Business metrics measure the health of a business.
They also play an important role in decision-making processes and employee motivation, especially when they are used to create benchmark targets in a strategic plan.
Unfortunately, many business owners limit the use of metrics to the same tired measurements they have used for years. There's nothing wrong with using the same metrics from year to year. In fact, sometimes it's beneficial to use consistent metrics for annual comparisons and analysis. But wouldn't it be nice to apply business intelligence concepts to the creation of new metrics, too?
Of course it would. The development of new metrics is vital to your company's health. But applying metrics to a broader range of measurements isn't going to be easy. It takes purpose, common sense and creativity.
- Customer suggestions. Although it might seem a little off-the-wall, tracking the number of customer suggestions during a given time period can indicate the level of customer engagement with the brand. Assuming the suggestions are predominantly constructive, a high volume of suggestions could prime the pump for a major social networking initiative.
- Employee suggestions. Employee suggestions are a clear indication that your engagement strategy is working. When employees don't offer suggestions, it's because they aren't personally invested in the business.
- Business partnerships. A metric that tracks the number of new business partnerships formed might not be appropriate for every business. But for companies interested in achieving rapid growth and expansion, a business partnership metric is essential.
- Site traffic. Google Analytics makes it easy to monitor site traffic. But when you use the data to create a metric that compares your site traffic to the competition's site traffic, you get an accurate gauge of the value of your current web strategy.
- Management succession. A metric that tracks the number of management positions with no identified successor might sound like overkill. But if the metric reveals an alarmingly high number of positions lacking successors, it's time to focus your recruitment efforts on filling the pipeline.
- Internal performance. Metrics often focus on external factors like sales, customers and competitors. But since internal processes are just as important to your success, it's beneficial to create a metric for the number of internal initiatives accomplished and then use it conduct comparisons against historical benchmarks.