This is the third post in the #HustleMax series by Soham Sabnis, in which he talks about the importance of tracking the growth of your business using an easy business tracker tool.
“How’s your business doing?” The one question that stumps most small business owners. Just saying ‘great’ isn’t enough. Unless you have enough data to prove it. So how are you measuring the success of your business? Are you tracking your efforts?
Many entrepreneurs start a business as a passion project. There’s nothing wrong in doing that. It then starts picking up slowly and steadily. That is the time to measure every inch of its progress. If you are a jewelry designer, a photographer, a potter or a baking enthusiast, tracking your business becomes very important.
Are your efforts enough
You are spending or rather investing time in what you love doing. Maybe it is naïve to look for profits in the early days, but tracking ‘inflow’ and ‘outflow’ of your account or business from DAY 1 is what I recommend. This allows you to watch the progress of your efforts closely and thereby helps you to make changes on the go, and optimise maximum value for the time you are investing.
Let us take an example of an artist who is sells her paintings. Here are a few questions about her business
How many paintings have been sold in 1st quarter of the year?
How many people have paid partial amount?
Total business in current financial year?
Total Profit made by selling paintings?
Which was the best month – in terms of sales for the artist?
Weird as it may sound, very few people will have answers to these questions. I have spoken with many freelance writers, photographers, bakers, jewelry makers, small businesses which provide services or sell products. Almost everyone does not have an answer to these questions, because they never keep a record. Many prefer writing it in a diary. But when you sit down for analysing your gains from the time invested, diaries become the most difficult tool of all!
Before I jump to what will you achieve by tracking your business and how to use this data for improving the business or aiming for growth potential, here is a FREE SIMPLE BUSINESS TRACKING TEMPLATE – an excel sheet with simplified formulas. All you need to do is update numbers and details – and Tadaaaaa! you will have the data crunching done! (You can thank me later)
Apart from answers to the questions above, this tracker will help you analyse following
Popular product or service
Most profitable product or service
Best month in terms of sales
Expenses – month on month (depends on how to you track the expenses)
Pending amounts from customers
Total business in the year
HOW much profit are you making in a year
Time availability – as you are marking dates, you would know the schedule too
Vendor payments – how much have you paid your vendor in a year
How to use this data effectively?
Plan marketing activities around the popular service or product
Plan the marketing activities close to popular month(s) in the year
Promote products or services which are giving you high profit
Negotiate with vendors for better price – by showing them how much potential business can be done together
Keep a check on expenses – alter product making or service delivery to optimise profit
I have been using this tracker for 4 years now to track my photography assignments. Based on the data I have been able to assess my time to money value every year. I have been able to ‘reject’ certain assignments as the data showed such assignments gaining no profit, especially with respect to the time invested in them. This makes sense when you are juggling between multiple activities and you just have 24hrs!
Now that you have the #HustleMax business tracker – never fail to hustle more in the right direction! Eager to hear your success stories with the tracker!
About Soham Sabnis:
Marketing professional dabbling in startup space for 5+ years. Soham is a consultant for growth and sales for many startups. With a big idea head, he is expert in creating exceptionable plans for growth. Photographer at heart, Soham loves traveling. You can check his travel and photography blog here: Pictures Personified