In Jim Collin's book Good to Great, he talks about identifying the metrics that are important in your business.  Knowing what to watch is a key component of monitoring your progress.  Accountants have done a great job in creating such metrics in the form of ratios, standardized reports, and others.

Here are a few simple metrics that different businesses can use to monitor growth:

  • Consulting: average total sale per project, average hours worked per project, number of proposals in the pipeline, number of leads awaiting proposals, number of prospect appointments set up per week.
  • Restaurants: number of seats filled per dining time and day of week, number of bottles of wine uncorked per night, duration of seating per table, total daily sales broken down by food or beverage category.
  • Retailers: daily sales per square foot, sales by day of week, repeat visits (use of store coupon or card)
  • Publishers: number of paid subscribers, number of free subscribers, ad revenue per page, pages per issue, renewal rate.

These thoughts are just a starting point. There are many other metrics you can create to keep the pulse of your business. These indicators will be your first red flags if something is off.