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3 Reports Every Small Business Needs to Use

Published on 21 August 18
Your data as a business is one of your most important assets. Without knowing your stats, figures, and numbers, how can you make smart decisions for the future? Running reports as a small business are even more vital since you need to run as lean as possible. Since you’re operating on limited resources, you need to make the most of your reports.

Whether you’re concerned about reaching more customers or allocating resources, there are 3 reports every small business should be using. Ideally, you’ll do these weekly, if not more often, to make sure you’re not just running blindly into new business decisions. Make sure you’re making the most of these 3 reports.
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Workforce Management Reports
Your employees are an important part of your business. How well are they doing? Are they bringing your business more income, or are they taking away from other efforts? Even more vital, are you properly utilizing your staff? Try scheduling solutions for businesses from Humanity. No matter what kind of business you’re running, you need to make sure you have enough team members there to help you get the job run right.

For example, if you run a small local coffee shop, you need to always have the right number of team members on the floor. You need enough to ensure customers aren’t waiting too long for their orders, but you also don’t need a full team if you’re seeing fewer customers. This isn’t just about keeping customers happy, it’s about managing your bottom line.
The same goes for administrative staff members who might not interact with clients on a regular basis. Are they moving towards goals, or is time wasted on things like lengthy meetings or outings? Creating custom reports about time spent doing tasks, how many employees are needed for certain projects, and more will help you recognize where you need to grow your team and where you need to pull back.
Online Traffic & Marketing Reports
If you don’t have a website for your small business, you need to get one today. In this digital age, everything is online. It’s almost as if you don’t exist if you don’t have a strong online presence. While it’s easy to start your own website, it’s not enough to hit publish and call it a day. You need to monitor your online traffic and marketing efforts regularly.

When you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, you know how many customers are visiting your location. You see them physically walk through the door, and you can pay attention to the percentage that chooses to make a purchase. It’s not as simple when these customers are looking at a virtual website. That’s why your traffic patterns are so crucial.
First, look at the traffic to your website. Google Analytics is a free and accurate way to monitor your inbound traffic. Check your demographics to see if they align with your ideal customers. Next, look where this traffic came from. Do you get the most traffic from Google, Facebook, or another social platform? This is an important key about where you should spend more marketing money.

You can create free analytic reports about your website through Google Analytics, but take it a step forward. You’ll want to monitor all of your online marketing regularly. If you’re promoting your business on Facebook, review your stats. How many new followers do you have? What’s your click-through rate (CTR)? This is how you manage your strategy.
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Sales Reports
Finally, the most important part of your business is sales. Without sales, you have no money, and that’s a road to nowhere really fast. You need a way to keep an accurate account of the money that goes into your company, and that means getting serious about reports.

If you utilize any sales processor like PayPal or Swipe, you’ll be able to view your analytics through these dashboards. All point-of-sale systems for in-person businesses come with detailed reports, and you should review these closely. Set clear parameters like dates, items sold, and types of payments. This will show you the key information about your customers.
If you’re a one-man show, you still need to keep an accurate record. Invoicing is a professional, easy way to bill customers and keep track of how much money is coming in. This free self-employed invoice template by FreshBooks is a great place to start.

Create custom reports that make sense for your business. If you’re unsure about whether or not to invest in a new payment system, for instance, analyzing your report on how most customers pay for products or services is an effective way to make an informed decision. That’s what reports are all about.
Smart Choices
These 3 types of reports above aren’t groundbreaking, but they’ll form the backbone of your business. Without paying attention to the success of your employees, online presence, and sales, you won’t know how to move forward with your business. While the frequency of your reporting is up to you, it’s something you’ll want to value heavily as competition becomes more fierce. Smart choices for your company today means more longevity tomorrow.
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