When I was studying for my MBA, my most challenging class was statistics. And even though I managed an A- in the class, it took every one of the few analytical brain cells I had to do so.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I sat down to analyze the statistics of my business over the last 12 months and found myself engrossed, fascinated, excited and practically dancing for joy. Armed with this critical data, now I know exactly where to spend my time and efforts going forward to receive the highest and best rate of return!
I ran a total of about 20 reports, but let me share some of what I learned specifically from my shopping cart's reports:
Shopping Cart Stats
The shopping cart system I use (1ShoppingCart) has the ability to run sales reports in a variety of ways. Below are four of the reports I ran, what my results were, and what I will do with those results:
a. My Monthly Sales Totals. . .
. . showed me that my best month financially was December, with a close second in February and a third in October.
I reviewed my marketing and sales (making offers) activities for those months, and what I found was this:
In December, my best financial month, I held my 50% off holiday sale - and I didn't have to do a thing to bring in those sales, other than promote it. So, if you're hesitating about having a sale, and even more so if you're hesitating about giving a big discount, don't. You'll not only make sales that you wouldn't have otherwise, you'll likely make MORE sales than you would have otherwise, which of course means more money.
In February, I launched the first edition of my “21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System" - and it's become my bestselling product. Those are two solid reasons to do an updated and revised version, which I am right now.
In October, I held my “How to Make Your Teleseminars Make You Money" teleseminar. Obviously this was, and is, a hot topic, for my market, so I packaged it into a product for immediate purchase (click here for details). I'm also considering adding it to my list of live programs to offer this year.
b. My Sales by Ad Campaign. . .
. . showed me which special offers were the ones you were most interested in taking advantage of. Now I know which offers to consider repeating, or offering on another product or program in the future.
c. My Sales by Clients/Customers. . .
. . showed me who my top clients/customers are, what they've bought, and how much they've invested in my offerings. And since I know that one of the most effective ways to grow a business is to make additional offers to those who have already bought from me, you can bet that not only will I do that, but I'll do it in a way that makes them feel special - because they are to me - by offering them special access or discounts or additional benefits as my way of thanking them for their continued business and loyalty.
d. My “Where did you hear about us" Report. . .
. . showed me that even though I thought that some of my online networking efforts weren't really paying off, mainly because I didn't think I was focusing enough time on them, I was wrong. It seems even the small amount I had been doing was making an impact.
So now I know the top 4-5 places to really focus those efforts going forward. This makes what can seem like an overwhelming marketing activity (some lists are SO active) into an extremely managable and once-again enjoyable one.
I gleaned all of this information from just four reports from my shopping cart. And this doesn't include the reports I ran from my email list service (Aweber) or from my web stats (Google Analytics).
Measuring the results of your business activities is critical to your success, and anyone can do it (it's really one of those “if I can, anyone can" kind of things). I really want to encourage you to take a look at where you've been over the past 6-12 months, analyze that data, and make some strategic decisions about where you want to focus your efforts going forward to get where you want to be.
© 2007 Alicia M Forest and ClientAbundance.com
Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach™ and creator of “21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System™, teaches coaches, consultants, and other solo professionals and online entrepreneurs how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create abundance in your business, visit http://www.clientabundance.com/