Knowing the ins and outs of your business is a huge challenge, but it is also the best – perhaps only – way to really understand what is happening within your company and how to grow it for the future. Therefore, being able to delve deep into the internal systems within your business is essential. This is your data. What do you need to look for, and how can it be done?
Your customers are the life-blood of your business; without them, you certainly won’t be growing, and after a little while, there would be no business to speak of. It makes sense, then, that finding more customers should be at the top of the to-do list of every successful business. To do that, you will need to learn more about the customers you already have, which means understanding who they are and why they buy from you.
One way to do this is to use social media analysis, which you can combine with the first party data enrichment you can dig into to give you an overview of the type of person who is your standard customer. Using this information, you can target advertising directly at more of these people, ensuring your marketing budget is not going to waste.
If you want to expand, you need to plan for it. Whether it’s opening up a new branch or hiring new employees, you will want to know that your business can afford it, that it will bring in additional revenue, and that the economy can sustain it. Carrying out research – either yourself or by hiring an external contractor to do it for you – about all of these factors will give you the answer you need.
It’s essential to listen to the information you get, and if that means you need to postpone your new opening or stop the job advert you’ve placed, so be it. You can always try again another time when the conditions are more favorable. Keeping up to date with the research and ensuring that you have up to the minute data through cloud management or surveys will give you the edge when it comes to knowing when the time is right to grow – and when to stay just as you are.
Being able to see exactly where you are spending money is vital for various reasons, not least of which is that it gives you the chance to save money where you can. Properly run business data will show you how much you’re spending on each sector, with a breakdown of those costs. When you can see everything in black and white, you can look at where your cost savings can come.
What do you really need, and what can you do without? What could you pay less for through a different supplier (gas and electricity are prime examples of precisely this)? What should you be paying for that isn’t set up yet (insurance and similar products that can easily lapse and not be renewed by accident)? Saving money in some sectors and understanding that others will need to have more spent on them is a great use of business data.