Measuring Success Beyond Financial Goals
There are a variety of ways to measure success as a small business owner. While your bottom line is one of them, there are other benchmarks you can use to see if you’re succeeding. Here are six that go beyond the balance sheet that may be equally important:
Today’s consumer is very comfortable expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction on social media. So it’s important to keep tabs since it’s one of the truest indicators on how you’re performing. For instance, if people are complaining on your Facebook page that your new restaurant location is understaffed, you’ll know instantly where the problem is and what to do to fix it. Conversely, if customers are flocking to Yelp! to lavish positive reviews on your menu, you’ll know you’re doing something right.
Your Own Satisfaction
Have you measured your own satisfaction level lately? It’s easy to overlook, but your happiness will ultimately determine whether your business will succeed or fail in the long run. If you’re engaged and happy with the trajectory of your firm, you’ll be more invested in its success. If you’re not, a self satisfaction audit might be just what you need to get your business and dream back on track.
In sports, teams know how they’re performing by looking at the standings. The equivalent in business is to look at your competitive set and compare statistics. Sometimes all this requires is a conversation with your peers at the next business mixer. Other times, you might find this kind of information a little tougher to come by. Online annual reports or press releases are a good place to start, and so are chambers of commerce for your city or municipality.
If you pay attention to your employees, you’ll be rewarded with all types of feedback that can indicate how things are going. Is absenteeism high? Turnover frequent? This could indicate that there’s dissention in the ranks. Or it could mean that a competitor is offering better pay. Regardless of the activity, it pays to keep your eyes and office door open. So that what you think you’re seeing is something that you’ll hear about soon.
If you do business primarily online, there are a variety of ways you can gauge if you’re really measuring up. Site visits, click throughs, email addresses, sales from your site – all can be compiled and quantified. The best part is, it’s data that’s literally at your fingertips, ready and wiling to help you.
Lead to Conversion Rate
It’s easy to figure out your lead to conversation rate. Simply divide the number of total leads generated during a specific time period by the number of sales resulting from these leads. For example, if your business had 75 leads in June and 30 resulted in sales, the percentage of leads you converted to sales is 40% (30 divided by 75).
No matter how you define success, there’s always room for more. By looking at things from a variety of angles, you can create a definition that works for your business.