What Numbers Should a Small Business Track?

Understanding the numbers behind your small business is critical for success. As a business owner, you need to track certain key metrics to understand how well your business performs and what areas may need improvement. But with so many different numbers available, it can be difficult to know which ones are important and should be tracked.

In this article, we will explore the essential metrics that all small businesses should track in order to measure performance and make informed decisions about the future growth of their business. We will discuss why these metrics are important, how they can help you improve your operations, and provide some tips on how to effectively analyze them.

By understanding what numbers you should track as a small business owner, you can better manage your resources, identify potential problems before they become major issues, and increase the chances of achieving long-term success. Keep reading to learn more about the essential metrics every small business should be tracking!


Revenue is perhaps the most important number for any business. It’s the one metric that tells you how much money your business is making, and whether or not it’s on track to meet its goals. Tracking revenue means understanding how much money is coming in from customers, as well as what kind of expenses you’re paying out. This can include things like payroll, inventory costs, shipping fees, and more.

It’s also important to keep an eye on other key numbers that affect your bottom line. This could include tracking customer acquisition costs and ROI, understanding average order value (AOV), monitoring cost of goods sold (COGS), and measuring profit margins. All of this data helps to paint a holistic picture of how your business is doing financially.

By taking the time to review all of these numbers regularly, businesses can make sure they’re staying on top of their finances and achieving their goals. With careful analysis of each metric, entrepreneurs can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about how best to move forward with their business.

Cost Of Goods Sold

It is important for a small business to track the cost of goods sold (COGS). This is one of the main metrics used to measure profitability. COGS refers to the direct costs associated with producing and selling products and services, including raw materials and labor expenses.

In order to accurately track COGS, businesses need to properly record all expenses related to manufacturing their items. This can include the cost of purchasing supplies, materials, labor, packaging, shipping, and more. Businesses should also make sure that they are tracking inventory levels so they know how much inventory was used for each product or service.

By monitoring COGS closely and ensuring that records are accurate and up-to-date, small business owners can gain valuable insights into their operations. Doing so helps them identify areas where costs can be reduced or eliminated in order to maximize profits. Therefore, tracking COGS is essential for any business looking to increase their bottom line.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses are the costs associated with running a business, such as rent, utilities, and payroll. These overhead costs must be monitored closely in order to ensure a business is running efficiently and profitably. Keeping track of operating expenses requires a comprehensive understanding of all the costs incurred by the company and is an important part of budgeting.

Keeping accurate records of operating expenses helps small businesses identify areas where they can reduce costs. For example, tracking changes in utility bills over time can provide insight into how energy-efficient operations are being managed. Monitoring payroll expenses provides key information on whether staff members are being paid fairly for their work. Regularly reviewing these records can also help a business owner detect potential problems such as fraud or mismanagement.

Small business owners should take the time to review their operating expenses regularly to assess the overall performance of their organization. This data will provide valuable insights on whether or not current practices need to be adjusted or improved upon in order to maintain profitability and efficiency. By tracking this information regularly, small business owners can ensure that their company is taking steps towards success.

Cash Flow

Cash flow is an important number for any small business to track. It’s a measure of how much money a business has coming in and going out, and it helps to identify potential problems that could affect the future of the business. Understanding cash flow can help keep a business on track and make sure operations are running smoothly.

If there’s little money coming in, that can be an indication of slow sales or not enough investment. On the other hand, if too much money is going out, it could be because the costs of operations are too high or perhaps investments are being made in areas that don’t have high returns. Tracking cash flow can help pinpoint where adjustments need to be made so that profits remain healthy.

It’s also important to monitor changes in cash flow over time so changes in trends can be identified quickly and addressed with appropriate action. This may involve additional marketing efforts, cost-cutting measures, or even diversifying into new markets or products. By tracking cash flow closely, businesses can make sure their finances stay on track and remain profitable for years to come.

Profit Margin

Profit margin is an important number for small businesses to track. It’s the percentage of revenue that remains after expenses have been paid, and it’s a key indicator of a business’s financial health. Tracking profit margins over time can help business owners identify trends in their expenses and revenues, as well as alert them to potential problems before they become serious.

It’s easy to calculate your profit margin by subtracting your total expenses from your total revenue, then dividing the result by your total revenue. When you have this figure, you can compare it to other businesses in your sector to see where you stand in terms of profitability. You can also benchmark against prior results to determine if there are any downturns or upturns in profits over time – useful information when making decisions about pricing or inventory management.

Business owners should also take into account any external factors that might be affecting their margins, such as changes in consumer demand or new regulations. By regularly tracking these numbers and understanding how they relate to each other, small business owners can make more informed decisions about how best to manage their finances.

Customer Acquisition Costs

When it comes to tracking numbers that are important for a small business, customer acquisition costs should be at the top of the list. Knowing how much is being spent to bring in new customers can give an accurate picture of how effective marketing strategies are. This metric is especially crucial as customer acquisition costs tend to increase over time.

By keeping tabs on customer acquisition costs, businesses can make informed decisions about their marketing efforts. For instance, if a company notices that certain campaigns are causing these expenses to rise, they can investigate and consider more efficient methods for acquiring customers. Additionally, this data can provide insights about when to invest in new methods or scale back existing ones.

Monitoring customer acquisition costs allows businesses to strategically plan their spending and maximize ROI from their marketing budgets – something that is essential for success in today’s competitive marketplaces.

Sales Conversions

Sales conversions are an important metric for any small business. It’s essential to know how many potential customers are actually making a purchase, as this will tell you how effective your marketing campaigns and sales strategies are. It’s also helpful to track customer acquisition costs in conjunction with sales conversions, so that you can determine the return on investment from each campaign.

To accurately measure sales conversions, it’s best to track the conversion rate from the start of your campaign all the way through to the end. This will give you a better idea of which strategies work best and which ones should be adjusted or discontinued. You’ll also want to look at factors such as purchase size and customer loyalty over time in order to understand what kind of impact your efforts have made.

Monitoring sales conversions is one of the most important steps a small business can take when it comes to measuring success and maintaining profitability. By tracking this metric regularly, you have a much better chance at optimizing your campaigns and increasing revenue over time.


When it comes to tracking a small business’ performance, productivity is key. It’s important to keep tabs on how efficiently tasks are being completed and the number of quality products or services produced in a certain time period. Tracking productivity not only helps assess employee performance, but also helps identify areas for improvement.

Business owners should take note of the tools that are used to complete tasks and make sure they are up-to-date and running optimally. Any downtime due to outdated equipment can lead to lost profits. Additionally, measuring employee effort can help business owners understand the effectiveness of their processes and procedures, as well as identify areas for improvement or potential bottlenecks.

Productivity measures should be monitored closely and regularly adjusted if needed, in order to ensure that goals are met quickly and with minimal disruption. This will help maximize profits while protecting against any unforeseen issues that could arise from an inefficient process. Keeping track of these metrics is essential for small business success.

Employee Retention

Employee retention is a key metric for any small business. After all, the success of a business depends on its people. Keeping your staff happy and motivated to stay with you will ensure consistent productivity, which in turn leads to greater revenue generation.

To track employee retention, it’s important to measure how many new employees are joining and how long they stay at the company. This can be done through surveys or interviews that assess employee satisfaction and identify areas where improvements can be made. Additionally, tracking absenteeism rates and turnover rates can help pinpoint potential issues with job satisfaction or workplace environment.

Overall, employee retention is an important factor for any small business to consider when measuring their success. By tracking this data regularly, businesses will have a better understanding of their staff’s needs and be able to adjust accordingly for maximum productivity and profitability.

Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover is an important number for small businesses to track. It measures how quickly a business sells its inventory and can help them understand the health of their sales. Tracking this number is especially important for businesses that sell physical products, as it provides insight into how well their merchandise is selling.

A high inventory turnover rate indicates that the business is selling stock regularly and efficiently; this suggests strong customer demand. A low inventory turnover rate suggests that customers may not be buying items quickly enough, or that too much stock has been purchased by the business. Keeping an eye on this key metric can help a small business make decisions such as when to adjust pricing or place new orders with suppliers.

By monitoring their inventory turnover rate, small businesses can better understand customer demand and make more informed decisions about their purchasing and pricing strategies. This data can be used to inform decisions ranging from ordering new stock to setting prices that will maximize sales and profits.

Average Order Value

Average order value, or AOV, is an important metric for small businesses to track. It provides insight into the amount each customer spends when they make a purchase. Knowing this information can help businesses optimize their pricing strategies and increase revenue.

AOV also helps business owners understand customer behavior and loyalty. By tracking how much customers spend with each transaction, businesses can get a better idea of how often customers are returning and what types of products they’re buying. This data can then be used to provide more tailored offers and discounts that meet the needs of their target market.

Analyzing AOV can help small business owners identify trends in customer spending over time. By monitoring changes in AOV, businesses can adjust their pricing models accordingly to maximize profits and ensure that they’re delivering the best value for their customers.

New Customer Growth

New customer growth is an essential metric for any small business. It allows the company to measure how successful its marketing and sales efforts are, as well as gauge customer loyalty. Tracking new customers also helps businesses identify trends in customer acquisition and areas of improvement.

Various metrics can be used to measure new customer growth, such as the total number of new customers acquired in a given time period or the average number of customers acquired per month. Some businesses may also track data on customer demographics and locations to gain further insight into their target markets.

Small business owners should regularly review their new customer growth numbers to ensure that their strategies are working effectively and that they’re reaching their desired audiences. Monitoring this metric is key for any small business wanting to achieve long-term success. Taking action to improve new customer acquisitions can lead to sustained growth over time.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value is an important metric to track for any small business. It reflects the total profit a business will make from a customer over the course of their relationship with the company. This helps businesses understand how valuable each customer is and inform decisions about marketing, pricing, and product development.

For example, if a customer has been buying products from a company for four years, that company can use the customer lifetime value to estimate how much money they could generate in future sales from that customer. This can help them decide whether it’s worthwhile to invest more in marketing or other efforts to keep that customer satisfied.

By tracking the performance of different customers over time, small businesses can get information on which types of customers are most profitable and target those customers when acquiring new ones. This helps maximize profits and ensures resources are being used efficiently.

Market Share

Keeping track of your company’s market share is an important step in understanding the competitive landscape. You want to know how much of the overall market your business occupies, and how it compares to other companies in the same industry. This data can be incredibly useful when making decisions about future products and services.

It’s also important to consider your competitors’ market share when evaluating your own. Knowing who holds the most power within the industry can help you define what you need to do to stay competitive. Analyzing their strategies and successes can give you valuable insight into how you should approach your own operations.

Monitoring changes in market share over time is a great way to measure the success (or lack thereof) of any new initiatives or strategies you’ve implemented. By keeping an eye on this data, you can quickly identify areas that may need more attention or resources, and make sure that your efforts are paying off in terms of increasing your presence within the marketplace.

Brand Awareness

When it comes to tracking numbers, a small business must not forget the importance of brand awareness. This crucial factor is what allows potential customers to identify with the company and its values. It’s also an important indicator of how successful a company has been in reaching its target audience.

A small business can measure their brand awareness by looking at metrics such as website visits, social media engagement, and overall impressions. By analyzing these numbers, they can gain insights into their audience’s perception of their brand. For instance, if a large number of people are engaging with posts on their social media platforms, it may indicate that the content is resonating with the target audience. Alternatively, if website visits remain low over time, it may be necessary to review the content strategy or adjust marketing initiatives to boost engagement.

Overall, tracking brand awareness is essential for any small business that wants to remain competitive and successful in today’s market. Measuring this key metric will help them get a better understanding of how customers perceive their brand and enable them to make strategic adjustments accordingly.


Measuring the performance of your small business can help you stay on track with your goals and objectives. Having a better understanding of what numbers to track will allow you to have a better handle on how your business is doing. By tracking revenue, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, cash flow, profit margin, new customer growth, customer lifetime value, market share and brand awareness, you can make sure that your small business is performing at its best.

It’s important to remember that there are other metrics to consider when measuring the success of your small business. For example, employee satisfaction surveys or customer feedback surveys may be beneficial in providing insight into areas of improvement within the organization. Additionally, tracking inventory levels and sales conversion rates will help you understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of marketing strategies.

Overall, understanding which numbers to track will give you greater visibility into how well your small business is performing in comparison to competitors or industry standards. By taking the time to properly evaluate these key metrics, you can gain an edge over the competition and ensure that your small business succeeds in the long-term.