What numbers do you really need to know in your business

Apr 05, 2022

As a business owner, one of the most important things to grow is knowing your numbers. But in my opinion, not all numbers are worth knowing. So how do you tell which is which? Today, I'm going to share how I determine which numbers I need to know. And which numbers I don't.

I remember when I first really started paying attention to the metrics in my business, and it was a little bit overwhelming. Like most people, I kind of went all in and I was tracking ALL of the things (I wish I were joking). We had stupid metrics on a sliding scale; that a arbitrary one to five, it was a hot freaking mess. And that experience made me realize that not every number needs to be tracked. I realized after spending a lot of time tracking numbers, that the numbers weren't necessarily telling me anything. Sometimes it's good to have an awareness of things, but if the numbers aren't really telling you anything, why are you paying attention to them? And that was my big “Ah ha” moment. Last summer, when I really stopped tracking my metrics, it was because I realized that I wasn't actually changing my behavior based on the numbers. So why did I need to know them?

The biggest place this is applicable is Instagram (or just social media as a whole). It’s so, so easy getting lost in the engagement, in the likes, the comments, the page views, I could go on and on. I have no problem if that's something that you want to track in your business but I realized this was not where I wanted or needed to put my mental energy in my business. We are all running our businesses in different ways. We are all following different strategies. We're all focusing on different areas at different times. And we each have to figure out if the nitty gritty of social media is a metric worth tracking or if we’re only doing it because “everyone else is”. 

So in my marketing, the only thing that I track is my podcast. And I don't actually track episode-by-episode, or even monthly listens - I track weekly aggregate listens.Of course that number does fluctuate week to week but by and large I want that number to either stay steady or grow incrementally. It doesn't need to grow astronomically, but I want to keep a pulse on that number, and just make sure that it is moving in the right direction. And if it were to start to tank, right, that would be very valuable information for me and something I would definitely take action on. So that's a good indicator that I did something that you guys don't like listening to, and I need to change it. See how that works? Metrics worth tracking are numbers that, if they were to change, you would take immediate action on.

Something else that I want to talk about is in my launches. Obviously you guys have heard all about the importance of the debrief, and listening to the numbers in that capacity, but there are three key metrics I pay attention to in my launches outside of debriefs alone. The first thing being leading indicators, or how many people are opting into my evergreen funnel. In business, you have leading indicators and lagging indicators. I like to think of your business like a car when you're thinking of these two things. A leading indicator is what you see through the windshield, and the lagging indicators, what you see through the rearview. So in your launches, I keep an eye on my launch opt ins, and if that number isn't going up, or if that number has stalled or has gone down, then that is useful information that I can then take action on. I can increase my Facebook ad spend, I can do more organic promotion, I can send more emails, things like that are really checking the messaging, right? Those are things that indicate or give me information that will affect my behavior moving forward.

So I regularly look at the things that I'm tracking. And I asked, “What is this telling me? Is this actually giving me valuable information? Is it something that I'm going to alter my behavior based on?”  I hope that you found that helpful. I hope that if you're kinda either buried under a mountain of KPIs, and you don't feel like it's like, you just have all these numbers floating around your head, or maybe you're in the guilt of, “I should be tracking my KPIs…”, but you didn't know where to start or what to track or why you should be tracking them, then this can give you some clarity.

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