Number crunching, data munching, result bunching…button punching… scowl scrunching… sound familiar? While some people’s minds are very analytically inclined and almost wired to make sense of figures and information, others get confused, overwhelmed and downright frustrated with numerical data. But ask any business owner; reporting, analyzing and calculations have to be done. They’re necessary- but they don’t have to be stressful.
Basically, the need for reporting can be explained by: measure, pleasure and leisure (and rhyming too apparently!)
How do you know if you’ve achieved your goal unless you measure it?
This is the case no matter what your business aim may be. Think about it: If your plan is to expand your team, you can’t hire- and pay- someone else until you measure your company’s expenditure in correlation to profit being made to work out if you can comfortably afford to take a new person on board.
If your target is to roll out a new service line or product you’d need to measure its success on a small scale by analysing how much profit it generates in relation to how much overhead costs you need to fork out to make the service deliverable. From there, you can accurately assess whether the new product or service is worth your while before you launch it to a larger market.
Not all goals are financial. You may wish to earn more positive testimonials from happy clients. Even in this scenario you’re likely to measure (keep track of) how many glowing reviews your business achieves, as you’ll have an specific amount of complimentary testimonials you’ll deem a ‘success’.
Reporting highlights patterns. In the case of positive testimonials, you’ll also no doubt want to gather data on what services or products resulted in the most customer praise, or collect information on which member of your team secured the most favourable reviews.
Only when your measuring, analyzing and reporting has led you to conclude that your efforts to achieve your goal have been a success, do you get the pleasure of celebrating your business’ proud achievement and the leisure of moving on to fresh ideas and exciting new goals.
But what can help prevent SME owners analytically minded and figure-fearing alike suffering a numerical nightmare?
We find a steadfast integrated system at your finger tips comes in handy. Your business has collections of data that are so valuable they could be deemed ‘hidden gems’ within your organisation. But uncovering these ‘hidden gems’ isn’t enough- you need to interpret your data correctly to manage your business effectively.
Interpreting data is very much like a dance: failing to embrace it, understand it and improve your business processes via learning from it, results in you being out of step with your customers, not moving to their rhythm but ultimately being out of touch and tune with them instead.
A multifaceted analytical data system such as Zoho Reports has features in its arsenal to help make data more easy to make sense of, such as inviting and attractive visual graphic capabilities and a welcoming user-friendly ‘spreadsheet’ interface.
Zoho Reports are also easy to share and collaborate on, meaning the rest of your team can understand your business data and is seamlessly integrated with other applications, including Zoho CRM, effortless to sync with and upload data from various sources like Dropbox and Google Drive and simple to connect with relational databases like Oracle.
All this, plus much more makes Zoho Reports data’s perfect dancing partner to help you keep in time with your customers by working out what strategy is working and what isn’t.
When it becomes risky…
Reporting is never risky- it may highlight results you never wanted to see but it reveals results just the same. Entrepreneur Sally Krawcheck writes: “You may be taking risk by trying not to take risks.” It’s often a risky business not to do anything. The same applies to reporting results and analysing data- not doing so is dangerous for your business.
Just as you run the risk of missing an opportunity if you don’t have a reliable and organised system like a CRM in place, you could also risk overspending or overlooking certain things if you fail to report regularly. For instance, you could spend lots of money and time (which is just as valuable) on email marketing that’s simply not converting interested people into clients.
Can you and your business risk not doing regular reporting?
For advice with finding the right system for your business reporting, contact us for a chat!