How to Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Do you already have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your company or department? If so, let us know how you decided on them, and what they are!
But many companies wonder how they can establish Key Performance Indicators for their biz.  It can seem daunting, but it really isn’t. And although you want to nail it perfectly from the get-go, this exercise will probably be an iterative process. And that’s OK!
establish key performance indicators

Awesome Rules of Thumb!

We’re going to break this into a few simple, practical steps that have worked for us, if you want a 20-step approach, we’re sure there’s a Harvard Business Review case study out there somewhere, not for us!

#1: Identify the results you expect, based on the type of business you run. Your business health will ultimately come down to expenses and results, but there are several steps along the way that are key to measure on a regular basis. If ‘cost per new customer acquired’ is a big part of your business, then set that. If ‘revenue per person that walks into my pet store’ is a big factor in your bricks and mortar business, track that. If it’s ‘app downloads’, then set it. Key performance indicators should not be solely income-based; focus on a variety of areas. Review the company’s business goals, and apply these to the desired results.

#2: Make sure you can capture & report on the data! It’s no good to establish your key performance indicators if you can’t capture or access the data. This can make some folks re-do their KPIs based on the info they can actually get. Not optimal, but something is better than nothing in our opinion. So if you have to revise, do so, but work on collecting the data you really need, too.  And you don’t have to get too fancy, XLS typically works dandy for reporting.

#3: Identify who is ultimately responsible for each KPI. Although several people may have an affect on a KPI, each one needs a single owner. Their responsibility is to get the people necessary to drive that result, and report on it.

#4: Establish the frequency of reviewing these indicators. Looking at key performance indicators should not occur just once but should be a process that occurs at stated intervals over time. And each area of your biz will require a different frequency. Company profits might need to be reviewed only quarterly, whereas ‘number of app downloads’ issues should be reviewed daily if not weekly. Determine the frequency based on the nature of the particular activity, and how variable it may be.

#5: Take specific action based on your results! Not hitting your sales goal? Send an email campaign or consider an offer. On track to hit your goal of app downloads but falling short on app activations? Look at your in-app experience and consider improvements. And so on. Sounds obvious, but unless actions are clearly defined, all the efforts above are wasted.

Also, keep in mind that KPIs may change over time. Here at Dasheroo, we’re in pre-launch mode. Things will definitely change once we launch! But for now, a few of our key performance indicators on the marketing side of the business include:

  • # leads per week (goal is 500 by our alpha launch)
  • Facebook engagement
  • New visitor website traffic per week
  • # Facebook likes (we just passed 2,000!)
establish key performance indicators

Our goal by May 23 was 1,500!

We review these on a daily basis, but then again we’re pretty nutty about data;)

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