Interviews

The importance of measurement in business

4 min read

13 September 2013

Everything in your business should be measurable. You should become obsessed with the word. Without measurement, it is a difficult to get a true picture of your growth.

It’s important to measure your business activity because variables will change and if you analyse the results accurately, you should have an indication of why things have changed. Let’s take a retail company for example; the weather can have a huge impact on retail sales. If your variables are measured accurately, you will be able to notice these changes and be able to create a plan to mitigate from this in the future.

Nothing in business should be haphazard. The strongest businesses plan things down to a tee and nothing is left to chance. Ask yourself, can you easily find your sales figures for this time last year and compare them to this year? When we say easily, do we mean in less than ten minutes? 

If the answer is no then it probably means that you don’t have accurate systems in place to measure your activity. 

What types of activity should you measure?

  • Sales figures;
  • Online marketing;
  • Magazine advertisements;
  • Email campaigns; and
  • Social media activity.

Everything should be measured. Let’s use the example of social media. You may be spending 30 minutes per day on social media, but if no one is reading your posts, it’s a pointless exercise. The same is true with advertising. Taking out a one-page advertisement in a broadsheet newspaper may seem like a good idea but what is your expected return? How many leads will the advertisement generate? How many sales will come as a result? 

Each question needs to be answered and the results measured or you will simply be pouring your money down the drain. In business you need to avoid doing activities because they seem “nice” or “right” and instead you need to focus on those activities that produce results; the two don’t always tarry.

Success is repeatable. That is why you need to measure your activities to identify what generates results. You will never know who your top performing sales person is if you don’t track their results. 

But how often should you measure? All personnel should record their activity on a daily basis; it should become habitual. If progress and performance are not recorded daily, you can easily forget or overlook the facts. 

You don’t need to have fancy software to record results, as a simple Excel spreadsheet will suffice. The most important thing is that that the information that you input is accurate and that you can easily extract results. We would recommend using a new data sheet each month so that you can track your activity over the course of a year and store each file by year. 

When tracking social media activity, you can use tools such as HootSuite to measure your results, however, it is still worth transferring the information into a spreadsheet so that you can store it offline and extract figures easily for reference. 

When you have regular measurement systems in place it is imperative that you test the variables in your system. For example, what would happen if you changed the times that you posted on social media; would it attract more views? What if you changed the nature of your posts etc? 

Don’t test more than one variable at a time because it becomes harder to accurately measure the results. Instead commit yourself to measuring, testing and measuring again. You will notice a dramatic shift in your business and ultimately it will help you to grow your company.

Kurt Won is the co-founder of Sales Partners (UK).