Sunday, January 4, 2015

Did You Get Your Year-End Checkup?

At the end of every year or the beginning of the new one, it pays to take a look back to see how you did.  Figuring out where you are now not only lets you appreciate how far you've come, it also helps identify areas where you may be lagging behind your aspirations. Here are few of the numbers you can look at to evaluate your business:

Web statistics.  If you own an online business, web stats are the backbone of your check-up.  How many people visit your site, how long they stay, what pages they visit, and whether they return will all help you figure out what you need to do to keep them around longer. Other things to explore: How they arrived at your site, and how you show up in search engine results for your keywords.  I love Google Analytics but your cpanel statistics is also a great place to start.

Revenue.  I'll assume you're in business to make money.  So how much are you making? Where is your money coming from? What products or services are most popular?  This information will help you make more informed decisions going forward.

Expenses.  Money coming in is only half the equation:  How much money is going out? Where is it going, and why?  Are there easy places to eliminate expenses?  Remember, cutting your expenses is an even more effective way to put more money in your pocket than increasing your revenue.

Hours worked.  Exactly how hard are you having to work for your money?  It's great to make $50,000 a year – unless you're working 100-hour weeks to create that income.  Figure out where the time is going and you'll be on the track to increasing your efficiency and your per-hour earnings.

Customer satisfaction.  It's more cost-effective to sell to a repeat customer than to bring new customers into your business, so how happy are those who purchase from you?  Check out your return rate, and your repeat customer rate to see.

Taking an honest look at where you are now is the only way to create a workable path towards a brighter tomorrow.  If you see areas where you could use a little extra help, work with your business coach or mentor to figure out how to improve your skills.

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