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Reality Check: How’s The Business Doing?

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How was your day at work?

It’s an easy enough question that most people ask their spouses or friends after a long day. More often than not, the answer could range from a healthy venting process about coworkers and managers to a passionate debate about making the world a better place. As employees, we all have good days and bad days, and we all know how they feel.

However, for business owners, the question can be a little more challenging to address. When you run a company, your day at work is not about the gossip you’ve heard in the kitchen area or the meeting you’ve got to prepare for the next day. It’s about how the business is doing. Needless to say, entrepreneurs scratch their heads at first to find an appropriate answer.

How do you know what is going on in your company? Here are a few tips and strategies that help you to monitor your performance and brand both on the market and as an employer. More importantly, knowing how the business is doing gives you the clues you need to improve and grow.

Ask the people who buy from you

As a business owner, you sit at the eye of the storm. While you might be aware of most operations and processes, it’s fair to say that you don’t get the full overview of how your business is perceived. However, your customers do.

Customer reviews can be a great tool to gauge your performance and assess areas of improvement. Indeed, collecting and finding honest reviews should be on top of your priorities. While you can directly ask your customers for feedback, you can also research third-party review websites to find out what people think of your products or services.

Engaging with negative feedback is a painful but necessary process. Indeed, you’ll be able to learn a lot about your approach in figuring out what doesn’t work for your customers. Positive reviews are always lovely to read – and you want to have as many as possible. However, if you’re going to build a better and more effective company, you have to focus your attention on the two or fewer stars reviews. They hold the key to your strategic positioning.

You’ve got all the data you need

We live in a world of data. Every online and offline operation creates data that your company can collect. More often than not, data analysis is focused on short-lived and niche activities, such as making a marketing campaign or reducing delays during customers’ phone calls.

However, while companies have access to a wide range of information, very few have the opportunity to monitor how the business is doing based on a data-driven report. Business intelligence – aka the art of analyzing data that relates to the whole company and its processes – is typically a role that is assigned to an expert in a large organization. But that doesn’t mean that SMEs can’t build their own BI strategy.

You can find intuitive tools that are supported by specialists; hence, you could work with a Microsoft power BI consultant to help you understand your data and find a strategic path for improvement. In short, you only need to check your data to move your business forward.

Your employees always notice problems before you do

Your employees are your most important assets. They can offer valuable insight into your business performance as they experience day-to-day pressure both internally within the company, and externally in customer-facing positions. As a result, they can gauge when things are going wrong and where problems are likely to appear.

More importantly, they are the face of your business. Keeping them happy is not a matter of vanity as an employer; it’s also vital for your business presence. Indeed, treating your employees with the same attention than you do your customers creates an environment in which your team feels empowered to make the right decisions. Monitoring your team’s satisfaction and happiness is, by far, the best indicator of success.

Your revenue figures don’t matter as much as you think 

As an entrepreneur, you are probably focusing your attention on monitoring your growth, and more importantly, your revenues. Indeed, money is at the heart of business existence. Without it, your company can’t survive. However, it’s essential to be clear about your financial data.

Indeed, while your revenue refers to the amount of income you’ve generated during a business period – through transactions, for instance – it isn’t the same as your profits. Your gain is the capital that remains once you’ve managed your costs. A positive profit can be repurposed into strategic investments.

In conclusion, entrepreneurs have many options to monitor the performance of their company. The effective use of information is detrimental to not only understanding your business but also designing the most-relevant best growth strategy.