Using Metrics to Track Success In Your Business

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Tracking Business Success

A problem within a business can be very much like diagnosing a cold. There are symptoms like a cough, sore throat, low-grade fever, runny nose, and congestion. The difficulty lies in that those are symptoms of several illnesses like the flu or even early-onset pneumonia. If misdiagnosed, you could treat the wrong disease, and you could get worse instead of better.

Assessing the Problem

The same is true in business. A problem can be seen as or manifest itself in one way but could be a symptom of a completely different issue. Human nature tells us that we will usually have to change something or spend money to fix what is not working and are eager to get started.

As a small business owner, you want to make sure that the money and time you spend in making changes within your business provide you with a return. This is especially true when you are changing parts of your business or spending money in areas that are related to growth and increased sustainability. We all want to make sure that we fix what is broken, but would it not be even better if we knew exactly how successful we were in our efforts.

Business Situation

To see and understand how important metrics are, let us use a specific business example of one of our clients. In this business, the salespeople always approached the Sales Manager and Owner for a discount and told them that the price was why they couldn't sell and that the competition had a better website and marketing materials. They tried to convince the owner and manager that if they lowered their product price and created a new website and brochure, sales would increase. You need to improve your customer growth, but the question is if you lower your price and call a web design and marketing company to create a website and brochure, will this increase your sales? The short answer is probably not. Just because this is just based on sales personnel perception, it would be hard to know the underlying problem.

  • If you decide to drop the price and that isn't the problem, you could be leaving money on the table and eroding your margins without uncovering whether that is the real issue.

  • It could be as simple as the customer not understanding the value of your product versus the competition and your sales force selling just on price alone.

  • It could be an awareness factor that someone needing your product or service searched for the product or service in