Launching a startup can be a nerve-racking time, but it’s also an exciting time as well. After six months of being in business, you can start to analyse your performance, using a variety of indicators to comment on your success.
Take a Look at Your Gross Margins
Profitability is really important. You obviously want your business to be as profitable as possible. Even if you’re not yet turning a profit, gross margins can guide you in a range of areas, such as how you and your teams are driving the business as a whole, and you can look at a range of metrics to see how you’ll guide future growth.
Have You Met Market Need?
Your business idea might be fun and sound amazing – on paper. However, you may find that there is not a need for the product or service you’re offering. You have to be really honest with yourself. According to research, up to 42% of businesses are offering something that there isn’t actually a need for. Sometimes, niche products can sell very well. However, research into the gap in the market where your business is concerned, and then compare that side by side with your sales. Unfortunately, sometimes we need a reality check. Tough as it may be, identifying such an issue will allow you to tweak your offering and become more successful in the long run.
Are You on Top of Your Website?
Looking at your website and its traffic can be an excellent measure of success. Are you getting conversions for it? Websites not only need to look professional, but they can be used to keep on top of trends or interests in your industry. For example, Lottoland Ireland is a company which paid attention to the fact that people love to play the lottery. However, this wasn’t all that they did. To keep ahead of the competition, they created a modern website, offering plenty of different opportunities to play, and made sure that everything was updated regularly, for example by featuring themed content around events like Christmas. Measure traffic to your site, and see how long people spend on there, whether they convert, and whether they bounce. Then look at their journeys to see what you’re good at and what you’re not.
What Do Your Customers Say About You?
After six months, you should have some customers who’ve used your product or service, and you ought to be paying attention to what they’re saying. If they’re unhappy, you need to address this, or you’ll become unsuccessful very quickly. To get feedback, encourage reviews on TripAdvisor, Google or through testimonials. Consider putting links to places where customers can leave such feedback into your email marketing campaigns and other communications. Happy, loyal customers are a great measure of success, but customers who feel catered to are as well. Listening to changing needs and adapting is so important – just ask Blockbuster, who failed to keep on top of consumer trends.
Measure Everything and Track Growth
You’re at the six month mark – congratulations! Now it’s time to set some baselines and goals. Numbers are arbitrary unless you have a point in mind against which to measure yourself. What does success look like to you? Perhaps by the one year mark, you want to increase your customer base, your subscribers, and your profits. Set a realistic percentage for each of these, and the ways you’ll achieve the goals. Then look into ways you can track this – the more data you have, the more you can interpret it.
Perhaps the key measure of success at six months is to be able to look at your business and know that deep down, you’ve got a great business model and that people are still going to be interested in it and happy with it by the time you hit one year in the game.