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Bruce Croxon is a digital pioneer and owner of several successful small businesses, including one that sold for 180-million dollars. He currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to incubating and investing in start-ups. He’s also an investor on CBC Dragons’ Den. He’s partnered with Sage to help provide advice and expertise on getting small businesses off the ground.
Unless there is something seriously wrong and the company is siphoning cash from multiple holes, it’s relatively easy for a small business owner to say that everything’s going well. After all, these people have so many responsibilities and must wear multiple hats every day, so unless something is on fire, the old adage “no news is good news” often rings true.
However, because we live in an advanced digital age, leaders have all the resources they need at their fingertips. There are plenty of reports that can be compiled in mere minutes, if not sooner, that can give administrators a comprehensive look at how their company is performing.
After all, “my big advice to small companies is to focus on the things you can actually measure the return on,” recommended Round 13 Capital co-founder Bruce Croxon, who is currently starring in his last season of “Dragons’ Den.”
Social media campaigns
One of the biggest things that small business owners are going to want to generate reports on and analyze is the effectiveness of social media campaigns. After all, if a lot of time and effort is put into this and it’s not panning out, the company can switch to a different platform or change up content. Among the metrics that can be tracked are cross-channel engagements, followers, page likes and so on.
Business owners may want to do this after every campaign they launch, as well as every so often during downtime to judge the engagement of posts.
Market analysis reports
One report that a company leader may analyze with some frequency is a market analysis study. This might not seem immediately necessary - after all, after a while, doesn’t the owner know his or her audience? The answer is generally yes, but people change all the time, especially as new trends take hold. What consumers want one day might not be the same 12 months from now, or even next season.
This is one of the only ways to keep apprised of the preferences of the target audience and its impact shouldn’t be underestimated.
May not need to be religious about checking reports
While glancing at these reports quarterly or even monthly to hone the best practices that work for a given business might be a great idea, sometimes, constantly monitoring these studies isn’t going to be all that helpful or immediately actionable.
For instance, Croxon noted that, in the early days of Lavalife, they were focused on building the brand - something that’s necessary but might not be easily measurable. He put his efforts into tasks that were able to be accomplished immediately to add to the brand reputation, rather than constantly looking at facts and figures that couldn’t be changed right then.
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