49% of small firms jeopardise growth by failing to identify key metrics

More than a third of the UK's small and medium enterprises missed their growth targets in 2015, with many business owners ignoring essential KPIs

“Data denial” of key metrics is reported to be taking its toll on the UK’s small and medium-sized business owners with 39% of small firms having failed to meet their growth targets in 2015, research from Geckoboard has indicated today.

Polling 250 small enterprises, 49% admitted to having neglected to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure company growth and 50% said their overall performance had been compromised because they were not aware of key metrics.

Of those that have established KPIS, the majority of business owners surveyed said they were only reviewed on a monthly basis while a third said that they tracked KPIs but never reassessed them.

The research highlighted a strong correlation between the companies that measured their KPIs and the likelihood of success – 74% of the businesses that said they monitor their KPIs in real time hit all their growth targets.

In February of this year, Startups.co.uk interviewed fast-growth start-up founders on the key financial metrics they use to measure cashflow, click here to get their insights.

Paul Joyce, CEO of Geckoboard, noted that, by ignoring key metrics, businesses “are missing out on important signs for future growth or, even worse, signs of trouble ahead”:

“With so much available data, entrepreneurs are forgetting to identify which metrics and data are most important to their business using KPIs. This unfortunately means they’re struggling to focus their business on what matters for success If you’re not keeping a close eye on critical business metrics and sharing progress against those KPIs with your team , how can you expect your business to grow?

“There are so many things that are outside of an entrepreneur’s control, but establishing and tracking key company data is not one of them. Businesses which don’t learn to follow suit are limiting their chances of growth before they even get properly started.”

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