline is your measuring stick throughout the year to see if what you are doing in your business brings you the results that you were aiming for or not. Are you ready to take your business to the next level and watch some explosive growth unfold?
Your Business planning for future success is all about data. You can work most efficiently and spend your time and money most effectively if you know exactly where you are starting from. By recording data, you can start to see what’s working (bringing you closer to your goals), what isn’t, and what trends are starting to play out. And it all starts with recording where you’re at right now.
How To Record The Data
The first step in building your baseline (your measuring stick) is to decide how you want to record this information. How you want to record the data is your personal preference: You can write it down by hand in a notebook, open up a word document to do it digitally, or use a spreadsheet. Personally, I prefer a spreadsheet because I have the option to have it calculate additional information like weekly and monthly averages and even map it all out in graphics to help me get a clearer picture. I am a visual person, so graphics show me better what is going on.
What To Record And How Often
The next step in building your baseline (your measuring stick) is to decide what to measure and how often you record the data. What data should you record?
If your goal is to expand your reach, it means getting more traffic, but also engaging the people that come to your site by encouraging them to click around and read more. Good things to keep track of are total visitors, unique visitors, bounce rate, and of course where the traffic is coming from. Total Visitors are all the visitors that come to your site. Unique Visitors are all visitors that come to your site once in a specific time period. The difference between Total Visitors and Unique Visitors is that if a person goes to your site more than once (let’s say 3 times), the person is counted 3 times in the Total Visitor count, but only 1 time in the Unique Visitor count. The Bounce Rate means that people come to your site, look at it and decide that this is not what they were looking for and leave in a very short amount of time.
How often should you record the data for your traffic? It depends on where you want to measure the data from. If you measure it from your website, you can do it every month or at the very least every 3 months. If you measure your traffic for your social networks, it depends on which one. Facebook, for example, only shows you data for the last 28 days. So you would have to record the data every 28 days. Instagram gives you data per week, so you would have to record your data every week. Twitter on the other hand gives you the data from way back when you started, so you could record it every 3 months.
Your next goal is to get these people on your list. Here you want to track total number of subscribers, conversion rates for each of your opt-in forms and pages, open rates for your emails, and also unsubscribes. As you start to collect and review this data regularly, you’ll get a much better picture of what your subscribers click on. The conversion rate of your opt-in form means how many people see your opt-in form and put in their information into your opt-in form. The open rate means how many people open your email.
How often should you measure your subscribers? Since most email tools give you comprehensive data over a long period of time, it is up to you. I would recommend once a month so you can catch issues fast.
Subscribers are great, clients are better. Start by keeping track of how many total clients you have and how many purchases per day, week, and month. Other good numbers to look at are total lifetime value of your average client, repeat purchases, and refund rates. The total lifetime value is the total amount of money the client is expected to spend on your products and services in their lifetime.
How often should you measure this data? Personally, I would recommend at least once per month.
Income & Expenses
Last but not least, look at your bottom line. This is your typical accounting data. You want to keep track of your income as well as your expenses. With those two sets of numbers, you can easily calculate your overall profit. I find it helpful to look at profit for the month, but track income on a daily basis or whenever it comes in.
Before you start recording your data, it is really important to know your goals for the month, the quarter, or the year – depending on how often you measure them. When you are clear about your goals, you decide which data will show you if you reached that particular goal. You decide about your key performance indicators.
You need to establish a baseline at the beginning of the year, decide on your goals and your key performance indicators (which data shows you if you achieved that goal), and decide on the timeframe.
This makes it much easier to connect the dots and see the relationships between the different sets of numbers.
Now that you have your initial data collection set up, make it a habit to update the numbers regularly so you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and how much you’re growing as you move through the coming months and years.
Wishing you all the best,
This is part 2 of an ongoing series on how to improve your marketing for your business.
The other posts in this series are:
1. Why You Need To Prepare For Success https://digitalmarketinglseg.com/why-you-need-to-prep-for-success/
3. The Power Of Lead Generation https://digitalmarketinglseg.com/power-of-lead-generation/
About the Author
I help coaches, entrepreneurs and service providers to jumpstart their online visibility by providing social media marketing strategy, social media training and social media management. I am in business since 2008. You know you are making social media work for you if you are still in business after 10 years and thriving!
Aside from my continuous education in social media, my claim to fame is that all of my clients find me on social media. They contact me. Can you imagine what that would do for your business if prospective clients are contacting you? No cold calling involved.