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Like plenty of small business owners, you probably have an entrepreneurial spirit – you came up with a great idea for a product or service and you built it into a business. Now, to take it to the next level, you need to collect and analyse your business’s data to measure your success and keep it on track for the long term.

Here are our key metrics for small business reporting.

Cash flow

It’s no surprise that cash flow floats your boat in more ways than one: keeping your business buoyant and a smile on your face. But to be sustainable, it’s important to look beyond your current bank balance and understand cash flow forecasting – an estimate of the amount of money that will flow in and out in the future.

Using your sales history and taking into account things like seasonal patterns, you can estimate your likely sales for a week, a month or a year. Then do the same for your costs, which could include suppliers, rent, utilities and wages etc.

How useful your forecasts are will depend on how accurate and up-to-date your data and reports are, so it’s a good idea to use reliable accounting software – such as Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks or Sage, which all integrate with Deputy. As well as balancing your spending against your income, you’ll be in a better position to make informed business decisions for business’s future.

Conversions and sales

In an ideal world, your conversions and sales will constantly grow. And because your conversion rate measures the proportion of your customers who make a purchase, it’s important to track your customer database and sales with integrated POS software, like Square, which integrates with Deputy. And when sales aren’t tracking as they should, remember to look at the bigger picture. Is consumer spending down generally? Or has a competitor opened nearby?

Customer relationship management

Your loyal customers are your bread and butter, so looking after them well will always be a high priority. Needless to say, you want them to keep coming back, to keep buying – and, ideally, buy more – and to bring you more customers through word-of-mouth or online reviews.

Some POS systems, such as Square, also offer software for a customer database and feedback as well as employee sales and timecards. This means you can track how individuals are performing – if some out-performing others, it might be time to run a training program or offer incentives to increase productivity.

Staff time, attendance and wages

Wages are a big-ticket item, and rostering staff to meet peaks and troughs in customer traffic can be complicated, especially in hospitality and retail. With too many staff and not enough sales, your profit margin suffers; and with an under-supply of staff and lots of customers, service suffers.

Employee scheduling software, like Deputy, integrates with your historic POS data to help you identify slow and busy times and forecast staffing levels. Its online timesheets give you an accurate record of employee hours and overtime which you can upload to payroll software like Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks, CloudPayroll and Sage.

Monitoring metrics with reports

Whether it’s cash flow, sales, customer relationship management, employee scheduling costs or their performance, with Deputy reports you can monitor your business in real-time from anywhere. By understanding small business analytics, you will give your business its best shot at success.

Find out how Deputy integrates with a range of platforms to provide end-to-end business solutions.

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