When you measure your small business up against the big guys, it can be easy to sell yourself short. You might assume their greater resources give them a huge advantage—and often they do. But when you’re small, you’re more agile. You’re more capable of moving quickly and taking greater risks.
And that’s great—successful businesses take risks! The key is to make data-driven decisions and take data-driven risks. Your capacity for flexibility combined with the smart use of data can be key to carving out your niche in the market and pulling ahead of the competition.
1. Data Gives You a Clear Picture of Your Situation
When you’re creating a strategic plan for your business, data is the signpost that points you in the right direction. Not sure how prospects feel about your newest product or service? Check your data. Not sure if your customers are satisfied with your service? The answer lies in the numbers. Not sure where you should be focusing your marketing efforts? The signs are all there if you’re ready to look for them.
Numbers don’t lie, even when we might want them to.
Data can tell you who your audience is and where your audience is. It can even tell you what your audience likes—and whether or not they’re liking your products. Trends lead to insights, which gives you direction and enables you to make decisions that are both bold and smart.
2. Data Tells You What Works
The social media platforms we interact with measure us by collecting demographic data, noting our interests, and gauging the likelihood that we’ll buy what they’re selling.
You can use these tools to do the same for your business. Beyond getting to know your audience, you can gain insights into your success. From video views to direct mail conversions and Facebook click-through rates, you have unlimited data at your fingertips. How you use it is up to you.
Just one Facebook post lets you see how many people liked, shared, and commented on your post, how many took action, and whether or not viewers decided to unfollow you as a result.
Data can tell you:
- Who is seeing your advertising, buying your product, interacting with your brand, and having a negative response.
- What draws your customer’s attention, convinces them to buy, or causes them to cancel services.
- When customers are more likely to buy, less likely to buy, most responsive, and are on social media.
- Where you can reach customers, and where they’re located.
- Why customers actually buy your service or product.
Data can get you the who, what, when, where, and why of almost anything. The trick to gathering that data and putting it to use is to:
- Review Data
3. Data Helps You Overcome Stress
Does data make you anxious? Do too many numbers leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused?
The process of tracking all the data available to you (which is a lot) and attempting to apply it can be overwhelming.
The best way to overcome this struggle is to acknowledge that you can’t track everything. You have to choose the data that is most important to your particular company and your goals. Overcoming data stress is as simple as selecting the data you want to use to measure your goals—something that can be done during your goal-setting projects.
Using data correctly doesn’t have to be stressful. Instead of collecting all the information that is available to you in a world of data, you can just collect the information that matters—the data that helps you solve the toughest dilemmas and keep your company’s strategic goals moving forward.
Bonus: Data Can Build Character
Working with data makes you a better decision maker, thinker, and employee. It forces you to better your processes by taking an evidence-based approach to decision making. Using it correctly can help your business grow by leaps and bounds.
The best part? Data never gets less useful. There are always ways to interpret and utilize it to benefit you and your business.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.