Counting reveals what really happens in your business. As a small business manager, you're under constant pressure to respond and adapt to business pressures. If you lack accurate information you rely on the traditional beliefs about what makes your business tick. That information changes. If yours isn't acurate, your decision making will suffer.
What Should You Count?
Whatever affects your business should be counted. The real benefit comes when you join counts from various areas and compare counts from the same area over time.
Joining The Counts
For example, you keep sales figures. But do you know the figures by product or service? Do you know which customer buys which product, how often and how many. You may know your production costs and your overheads. Can you match them with sales and customers?
You'll know generally about profitability. But which products are most profitable? Are your “best" customers buying the most profitable products? Are the most profitable products your best sellers?
How do new customers find out about you? Are some categories of customers better long term supporters than others? What does it cost to gain a new customer? Do “old" customers buy more than “new"?
Value Of Counting
You have to decide what information is most crucial to your decision making.
The counting itself isn't difficult. The information is in your records. And computers make it relatively easy to find. There are also a number of computer packages which you could buy and use.
A Case Study: How Counting Helps
A service company I know keeps detailed records of customer activity. They created a Priority Client scheme for their best clients. As part of the scheme they introduced a newsletter for their clients. Initially it was published each 4 months. It was well received so they published it every 3 months.
They noticed that ever time it was published, sales to these clients improved. It's now published every two months.
A simple exercise of counting client activity and spending has paid off in a big way.
It's straightforward. If you don't count, you won't know. If you don't know, you'll make poor business decisions. Today, computers make it easy. This is one area where your small business can easily match it with big business.
Leon Noone invites you to contact him on http://www.leonnoone.com where you can collect your free copy of his 42 page Special Report: “5 Proven Methods For Improving Employee Performance On The Job". He's published books on staff selection and team development as well as various video, text/audio and self instruction programs on selection, training, motivation and performance systems.