8 key metrics to optimize a startups quarter 4 success
The final accounting quarter for any business helps concentrate the mind, none more so than for a startup business.
This is time to maximize results for a great closure to the year. These metrics offer the fastest returns to help sustain into the following accounting year.
You might be wondering which metric has the most impact and influence from the over possible 30,000+ metrics a business can generate.
I have made some short list candidates here so you can concentrate on a more successful year end.
Metrics secrets for startups
The secret to success for many companies is not always obvious. You may be lucky and find a change to one of these metrics as the key to transform your business.
Take a process of reviewing these metrics. Ask how, when and why these are measured for your business. From those answers you can generate a strategic review of your business and identify how it converts into faster paying clients.
For the first 3 quarters of your current accounting year, review the metrics listed below and create an improvement plan. The plan should contain action and follow up measurement for the final quarter. Now let's dive into this list:-
Average time to reply to customers
Through the study of this metric, you will gain an insight to the range of behavior variation provided to your customers. You may find some specific questions arise and are solved swiftly with success. These are areas to explore improving your customer experience. For replies that take longer, seek to understand the root causes and reduce the time through improved process’s and lean accountability.
Average time to reply to market questions
This is a similar metric to the above however for questions generated by inquires and general market questions. Use this feedback to help enhance the user experience. The feedback can improve your service/product portfolio to what the market is actually seeking. The results are a great reference and resource to target future campaigns.
% of market research completed on time
Efficient management of market research is important. Through optimal resource limitations and business judgements, research tasks can be accelerated. This frees the organization up to extend its market knowledge across a wider field.
% of errors in sales forecast
Over capacity and under capacity constraints are influenced by sales forecasts. Review the full forecast process and adjust accordingly. Your current system may generate frecasts on a monthly basis however, if your business sales cycle is best served with 3 weekly cycles then implement that instead. Seeking errors in the forecast can identify key steps of improvement, from sales training, market changes and a leaner sales process.
% of successful negotiations
When dealing with more complex sales, the importance of understanding success negotiations is critical. The sales pipeline and business model depends on the outcome of successful negotiations. Through improvements of this single metric, improvements in customer acquisition costs, productivity and efficiency are found straight away.
% Opt out
The churn rate of e-commerce opt outs should be reviewed on a periodic basis. This is used to seek correlations on effective and relevant sales/marketing campaigns plus rebalance the frequency and style of your communications.
% of return of the old visitors
It remains easier to sell to existing clients and people/organizations that hold an existing relationship with you. Measuring return visitors helps provide important marketing information and act as new incentives to extend your market reach.
Gross margin at sales price
The list price and end sales price is a critical measure, seasonal and cyclical pressures may provide insights and incentives through measuring the gross margin at sales price for different products, services at each market cycle phase or month.
This list is not an exhaustive and definitive list of metrics to concentrate on during your last quarter.
They simply offer firm areas of short term improvement for higher sales that are most commonly seen within many start-up companies in their first couple of year’s operation.
Even if you already measure these metrics, the key question and point of this article is “what are you doing with the information the metric provides?” Generating questions, priorities and improvements are robust reasons to sustain a success and focus for your business.
Do you have any other metric more relevant for your business?
What metric would you have replaced or added to this list? Let me know by leaving a comment below or tweet us.
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Written by James Doyle, founder of JAMSO, success consultant and trainer.
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