With a lot of businesses being online these days it’s become easier than ever to track business growth to help you set goals and reach new customers. There are tons of tools that will make your life so much easier when it comes to tracking all of these different outlets and nothing boosts moral more than knowing you’re on the right track.
To track business growth I look at 5 specific things:
Your social media platforms can be an absolutely great indication of how your business is growing. It’s an easy way to track your audience reach and see who is responding and what they are responding to. You can also use this information to better serve your clients. For instance, if you are a fashion blogger and you post daily outfits on instagram but you notice a HUGE bump in engagement (comments/likes) when you post detail shots like jewelry or shoes, you may want to include more of these types of posts in the future to keep your engagement and reach super high.
Something you may have noticed just now is that I didn’t specifically focus on having a lot of followers, but rather on the amount of engagement you are receiving on your post.
Did you know that Instagram’s algorithm totally doesn’t care about the number of followers you have? Seriously! That’s good news for anyone just starting out.
Instead, Instagram favors accounts that have a high percentage of engagement. So if you have 100 followers and get 20 likes on a post, your engagement rate is at 20% which is fantastic! Versus if you have 100,000 followers, but get 200 likes on a post, your percentage is only .2%. Not even 1%. That’s why it is honestly a terrible thing to buy followers or do the whole “follow for follow” trend because in the end those numbers are not going to help you reach your ideal customers.
I love having an Instagram Business account so that I can see my engagement rates, track my followers, and see what days and times will get my post the most amount of reach.
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For pinterest I use Tailwind to schedule my pins from this blog and they send me an email each week with simple stats of how many pins I’ve pinned each week and how many new followers I’ve received. In my account I can see what pins are getting the most repins and engagement and what boards have the most followers. I love being able to see how all my hard work on Pinterest is paying off and how many new people it is sending to my site.
Another great way to track that your business is growing and on the right track is by keeping tabs on how many business inquiries you are receiving. Business Inquiries show that people are interested enough in what you are doing that they want to be a part of it. So awesome right?
For typical businesses this is pretty straight forward, since clients who want to hire you will contact you to talk pricing or to get further information. Even if they end up going a different direction, the fact that they were interested enough to reach out is a good sign that you are peaking people’s interest. But of course, making the sale is even better.
Make sure you have a contact page that makes it super easy for clients to get in touch and lets them know when they can expect to hear from you.
Even if you are strictly a blogger your blog is still a business and at some point you will likely hear from companies that want to work with you. Again, even if they aren’t a company you necessarily want to write about, it’s a great indication that people are finding your blog and like what you are doing.
In a lot of ways GA is the best way to track your growth especially when it comes to your website. GA gives you so many great tools for seeing the number of visitors your website is getting, where these readers live, how they found your site, what they are clicking on, and the average bounce rate (how long people are staying on your site).
This can be an easy reminder of how far you’re reaching and I find it super fun to go back to the beginning and see how far my business and website have come.
We all want to see big numbers when it comes to tracking our daily viewers, but remember that slow growth is still growth and is a lot more sustainable that going viral.
Of course the number of sales you are bringing in is one of the best ways to monitor business growth. It’s a simple equation of more followers = more sales = more growth, so keep in mind that all of these things work hand in hand.
Whether you sell services or products, you should always keep track of how many sales you have coming in each month. Comparing each month’s numbers can show you if you have different peak seasons, if certain products are selling better than others, and if there are any areas that need improvement in your sales funnel. All of this info helps you better cater to your customer’s needs and can take a lot of the guesswork out of your business.
Of course not making any sales is a problem for any business, so if after several months you aren’t making enough sales to keep the business going it may be time to change up some of your tactics.
I make this a different point from sales because you don’t always have to make a TON of sales to make a great income. In fact, a lot of bigger businesses pride themselves on taking on LESS clients, but instead focus on finding higher paying clients. Who doesn’t like making more money with less work, am I right?
Not only should you be tracking your income for tax purposes, you should also track your income as a way of monitoring whether your business is growing at a rate you are comfortable with. I track all my income using Quickbooks Self Employed, which is totally free to use and handles everything I need for taxes.
This past year I’ve actually doubled my income and I plan on implementing changes in my business to continue that growth this next year .
Every business grows at its own rate, but even small growth is worth taking note of. Keep a business journal or find a planner that houses all of your numbers for each month so that you always have them for quick reference. My favorites are these printable pages from Saffron Avenue. Use these figures we talked about to see where your business is headed and how you can start strategies to reach your goals. You’ll be surprised when you look back and see how far you’ve come.
I’d love to know ways that you track your own business growth. Any planners that are perfect for businesses?