It’s no secret around here that I am a metrics nerd. Newsletter open rates, website bounce rates, and form conversion rates get me all kinds of excited.

Come to think of it, I think that’s probably why I love doing business online so much—because metrics are easier here.

I remember when I worked retail in college, customer conversion rates were calculated using a sensor at the front door and the point-of-sale system. Our goal was to hit a certain conversion rate, meaning we needed to make as many sales as we could relevant to the number of bodies that walked in the door.

I was always geeking out about that metric.

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retail store or an online boutique (or service provider!), metrics matter. They matter because they are how you see how effectively you and your team are doing their job to make your business successful.

Without metrics, you’re just flappin’ in the wind. Haphazardly flopping about hoping that you hit the nail on the head.

With metrics, you can test and change like a professional. You can make educated guesses as to what your next move should be, as opposed to jumping in blindly. Using metrics is how you can more easily find your path to success.

Using metrics is how you can more easily find your path to success. Click To Tweet

Let’s take your email newsletters for example. No matter the solution you use to send emails to your list, you get some sort of metrics to tell you about the performance of your newsletter. You get open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe count. You can use that data to build a healthier list.

Same for website metrics, and how they can help you build a better online business. Brick-and-mortar conversion rates can help you merchandise better, or build a better sales team.

When you look for—and find—patterns in your metrics, you start moving forward like a well-prepared entrepreneur.

Maybe when one employee is on staff, your sales drop. Maybe when you use longer email subject lines, your click-through rates are lower. Maybe on the days that you participate in Twitter chats, your website traffic goes up.

Find those patterns, and make adjustments in how you do business, and you’ll see how metrics matter. And how you have all the data at your fingertips to help you get to your next level.



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Emily is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business with the tough love they need to hear to do the work. She also owns Almanac Supply Co., a maker and retail business focused on creating and curating items to help you live closely with nature, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.