by Alicia M Forest, MBA
Multiple Streams Queen & Coach
When I was studying for my MBA, my most challenging class was statistics. And even though I managed an A- in the class, it took every one of the few analytical brain cells I had to do so.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I sat down to analyze the statistics of my business over the last 12 months and found myself engrossed, fascinated, excited and practically dancing for joy. Armed with this critical data, now I know exactly where to spend my time and efforts going forward to receive the highest and best rate of return!
I ran a total of about 10 reports, but let me share some of what I learned specifically from my shopping cart’s reports:
Shopping Cart Stats
The shopping cart system I use (1ShoppingCart) has the ability to run sales reports in a variety of ways. Below are four of the reports I ran, what my results were, and how you can apply the results to your business:
a. My Monthly Sales Totals…
…showed me how many sales I made each month, and from that information, I discovered that my best month financially was June (very closely followed by December).
I reviewed my marketing and sales activities (in other words, the offers I made) for those months, and what I found was this:
In June, I held a 50% off close-out sale on 9 of my products – and I didn’t have to do a thing to bring in those sales, other than promote it. So, if you’re hesitating about having a sale, and even more so if you’re hesitating about giving a big discount, don’t. You’ll not only make sales that you wouldn’t have otherwise, you’ll likely make MORE sales than you would have otherwise, which of course means more mo*ney.
In December (in addition to my regular sales), I recieved two large affiliate checks for promoting one event and one product, both of which I hold in high regard and knew would be of huge value to those soloprenuers on my list.
If you haven’t considered partnering with your mentors whose products and programs you invest in and find of high value to recommend their offerings to your list (if applicable, of course), do so. Some of the best thank you notes I get are from people who’ve invested in something I’ve recommended that they’ve benefitted from immensely.
b. My Product Sales by Item…
… showed me which of my offerings were the ones you were most interested in over the course of 2008. Now I know which products and programs to increase value on and continue to offer and which ones might need to be retired.
This is something you can do as well. Guessing if your products or programs are selling well or not doesn’t make good business sense. Tracking actual numbers does, however, and it’s super-simple to do in 1ShoppingCart.
c. My Sales by Clients/Customers…
… showed me who my top clients/customers are, what they’ve bought, and how much they’ve invested in my offerings. And since I know that one of the most effective ways to grow a business is to make additional offers to those who have already bought from me, you can bet that not only will I do that, but I’ll do it in a way that makes them feel special – because they are to me – by offering them special access or discounts or additional benefits as my way of thanking them for their continued business and loyalty.
If you track this information, you can do the same and increase your sales and your customer loyalty at the same time.
d. My “Where did you hear about us” Report…
… showed me that even though I thought that some of my online networking efforts weren’t really paying off, mainly because I didn’t think I was focusing enough time on them, I was wrong. It seems even the small amount I had been doing was making an impact.
So now I know the top three places to really focus those efforts going forward. If you’ve found online networking to be a struggle for you, tracking this information makes what can seem like an overwhelming marketing activity (some lists are SO active) into an extremely manageable and once-again enjoyable one.
I gleaned all of this information from just four reports from my shopping cart. And this doesn’t include the reports I ran from my email list service (Aweber) or from my web stats (Google Analytics).
Measuring the results of your business activities is critical to your success, and anyone can do it (it’s really one of those “if I can, anyone can” kind of things). I really want to encourage you to take a look at where you’ve been over the past 6-12 months, analyze that data, and make some strategic decisions about where you want to focus your efforts going forward to get where you want to be.
© 2008 Alicia M Forest and ClientAbundance.com
Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach(TM) teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit www.ClientAbundance.com