Key metrics to help measure global business performance




At a time when more small businesses are competing in overseas markets, it’s important to have data that can provide the insights you need to do more business and outperform the competition. That means focussing on certain key metrics. Your business will naturally perform better in different markets, so it’s important to know where and why that is. It’ll help you develop your offerings, positioning and pricing strategy to optimise sales in each marketplace.  

From customer acquisition and retention rates, to lifetime value and ROI, there are key indicators that can help you discover where to direct more of your resources in order to maximise business benefit. If you’ve already cracked the domestic market, then you should have an idea of what to look out for, but be aware that the same rules won’t necessarily apply in foreign markets. Here are a few tips on what to look out for. 





Firstly, before setting foot in new global territories, you should already have an idea of what you want to achieve in terms of sales. Start by putting a basic plan together for each market. Your estimates in terms of picking up new business and sales will give you some form of reference point to go on. If you’re performing more poorly than expected, you need to find out why. That means looking at other key indicators. On the other hand, if you’re performing better than expected in certain markets – great! But, still investigate why that is and if you can put those learnings to work in other regional markets.  



Analyse everything 


Every market is unique and different factors can influence how well you do in each marketplace. The challenge is finding out what those differentiating factors are. That’s not easy, so you have to look at every statistic available to you for clues. For example, if your business relies on an app, use this as a point of reference, measuring install and uninstall rates to calculate customer acquisition and retention. After that, you need to consider the context in which installs/uninstalls are happening. For instance, is there a low take up of mobile devices and Smartphones in certain countries? Are certain customers more content to buy online via computer? If so, direct your marketing efforts into that Point-Of-Sale. The learning here is to investigate every angle. 



Speak to an expert 


Of course, one of the best ways to learn about regional differences is to talk to an expert. And there are fewer more qualified than your customers. Ask for feedback as to what you could be doing better, with regards to your product range, as well as how customers prefer to buy. The results could be really enlightening. A regional expert that knows your niche could also offer insights in terms of culture and purchasing drivers that can help you do better in a specific marketplace.  



Look at what your competitors are doing 


Before entering any new market, it’s a good idea to check out the competition. Clearly, they could have a huge impact on your success in that market. Examine what they’re doing well and what’s not working out for them. More importantly, look at how you can benefit from their mistakes. Can you tailor your offering in a way that makes it more attractive to the market? One vitally important benchmark here is pricing. Can you beat them on price, even in the short term, to steal market share and then focus on customer service to hold on to that new business?  

Measuring, interpreting and testing data should be a key part of every business strategy. By setting clear goals for international markets and always going back to them in order to review and fine-tune them, you’ll find that you will do better and grow your overseas business.  

Four fundamentals when conducting a financial analysis of your business




Financial analysis is crucial when it comes to evaluating where your business currently stands and seeing how you can improve your future performance. Your ultimate goal is to use financial analysis to run the business more efficiently, and consequently, more profitably. 

While a professional financial analyst can do a lot for your business, hiring one can be an expensive undertaking. Fortunately, you can apply the same principles for even the smallest business. Here is what to look at… 





Obviously, the money you have coming in is what makes the biggest impact on how sustainable or successful your business is. By looking at the various ways money comes into the business and where it comes from, you should be able to reveal insights that can help you divert more of your resources to the most successful channels of revenue. 

An analysis of revenue might also disclose risks to the business. For example, if you discover that a lot of revenue is coming from a single customer, then it might be time to start looking for new business in case that customer stops buying from you. This may also be an opportunity to look at your offerings and the strategies used by the business to differentiate products, in terms of uniqueness, profit margin, cost control and marketing. 





Profits are essential to any business. If you don’t consistently make a profit, you won’t stay in business. It’s that simple. Your income must cover your expenses. Anything left over is profit. If you’re just breaking even, or worse, then you might have to review your pricing strategy. Regardless, it’s a good idea to channel some profit into a fund for unexpected emergencies or purchases for the business, so this needs to be factored into your pricing model.  

It’s worth pointing out here, that operating expenses do not include taxes. It’s a good idea to set up a separate account in which to channel your tax liabilities for each month, so you know exactly what’s left over for reinvesting into the business. KoalaPays can help with this by providing ‘spaces’ or separate accounts for segmenting taxes and other expenses.  



Operational efficiency 


One of the key drivers for profitability is operational efficiency. The more efficient your company is in terms of productivity, costs and business processes, then the more profit you’ll have left over after operational expenses. 

Two important figures to look at here are accounts receivable turnover and inventory turnover. If your account receivable turnover is low, then it might be time to look at how you can improve your credit control procedures in order to get money flowing into the business more quickly. Likewise, a fast turnover of inventory means that you’re selling well and you aren’t creating more product than you can sellGetting the right balance here is important as storing product that isn’t moving is an expense in itself 



Financial statements 


The tools to getting the insights you need are your financial statements. These should tell you a lot about how your business is doing. Key figures to examine include asset management and liquidity, profitability, debt, risk and market valuation. Look for trends that stand out, such as fluctuations from previous figures – relative to industry averages or other general economic factors.  

Make sure you critically examine how you arrive at all of these figures. It’s here where accounting irregularities can come to light.  

When this has been completed, you should have everything you need to make forecasts for future financial statements. At this stage, you should also be able to put a valuation on the business, which could be useful, if, for instance, you want to borrow for the business 

More importantly, however, you’ll know whether business performance is improving, or worsening. If it is the latter, you’ll have the insights you need to create an action plan to resolve those issues. 

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