If you are setting off on a journey to a new destination the first thing you would do is research and refer to information that is going to assist you in getting there, maybe a map or sat nav. With business this is no different, but surprisingly many businesses do not use the valuable management information available to them, when they are trying to reach their goals.
Let’s take a website for example. There is such a lot of information that can be gained from your website by installing Google Analytics, a free application that can provide an invaluable amount of information. Which is the most popular page on your website? Which page are most people leaving from? How are people finding your site? Which words are people searching for to find it? These are just a few points that can be monitored and reviewed through analytics, but the point is you can monitor the activity on your website and learn so much from it.
By looking at this information it can save you a lot of time and money and also improve the key messages and information you are sharing through your website. If there is a page that people are spending more time reading, then it may be that the information provided on this page is extremely useful, whereas if visitors to your site seem to be leaving from one particular page, could the information on that page be improved?
Your website is just one element of your business, another may be to look at your product or service offer. Rather than looking at the whole turnover of your business, break your products down into groups or categories and then compare them. By segmenting your products or services you can then explore and consider a whole variety of points e.g. which is the most popular product or which is the most profitable and this is key, as quite often the most popular is not the most profitable. Do you get the majority of your turnover from just a small number of key products or is there an even spread across the full range?
By exploring the data you have about your turnover, you could address questions such as; should I offer such a wide selection of products and services or should I specialise and offer a smaller more focused range? You could also challenge yourself and ask, are you promoting your more popular products, when really your efforts should be focused on your more profitable ones?
Key areas that I address with clients tend to be; products and service range, costs and overheads, pricing and profit margins, competitor and industry activity, how you are marketing your business and crucially what information are you reviewing and monitoring. I challenge how clients are deciding what tools they are using to market their business and why they are investing the time and money in the areas that they are.
This investigative approach should be taken across all aspects of your business on a regular basis if you are going to achieve the full potential of your business and ultimately reach your business destination!