Internet businesses are fanatical about numbers – you should be too

19 Jun 2006

Joel Welsh

Joel Welsh, Chief Community Officer, is also the CEO of a new startup company ... Showcase U. Joel shares behind the scenes key decisions being made in the "Birth of a Startup" and knocks it out of the park to provide his own entrepreneurial wisdom.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get there. But is it a good thing to be a daily scoreboard watcher? I’ve been going through a lot of this type of strategy conversation of late as we set goals and identify the tactical strategies to exceed them.

Insert any statistical analogy you like at this point in the conversation. I’ll use baseball. (anyone surprised?) Yes, I want to track my batting average on a game-by-game basis. But just because I go 0-4 in a single game that doesn’t mean that I will make a broad hitting strategy shift based on such a small data sample. I need to watch for & understand trends.

An internet business HAS to be focused on the numbers: unique visitors to the website, page views by those visitors, and conversion to sales percentage. But every business, internet or not, needs to pay attention to the numbers that apply to their unique business.

Is there a danger of over-analyzing? Sure. And when you get to that point, you’ll know it & can then back off. But there is a much larger danger of not analyzing enough.

So which are you? The one who shows up every day & goes with your gut, or the one who uses the numbers as a tool for improving your business?

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