In the past, we’ve encouraged you to set business goals at the start of a new year. Why? Because it’s important to use the data from the previous year to inform your goals and make new ones. Simple enough concept, but determining which metrics to measure can be a bit of a challenge if numbers aren’t your thing.
The good news? You don’t have to be a numbers person or a metrics wizard to start formulating goals for the new year. In fact, you’ll be on your way to measuring what matters by focusing in on these four key metrics.
- Sales. Durr. Not only is this a really important number for you, it’s one you almost certainly did keep track of throughout last year (if you sell on Storenvy–bonus!–we kept track of it for you). If it was your first year of selling, there isn’t a lot to glean from sales data, but it’s still super important to know the numbers so you can gauge what to aim for next year. You’ll also want to breakdown where your sales came from so you know where to focus your efforts in the future.
- Traffic. Your Storenvy dashboard gives you some basics stats, but we highly recommend also using Google Analytics to keep track of more detailed data about visitors to your store. Look for more info about how to use GA in future posts on the Resources blog.
- Time. You’ve heard the expression, “Time is Money.” Well, guess what? It’s true! Every minute you spend on one activity is a minute you can’t spend on something else. For small businesses where one person does most (if not all) the work it becomes super important to make sure you’re spending time on the right things. Look back at what you spent the most time on in the last year, and make sure that those activities are the ones making the most money for you. (Though do keep in mind the results of some activities are harder to measure than others, and they may still drive you sales indirectly).
- Spending. Whether you buy items and resell them, or you buy raw materials and make the product from scratch, you’ve got to buy something to sell something. It’s usually worth considering your suppliers carefully to see if there is anywhere you can cut costs as long as it doesn’t reduce quality. Buying items in larger quantities can often save you a lot of money, as can planning ahead so you don’t need to pay rush shipping costs. Review the amounts you used last year and check to see if you could place fewer, bulk orders to qualify for discounts and shop around to see if there is a supplier whose price break fits your requirements. This is also a good time to review your prices and make sure you’re covering your costs and still making a profit.
Remember, this is just a start. Once you master tracking these variables, you can build on your knowledge and start to get more complex about tracking, which will lead to much more targeted marketing, and of course, more business growth for you. Didn’t keep track of any of this data? Don’t worry! You can probably still get a good feel for the situation just by thinking about it and reviewing your records. You might be surprised how much data you can gather if you check back through emails and receipts. But, let this be a lesson on how important it is to have a system in place to track all the information this year so when the next one rolls around, this process will be easy-peasy.