Learn more about the processes, initiatives and habits of enterprise businesses, and how you can adapt those processes to help your small or medium business run better.
Performance reports are a critical aspect of running a business. They can indicate how strong sales are at any given moment, whether a business is running ahead of last year, and even track things like inventory, best-selling products, and which employees sell the most. The ability to track key performance measures is now a competitive advantage. McKinsey Global estimates that using data and information in your product launches and business decisions can improve your profit margin by 60 percent.
Here are 5 simple ways to use data to gain insight into your business.
Identify strong products or services.
Take a look at what products are selling well and consider why. Are there new markets for these products? Are there complementary products you can cross-sell when promoting them? If your business involves service, find promotions to entice them to increase the frequency of visits.
Identify weak products or services.
Take a close look at your weakest selling products and services and your return on every sale they make. Are they worth carrying? Would they work better with adjustments? If it’s a new product, was it advertised enough?
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Discover new customers.
Take a look at popular businesses near you—can you attract new customers by taking advantage of your location? Clover’s free Insights app lets you look at businesses in the neighborhood to see their most popular days and times. This can be a great way to identify whether your store hours need to be adjusted. If a local business is bringing in a ton of commuters early in the mornings or at the end of the business day, perhaps catering to those hours will improve business for you as well. Is there a popular local bridal boutique? Perhaps your business can supply Bachelorette or Bridal party specials. Is there a daycare facility next door? Consider offering child-friendly items or an area where children can play while customers shop. Check out this blog series by Clover to learn more about using Insights to improve sales.
Uncover seasonal fluctuations.
A close look at sales by month will likely show fluctuations and seasonal patterns. Forecasting seasonal dips can help businesses determine how many staff members to have on hand and whether it pays to keep a business open during particular times of year.
Determine best locations.
Examine the net revenue of each location to determine which location is performing the best. Then dig deeper into the data to discover why. Are most of the sales during a particular time of day? Is a product flying off the shelves at one location, but not another? Or is a particular employee selling more than her peers? Analyzing the data can help you determine whether to close a location or whether to experiment with adjusting product placement or other variables. Even better, some analytics will let you research a location before opening a branch to see whether it’s likely to be profitable.
Information is power—make more informed decisions by taking advantage of performance reports. For more ideas on how to leverage data to improve business decisions read: Let Data Drive Your Sales This Season.
Check out Clover’s App Market for more free apps to drive your business.[image: Computer Eyewear by Michael Saechang on flickr]