One of the most important features of a well-run business is database analytics. In any business, of any size, knowledge of your client/customer sales, activities, inquiries, and marketing information (their responses back to you) can be one of the most important determinants of the success and expansion of your business. If you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know what to do next and may be depending on luck to grow your business. The more random your client/customer base is, the more important this becomes.
Do you have a customer/client database? To be sure, it is more than a list of names, addresses and phone numbers. A real database includes a form which can be filled out for each client/customer. The form completed as much as possible for each one, depending on how often you deal with each, how much information your customers supply, and how good you are at obtaining the information. If your business already operates online, then you should know you have no excuses for not acquiring the data. If you meet them in person or they come and go through a store front it may be a bit less convenient to get the information. You can also purchase or data-mine information from the web. The point is to get as much data as possible and collect it in a powerful database.
Why is it valuable? Because once you have the data you can crunch it in an endless number of ways, mathematically, by date, by frequency, by items in your inventory, and almost anything you can think of. This data is very important because when you study it you will come up with new ideas for sales, marketing, and services. The activities of your clients/customers and your business (including staff/employees) will uncover much about your business. You may find ways to streamline your operations, then review new activities and expand or change further. If you have a record of requests from your employees and customers you can respond by making changes based on the frequency. Most successful online businesses already use this data to push ads and inventory.
Even if you only own a lawn service, keeping track of requests for service will help you know when advertising may be more effective. In a medical practice it is often known what time of year certain ailments or issues tend to show up like flu season. Because of the complexities of a family practice, which has more variance than a specialty, the data becomes more important for business planning. But you will need someone to design, develop the analytics to make the data valuable.
If you are successful in developing good data analytics your business may increase tremendously in value. When selling a practice or business, this data can shed light on the real potential in developing the business under new ownership.
A list of steps to increase the value of your business with data analytics:
- You must have a good computer, modern, latest operating systems for security
- If you don’t have it yet, you need a web site and top web service platforms like Yahoo!, Google, Bing, WordPress, and more.
- You need a data collection system. Most of the web platforms above already have tools built in. You just need to make use of them.
- To make use of the tools above you need a good web design and analytics person who knows the ins and outs of web development, marketing, and data collection. It is worth the money!
- Once you have the data collected it will need to be processed. A good database is a requirement.
- You should review data, collection, and analytics as well as business opportunities at least once a quarter.
It will all grow from here. There is a learning curve but you just need to trust that understanding the activities of your business, clients/customers/patients will help you come up with better services, products, and procedures for business success.