Whether you’re a brand new cycle shop, or an established business, analysing your business and its activities can help you to grow market share and increase customer satisfaction.
Below are the top ten analytics techniques small business owners could benefit from mastering.
Your business needs cash to keep it operating on a day to day basis – from paying wages to supplier bills and rent. You need to understand your monthly operating costs, seasonal business trends and the flow of money in and out of your business. Tracking cash flow will enable you to run your business effectively, managing your finances now and preparing for the future, to help ensure its survival.
You need to understand which products or services are most profitable, and which ones are not. Understanding this will help you to strategically focus on growing the profitable parts of the business.
Not all customers are equal – in fact businesses typically find that just 20% of their customer base will generate 80% of sales. Make sure you understand who those customers are so that you can treat them appropriately.
Sometimes it’s easy to just focus on the day to day tasks of running a business, but you need to keep an eye on the wider marketplace, emerging trends and market potential. This will help ensure profitability in the future.
Take the time to understand who your competitors are – visit their websites regularly, follow them on social media and sign up (with a non-business email address) for their email newsletters and special offers.
Technology allows you to monitor your competitors’ pricing, and adjust yours accordingly. For online sales, you can segment your pricing by customer or on a cost to serve basis. Even if you don’t operate online, you should be regularly reviewing your own pricing structures, and keeping an eye on your competitors.
Understanding why your customers buy from you, what they like and dislike, and what they’d like you to focus on in the future can help you to shape your business going forwards. Ask for verbal feedback, or send out a short survey – you can do this by email with Survey Monkey – and offering a reward or incentive for participating can help increase engagement.
As well as understanding the needs and buying habits of your current customers, you can gain valuable insight from non-customers too. Non-customer analytics is about understanding who doesn’t buy from you and why, so you can target them in the future.
Whether you use your website to sell products or grow awareness of your brand and business, you need to understand how your customers use your website. Make sure you regularly visit Google analytics so you can see the website traffic, flow and sales conversions.
Keep an eye on your social media analytics – Twitter for example will show you the most popular tweets, click-throughs and engagement. By regularly checking your analytics, you’ll understand what works for each channel, and what doesn’t.
This article is based on an article originally published on the Hiscox UK business blog where you’ll find a wide range of articles and videos offering tips, advice and inspiration for small businesses.