Do you know who your most profitable staff member is? What about which massage service is most popular over the course of a year? A new wave of online business analytics services are on the rise that can help you make more accurate decisions about services, cash flow, staffing and forecasting. Ultimately, these measurements can help improve your bottom line.
Demand for online analytics is expected to increase by as much as 72 percent in 2012, as business owners become more savvy about using online tools to monitor their business performance. Google Analytics was one of the first mainstream analytics tools that hit the market, showing key website metrics for your business (number of unique visitors, average time users spend on each page, etc.). Today, online analytics options have expanded and become more sophisticated. For example, you can sign up for an online appointment scheduling service that offers an analytics tool. Also, Foursquare and Facebook offer analytics features that track customers’ activity on the sites as it pertains to your business.
Below are three key insights you can monitor once you start using an online business analytics tool:
- Revenue. Viewing your revenue over periods of time (daily, weekly or annually) can help you make smarter decisions about virtually all aspects of your business, including marketing, staffing and cash flow. For example, once you know your slowest month, you may want to bulk up on marketing during that month or reduce your number of staff.
- Optimal staffing. It is important to monitor the performance of your staff members. A strong analytics tool shows details on staff members, such as the number of appointments they book or sales figures. For your best-performing employees, you may want to consider promoting them or offering more hours. As for staff members that aren’t performing as well, you can adjust their schedules so they work on your busiest day, giving them a chance to expand their client base.
- Forecasting. Having the ability to view all key business data at your fingertips allows you to make strategic forecasting decisions for your business. For example, knowing your busiest day of the week or busiest season allows you to staff accordingly, thus maximizing appointments during that time. Knowing which services are most and least popular allows you to make adjustments to your service offerings. Perhaps you’re spending unnecessary money on supplies for a massage that isn’t making profit or not promoting a certain treatment enough, despite its strong sales numbers.
With an analytics feature, the answers to these questions are easily accessible and will inevitably help you better understand and grow your business. With the knowledge you gain, you can increase sales, invest in your employees and ultimately keep your customers satisfied.
Rody Moore is chief executive officer at Genbook, a leading online appointment scheduling solution for small businesses. Genbook recently launched a free Analytics Feature that allows subscribers to track critical performance data and sales patterns in real-time. For more information, visit www.genbook.com.