Tracking Sales and Traffic
Managing a business effectively includes being able to measure the business. Think about a marathon runner wanting to qualify for a special race – this runner must time each mile run in order to ensure that he or she finishes on time. In the same sense, a business owner / sales person must manage the state of the business and sales.
Traffic – Traffic refers to the number of people who enter the store doors. From day one, count how many customers walk through the front door. A common misconception is that traffic is ‘buying customers’ only. Rather, each person that enters the store should be viewed as a potential customer. Counting store traffic is important to adjust staffing. Ask yourself: is the lunch hour the busiest time of the day? Do I need extra help on Saturdays? When do I have down-time?
Studying traffic is also important, as it gives feedback to current marketing campaigns. What forms of advertising are bringing customers to the store? In other words, what is working? Is the business busier when there is a sign walker dancing on the corner Fridays and Saturdays from noon-5:00 p.m.? How are these forms of advertising impacting traffic and creating sales opportunities?
Finally, counting traffic is extremely important, as it pertains to setting goals when developing a business and sales plan. A business owner / sales person should set his or her goals based on realistic expectations for certain traffic patterns. For example, Saturday sales goals should be higher from Tuesday’s goals because there should most likely be more customers visiting the business, if this is the busiest day for the business.
Sales Figures – Analyzing sales figures will help diagnose the health and profitability of the business. How many sales were closed last month? What types of sales were they? Was there other products / services sold with the main sale? Of all customers, what was the conversion rate or how often were deals closed? What was the UPT, or units per transaction? How many items did each customer leave with? What was the average dollar per sale?
It is imperative that a business owner / sales person is not only tracking statistics such as these examples but that he or she is studying them, know them off-hand, set higher goals, and most importantly look for ways to improve.
Do you track your sales and traffic currently? Do you know your current goals, month-to-date sales, and run rates off the top of your head?