As a small business owner, it’s likely that your days are filled with thoughts of making sales and networking in your community. By the time you sit down at the end of the day, the last thing you want to think about is crunching numbers to find out how your social media or online engagement is doing.
These numbers often overwhelm small business owners and cause them to all but ignore them as part of their day-to-day operations. But if you aren’t at least paying attention to some of these numbers, you’re missing out on a chance to make lasting change in your business. Here’s why.
Missing out on a chance to make lasting change in your business is a big deal because you lose the opportunity to stay agile. Agile simply means that you can adjust the way you do business quickly. Being agile is important for small business owners who rely heavily on their audiences and customers to provide insight and information related to what is needed and wanted.
Business owners that don’t pay attention to those data points may continue to offer products or services that their customers don’t want. By the time the realization sets in, a business might be well in trouble and at that point, it’s difficult to recover.
If you aren’t paying attention to what the numbers are telling you, you are missing out on opportunities to do something about them. Small business owners often stick their head in the sand and forget that they are the ones responsible for making a business successful.
Social media posts and regular blogging is going to change the fact that you are offering the wrong product or versions of the wrong product. Liking and sharing posts on Facebook isn’t going to help you grow your business. Small business owners spend a lot of time on the aesthetics of their business and not enough time in the trenches looking at the data.
Looking at the data doesn’t have to be a slug. You can learn, bit by bit, to understand your data by starting small and not feeling like you need to know and use all of it at once. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need all of the information in order to make some kind of decision. Gather some data, do your best to understand it, and make decisions with the information you have. As you learn more, you can adjust your approach. Negotiating data is not for the faint of heart, but any business owner can conquer their fear and learn from the information when you are opened to it.
As with most things in business, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data, you can find a professional to help you. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut thinking you need to know all of this information on your own, but if you are willing to throw money at the problem, you can get access to vital information that could not only improve your business, but grow it.
If you don’t have a lot of money to help you understand the data related to your business, decide ahead of time how much you can afford and then reach out to other small businesses who offer these services to find out what they can do to fit in your budget. You know how insulting it is when people try to undermine your value, so be honest about where you are and what you need and ask if they can help get you started. Everyone has to start somewhere.