The 4 numbers you can't run a business without

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Numbers.

For some just seeing the word sends you back to Mrs. Foster’s Grade 9 math class where you sat petrified she’d call on you (and she always did the second your eyes left the blackboard or textbook.)and your crush sat right behind you! Just me? Mrs. Foster was one of those teachers who rotated the class through the rows so everyone had a chance to sit at the very front under her bewitching watchful eyes that missed NOTHING!

She was a very intelligent woman and honestly, now I am grateful to her watchful eye because I passed that class with 94%, every mark was earned and I knew I knew the stuff.

I am not Mrs. Foster. But your bottom line is. If you are not watching the numbers in your business, you may very well not even have a business or you may have an empire and not even know it!

If numbers are not your thing, then may I suggest hiring an OBM to give you a hand. An OBM will watch your numbers and let you know what the trends are so you can make those wise business decisions to make sure you are growing an empire!

So what 4 numbers do you absolutely need to know?

  1. Money coming in

  2. Money going out

  3. The size of your community

  4. Website traffic

Show me the money!

Incoming money refers to things like, payments for services and products. Not only that, but it should show what money is coming in today, tomorrow, next month and so on. This would be applicable if you have payment plans on your offerings or have long-term client contracts. So the numbers you would want highlighted would be the money due today, anything over due and by how much.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Outgoing money refers to things like your operating expenses, any coaching or educating you do and of course paying your support staff. You would want to note, how much is going out today, what is due next and do you have the funds to cover that. If not, where are you getting that from.

It takes a village

When you look at the size of your community, you are mainly looking at your email list. Social media followers are nice but it is more important to have engaged followers than thousands of them that don’t care or even know what you do. With your email list you have so much more control over the content they see and how you engage with them.  Social media typically has very poor visibility in comparison, though there are those who do very well.

Red light, green light

Your website, in many cases for service-based businesses, is your storefront. You need to know how many people are visiting your site, what pages they are staying on and how long they stay for. You need to know where they are coming from. There are two wicked tools for tracking this, Google Analytics and Bit.ly. Squarespace also tracks this in *path*. Of course, you can make this a simple or as complicated as you like, but I like simple so here we go.

I would suggest checking these numbers on a weekly basis so you can notice any trends and adjust accordingly.  Keeping what serves you and dropping what doesn't.  Your Online Business Manager can put together a report for you so all the numbers are together and show the picture you need.  

Your turn: how do you track your numbers? Are you a software geek like me or do you prefer your OBM take care of the tracking for you?