The beginning of a new year is a chance to do things differently. We see the gyms fill up and hear conversations of people promising to be a better version of themselves. The changing of a year is not just a chance to brush off personal goals, but also to make impactful business changes.
This year, resolve to understand the data driving your business. It’s power is unlimited, and many business owners miss out on opportunities by not setting aside the time or assuming they already know everything there is to know.
Ask yourself: Do you know these three things about your business?
What is your businesses seasonality?
What are your busiest and slowest times of year? Does it change based on number of customers or revenue? Perhaps you run a fitness studio and know that new members are beating down your door at the new year. Historical reporting may help you see less obvious trends. Is there a spike in new members when the weather starts to get cold? Do customers who visit your studio less than four times a month tend to cancel? Understanding both micro and macros trends in seasonality will help you maximize peaks and minimize valleys.
Who are your best customers? And what are you doing about it?
It’s easy to assume that the customers you see – or hear from – most often are your top customers. But do you know who is really generating the most revenue, booking the most appointments or supporting your business year after year? When you look into the facts, you may find that a small percentage of your customers are driving the bulk of your business (remember the 80/20 rule?). Make sure you know your top tier customers and then put a plan in place. Has their behavior shifted? Are they overdue for a quick ‘thank you?’ How can you find more customers like them? Having a pulse on your top customers will improve retention and build loyalty. After all, it’s usually more cost effective to keep current customers than gain new ones.
How do your customers prefer to pay?
Who cares how your customers are paying as long as they are paying, right? Maybe not. Understanding your current payment mix can help your business both optimize and prepare for the future. Have credit card payments been decreasing? If so, you could see an impact to your cash flow in 2015.
Whether seeking a change in customer behavior or developing an accurate forecast for the new year, business analytics will put you in control. PaySimple has both standard reports and the functionality to develop custom reports. Just click “Add New Custom Report” and use the filters to sort the information you want to include. Data can be easily downloaded for additional manipulation in excel.