In business, we’re constantly told about all the things we can do to boost our businesses, whether it’s sending out beautiful newsletters, updating our social media on a daily (or hourly!) basis or attending every networking event you can.


But the secret to small business growth could be hidden in your own documents folder – your data.


All businesses, whether they’re large or small, B2C or B2B, collect large quantities of data about their business and customers. The data comes from invoices, your website, Point of Sale data (POS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, stock systems, survey data and social media. If there’s a system you use, there’s valuable data hidden in it that can help you grow your business. Not only could it help you capture new business by helping you refine your business strategy, but it also could help you optimise your operational budget. Win/Win!


Sound good, but not sure where to start? Here are five ways to get that data working for you.


  1. Identify your customers: Using your CRM system data, if you have one, or your invoices and Facebook page data, you can identify what your current customers are like (eg by age, lifestage, media usage)? This will identify the market your product or service appeals to, helping to size the market potential and refine your marketing message.
  2. Identify your most valuable customers: By looking at spending and frequency of visits of your customers, you can identify your most valuable customers. It is not unusual to uncover that 20% of customers contribute to 80% of takings. Once you know who is really spending with you, you can tailor your strategy to make sure you’re keeping them happy – and buying!
  3. Identify peak buying times. Using stock and staffing patterns, you can work out what people are buying or what services they are using by the time and day. By comparing this with spending and number of customers is at its highest, you could optimise staffing and more efficiently stock to match customer demand, reducing wastage and customer disappointment.
  4. Identify the best way to market to customers: Small businesses generally have a limited budget to spend on marketing, so you need to make sure you are using the most effective method. Investigating not only the number of new customers using your service by each method, but also the quality of these customers, will help priortise marketing budget and give you a more accurate view of the return on investment (ROI).
  5. Analyse offer effectiveness: In order to see if an offer is giving an uplift in your sales it is useful to look at your sales by time while an offer is running vs when it is not running (assuming all else remains the same). It is useful to calculate the increase in sales for that product versus the cost of implementing the offer to gauge whether the offer is really viable.


I have focused on just 5 investigations that could be done with your businesses data that will give you real focus and growth, however this is only the tip of the iceberg. The beauty of the data you are collecting is that it pays back in a big way – and you already have it!


Why not book a consultation with me to find out how you can use your data to your advantage?