Understanding Data as a Small Business Owner.

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Data is so important in business, when it comes to growing your venture and improving it for the future, you absolutely need to be on top of data. The right stats help us to understand our customers and products, and by looking at data we can make smart decisions.

We can offer personalised products to customers based on their likes and dislikes and generally find ways to keep getting better. Data also helps manage our inventory, improve our marketing, and discover new chances to grow- so don’t overlook this! Here’s what you need to know about data as a small business owner.

Collecting Data

You can get data from all kinds of different sources, like customer messages, feedback, and actual purchase data. Website analytics can show you how people interact with your site., and don’t forget surveys and social media which give you direct insights from customers too.

It is a good idea to look into the digital markets act explained so you can understand how to collect and store data fairly and safely to guarantee your business complies with the laws.

Data collection can be as simple as keeping a record of customer inquiries or using online tools to track website visitors. However, getting good software to show everything in one place will likely provide you with the most value, check out the benefits of Power BI which is a Microsoft product.

On the other hand, you could outsource to a company to do this all for you. By collecting data consistently, you build a huge amount of useful information that can guide your decisions and strategies going forward.

Analysing Data

Once you’ve collected the data, the next step is to make sense of it. Analysing data allows us to find patterns and trends and generally get valuable insights that can help us make informed decisions. Use data analytics software to create charts, graphs, and tables to see the information in a clear and understandable way.

This can reveal trends or changes that might not be obvious by looking at the raw numbers. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business goals- these are the metrics that directly impact your success.

You can go even further with your data by segmenting data based on specific categories, such as age, location, or purchasing behavior which can provide deeper insights into different customer groups. This segmentation allows you to tailor your marketing efforts and products to meet the specific needs of each group.

Using Data

One great way you can use customer data within your business is to personalise your marketing and offer deals. This makes shopping more fun and convenient for your customers as you’re showing them things they’re most likely to be interested in.

Listen to feedback to improve your products or services and make customers happier. Use data to find the best ways to promote your business and manage your inventory. And keep an eye out for new business opportunities by spotting trends or gaps in the market.

For instance, if you notice a spike in demand for a particular product during certain seasons, you can plan your inventory accordingly to meet the customers’ needs. On the other hand, if you observe a drop in website traffic during specific times, you can adjust your marketing efforts to drive more visitors.

Data Privacy and Security

Handling data comes with a lot of moral and legal responsibility. You need to keep your customer information safe to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands- not only could this put your customers at risk directly but could be a legal headache for you and destroy the reputation of your business.

Make sure that you’re following data privacy rules and protecting data from unauthorised access. Only give access to trusted employees who need it and put good protections in place to protect yourself from cybercriminals. 

About the author

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Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform delivering world class events on business development, knowledge and insight aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders to engage, stimulate and empower them to become global businesses of the future. We also offer a bespoke service for corporate clients and training programmes under the Like Minds U brand. For more information please email bespoke@wearelikeminds.com