10 Ways to Measure Small Business Success in 2015

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Success is defined differently by every person. While your own ideas of success work perfectly to ensure your own happiness in your personal life, a little more logic is necessary in the process of properly measuring the success of your small business. Simply enjoying what you do won’t help you solidify a great future for your business. Happiness is an important factor, but taking a step back to see where your business stands, where it’s headed, and how you can improve is important in building a foundation for future accomplishments. So how can you measure your business’s success in 2015? There will be various aspects to look at depending on your business type and current standing, but the following 10 areas of success measurement can and should be applied as you check in on your success throughout the year.
1. Profitability
This is probably the most obvious item on the list. Checking in to make sure your business remains profitable is key. In their post on small business success management, SurePayroll recommends keeping up on your bottom line. If you find that you’re continually in the red, it’s time to reevaluate your finances. This is where you might consider enlisting the help of a financial specialist to help you get back on a profitable path.
2. Your Satisfaction
Are you satisfied with the direction your business is headed in? Whether you’re completely and totally satisfied, or looking back with a little regret, take a moment to come up with a list of things you hope to improve this year. Chances are, you’ll come up with at least one with the potential to increase your business’s future success.
3. Employee Satisfaction
Employees are everything. Keeping your employees happy reduces risk of liability and encourages better customer service within your business. Evaluate wage averages in your industry. How do yours stack up? What’s the workplace culture like? Is there anything you can do to increase your employees’ connection to their place of work? Enlisting the help of an affordable small business security system may also help here as it can show you exactly what goes on behind the scenes.
4. Competitive Stance
Comparing yourself to others has always been a big “no no” in your personal life. However, a little comparison goes a long way in setting effective goals for your business. Understanding how your product/service stacks up against its competitors is key to staying on top of trends and keeping your customers satisfied with what you have to offer.
5. What Your Customers are Saying
It’s impossible to keep track of all customer mentions of your business, however, online forums (love them or hate them) have made it easier to catch more of the discussion surrounding your brand. Checking in on your online reputation is crucial to measuring the success of your business. Review comments and ratings left for your products and/or services to resolve any issues that could be hindering your online image and determine areas where you can improve.
6. Efforts to Innovate
What have you done to improve your products and/or services? How’s your customer service looking? Are you thinking outside of the box in your marketing efforts? These are just some of the areas where you should be constantly innovating to stay on top. The Muse gives lists of the questions you should be asking yourself to properly evaluate your success from every perspective.
7. Leads Acquired
Generating qualified leads on a consistent basis is huge! Take a moment to look at the leads you’ve acquired. Are they up? Are they down? What can you do to increase them?
8. Client Retention
Loyal customers are a business’s best friend. They rake in referrals and continuously contribute to profits. This is why it’s important to take note of your retention rate when measuring your success. If your products and/or services are meant for one-time use, you might consider taking referral numbers into account here instead.
9. Customer Conversion
If your lead to conversion ratio is off, you’re missing out on a lot of business. Understanding your conversion rate is key to understanding how successful your business is in appealing to its target market. Your website, customer service, storefront appearance, and reputation are all areas to consider if you find that your conversion rate is lower than average. John Janstch’s article on Entrepreneur provides some great details on this.
10. Social Media Success
Many small business owners operate under the misconception that social media marketing is irrelevant to their business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Strategically selecting social platforms to focus your efforts on, then effectively managing them is a great way to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Have you been working to build and engage your brand’s social audience? If not, it’s about time you start! If you have been, Social Media Examiner offers up 6 great tips for measuring the success of your efforts here.