In order to analyze the performance of your business, you have to maintain the information that enables the analysis. For instance, if you service various customer types whose buying patterns drive your sales and marketing campaigns, you should be able to easily report on customer type activity. Looking at what customers are buying; when they are buying it; and the profitability of the sales are all important questions you should be able to easily answer.
A simple first step to enable this type of reporting would be to enter a “customer type” on each sales invoice. By including customer type instead of just customer name, you have created a linkage between customer type and sales information. You can then generate reporting by customer type. The format of the reporting can be customized based on your preference, but imagine the power of an easily generated graph that shows you revenue or product mix by customer type with the ability to drill down into the details to further understand the activities.
By just adding customer type to an invoice, you are enabling “business intelligence”. This example is a simple solution that provides valuable reporting capabilities that will provide greater insight into the overall results of the business.
Once you can identify what is important to your business, robust reporting and analysis can be enabled using financial software, custom databases, or other business management tools.