GBTI is committed to driving small business growth in Guyana. To do this, the bank offers many loan products, including those specifically meant for small businesses. Entrepreneurs face a number of challenges when it comes to establishing a fledgling company. Because they face so many hurdles, they may neglect to track some of the metrics by which its success can be judged.
No matter how busy you may be with a business, it is essential to take a step back and evaluate its performance as this is the only way you will know whether or not you need to make changes. Without this evaluation, your business may fail before you even notice that something is wrong. Some of the key ways of measuring the success of your business include:
1. Customer growth
An important indicator of success is your company’s ability to attract new customers. While repeat customers are great, you will likely fail if you are not able to attract a steady stream of new customers. Also, new customers are the key to future growth. Be sure to track the number of new customers you get and look at trends over time.
If you the number is falling, perhaps you need to invest more money into marketing. On the other hand, if the number is increasing at a steady rate, this could be an indication that it time to start expanding services Several strategies exist for attracting new customers, such as referral incentives, social media marketing, and other promotions.
2. Number of customers
Keeping track of new customers is not enough. You should also track the overall number of customers to make sure you are retaining them. If this number is falling while the number of new customers grows, then you are failing to retain and you need to figure out why. Reach out to customers and ask what has happened.
Often times, the issue is something you can address easily but only if you understand what the problem is. Try out surveys or questions to get some insight on what is happening. People are most likely to be open and honest when the forum is an anonymous one, so it can be helpful to have various options for feedback. Customers appreciate feeling like their opinions are being heard.
For many businesses, profitability is the primary measure of success. Ultimately, you started a business to make money, so it is important to make sure you are doing that. However, you need to look at more than just profits. Figure out exactly what numbers are coming in and going out of the business. Also, keep updated balance sheets as this will give you the most comprehensive view of the financial health of your business.
While keeping track of these numbers is important, they need to be put in the context of everything else on this list. Too often, business owners pay attention only to the financial numbers and then they fail to realize they are losing customers until income starts to fall. If you pay attention to the whole picture, you can react to problems before they put the whole business at risk.
4. Customer satisfaction
Getting a strong sense of customer satisfaction can prove difficult because it is qualitative rather than quantitative. However, you should always have a gestalt feeling of what customers think of your business. Imagine a situation in which your sales are robust but then they suddenly drop off precipitously. This happens when customers are dissatisfied but were patronizing you out of necessity.
When another option becomes available, they will seek out that other business. Keeping track of customer satisfaction is the best way to protect yourself from losing clients to competitors. Also, if you ask for feedback and respond appropriately, you demonstrate to customers that you truly care about their experience and build loyalty even if they were dissatisfied at first.
5. Employee satisfaction and performance
Customers are not the only thing that matters to a small business. You should also check in with any employees you have on a regular basis. If your team is dedicated to the company, performance will be high. Think about employees from both a quantitative and qualitative standpoint. Look at the performance numbers, such as number of sales made, but also be sure to ask for feedback.
Often, employees have a different perspective on the success of the company and can give you insights that you may have overlooked. By keeping your employees happy, you increase the chances of enduring success. Also, having a strong relationship with your employees makes it easier to deliver critical feedback, such as someone who may need to improve their performance.
6. How you spend your time
Entrepreneurs often overlook one of the most important aspects of success: how they spend their time. Looking critically at how you spend your days can give you a lot of information about the health of your company. If you are constantly scrambling trying to put out fires, then something is wrong. Perhaps you have failed at delegating or you simply need more help.
A successful business is organized, with a capable staff that can handle responsibility. You should be able to relax from time to time even while you maintain an eye on everything. If this is not the case, you will eventually burn out and the business will suffer. Figure out how to bring on additional staff or begin delegating some responsibilities so that you can focus on management instead of running from problem to problem.