It’s time to vote for your favorite Covington businesses in our annual Business of the Year awards. We are presenting awards for Business of the Year and the Spirit of Covington award. Any business or individual who was a Covington Chamber member in 2022 is eligible for nomination, and anyone 18 or older can nominate a business. You do not need to be a member to nominate a Covington Chamber member for one of the awards.
If you are nominating a business or an individual member, please tell us why you are nominating them (50 words minimum). What makes them different or special? How have they served the community or their customers/clients in 2022 that makes them deserving of the award?
We’ll collect nominations from Jan. 31 through Feb. 16, 2023 (firm deadline), and the Covington Chamber board of directors will select the winners at their Feb. 23 board meeting. Winners will be announced at our March 9 networking luncheon!
Written by Erica Miller, EDM Consulting LLC
Have you been overwhelmed and unclear about what your business plan is? Many business owners start a business because they are passionate about a specific product or service and want to share it with the world. However, you may not be too interested in the “business” of running a business. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quickest way to take your business plan from unclear to strategic. Once your tracking system is in place, you can bring clarity and more hours to your day.
KPIs are the barometer for your business forecast. You must keep a constant and consistent eye on specific trends. Always know your numbers if you do nothing else as a business owner. Continue reading to learn the why, what, and how of KPI tracking. Let’s jump in!
Why should you track your numbers?
Tracking key performance indicators helps to measure your success and identify areas that need improvement. You can identify trends and quickly see areas of opportunity and growth. Once you have tracked your data for several months, you can make knowledgeable decisions on your next steps.
Tracking your data also provides a resume for your business. You can easily pull out the highlights of your accomplishments. Share these insights with your clients to help validate your brand and skills. These numbers can also be used when seeking financing or grant opportunities. Save yourself the time and stress of scrambling for this information by keeping it in one place.
Finally, keep yourself accountable to your goals. You can’t see the areas you are succeeding or falling short in if you're not keeping track. Celebrate all the accomplishments and milestones as you go to keep yourself motivated and empowered to serve your clients.
What should you track?
You must be specific when it comes to tracking your business data. The primary foundation of tracking data should be your goals. Begin by creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound) goals. Any measurable goals should be tracked. Here are some examples of measurable goals: expenses, revenues, profit margins, conversion rate, reviews, cost of goods sold, inventory turnover ratios, social media stats, and website analytics. Use these as a guide and then get more specific based on your industry. The more specific, the more reliable the data will be. Once you have the goal for the overall year, you must also set specific goals for each time point (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly).
How should you track it?
Systems are vital to the proper and accurate tracking of your business data. First, you must know where you will get your numbers from and set a schedule for when you will collect the information. The platforms used to run your business should offer a reporting feature where you can collect the information. Compile all the information using a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. For your finances, you can use an online service like QuickBooks, and don’t forget the golden rule, keep your business and personal expenses separate. The spreadsheet should include columns for each Key performance indicator, including a total, an average, and a comparison to previous years if you have that information available. For information like conversion, you will need to track separate data sets and then include a field for the ratio—for example, sales conversion = total number of transactions/total clients.
Set a date and time that you will collect your data. For example, you could always plan for the 1st business day of each month before opening for business. This will allow you focused time to gather and review the information.
I’ve tracked everything; now what?
Now that you have accurately and consistently compiled your data, you must put it to use! This is the most essential part of tracking your KPIs. Tracking without analysis is a waste of your valuable time. Review your data and ask yourself analytical questions to help plan your next steps. Here are some helpful questions to ask:
When reviewing your profits, if they are lower than you planned, ask:
When reviewing your client traffic, if it was lower than you planned, ask:
The list could go on, but the primary point is to ask as many questions as possible and be persistent in finding the cause and the solution.
Once you have completed your analysis, you will have a clear action plan. You can be confident in your numbers and the actions taken to achieve and maintain your success!
If the task of tracking your Key Performance Indicators sounds daunting, you are not alone. I’m here to help; I have a proven system to set goals and create a process to track and analyze them.
About Erica Miller, EDM Consulting, LLC
My mission is to empower ambitious business owners to reach their full potential by building systems and processes to increase their profit and productivity. My clients include cake pop makers, skin care companies, healthcare specialists, and more. I empower clients to clarify their goals using my proven system of creating a profit-driven strategy. I used over 14 years of customer service and business management experience to create this system. My services include strategic planning, data analysis, process development, sales management, leadership training, and employee development. Learn more about Erica and EDM Consulting LLC online.
On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to share some of our 2022 accomplishments with the Covington City Council. We have much to be proud of, and we are excited to share some of those highlights with you! View the presentation below or download the PDF to read offline. Thanks to our members, sponsors, volunteers and partners for their support!
UPDATED: Jan. 27, 2023
We are excited to start planning our Covington Makers' Market events for 2023. Here are the details we have so far:
Sat., April 29, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Real Life Church
Sat., October 7, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Real Life Church
Family-friendly, community event features dozens of local makers, creators, growers, artists and artisans; live music; food trucks; free family activities; and more! To help support our vendors, we are maintaining 2022 prices.
*Nonprofits who are not makers or creators may participate, but they must plan a family-friendly activity to engage event attendees.
Early bird pricing (a $10 discount!) will be available for vendors who sign up between Feb. 1 and Feb. 20, 2023. NEW THIS YEAR: Vendors can sign up for both events at the same time.
There will also be sponsorship opportunities available to Covington Chamber members. Pricing is shown per event. Package pricing to sponsor both events is available. Contact Dana Neuts by email for details or call 253-329-0999.
**Available to individuals and businesses who don't qualify to participate in the event, but who want to support the event and get visibility through their sponsorship.
We will put out a call for vendors Feb. 1 for both events. The deadline to sign up for the April 29 event is March 31, 2023. The deadline for the October 7 event is September 5, 2023. In the meantime, you can complete this no-obligation interest form to be added to our email list with more details.