The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Greg Millar
Published on

Tracking the Right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Your Business

It’s critical for businesses to monitor their performance effectively. But there is no single list of KPIs which apply to all businesses.

Here are some guidelines when choosing KPIs suited to your business. 

Restate Your Business Goals

KPIs should directly align with your business's short-term and long-term goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase revenue, you might track KPIs related to sales growth. If your goal is cost reduction, you’ll track monthly expenses by category. 

Consider Industry KPIs

Which industry-specific KPIs are commonly used in your sector? For instance, a retail business may focus on same-store sales growth, while a software company might prioritize monthly recurring revenue (MRR). A consulting firm tracks employee utilization rates and a manufacturer should be interested in gross profit percentage. 

KPIs Should be Actionable

KPIs should indicate whether adjustments are needed to improve performance. For example, if the customer churn rate is high, you should take action to improve customer retention.

Ensure KPIs are Measurable

Ensure that the KPIs can be quantified accurately and consistently. KPIs should provide clear, numerical data that can be easily tracked over time.

Set Benchmarks and Targets for Each KPI

Compare your performance against industry benchmarks or historical data. This helps you understand how well you are doing and what needs improvement.

Consider Your Current Financial Position

If your business is in a growth phase, you might focus on KPIs related to profitability and cash flow like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Annual Contract Value (ACV), or Website Traffic. If you're in a cost-cutting phase, KPIs related to operational efficiency may be more relevant.

Customer-Centric KPIs

Customer-centric KPIs like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), or Net Promoter Score (NPS) can provide insights into the health of your customer relationships. 

Operational Efficiency

KPIs related to efficiency and productivity can help you manage costs and resources effectively. Examples include Inventory Turnover, Employee Productivity, or Manufacturing Cycle Time.

Marketing and Sales

KPIs include Conversion Rate, Customer Acquisition Cost, Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Sales Growth, or Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate.

Employee Performance and Satisfaction

Employee Turnover Rate, Employee Satisfaction Score, or Training and Development Investment can reflect your company's internal health.

Manage Risk

KPIs related to risk management, like Debt-to-Equity Ratio or Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), are especially important for financial stability.

Regulatory and Compliance KPIs

Ensure you are compliant with industry-specific regulations, and track KPIs related to compliance, like Days of Inventory on Hand for food businesses.

Innovation and Product Development

Depending on your focus, you might track KPIs like New Product Launch Success Rate or Research and Development (R&D) Investment.

Environmental and Social Responsibility

KPIs related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility may be important for both ethical reasons and customer appeal. Examples include Carbon Emissions or Percentage of Sustainable Suppliers.

Whichever KPIs you choose, make sure they provide meaningful insights that support your business's growth and development. Reevaluate and adjust your KPIs as your business evolves and your goals change. 

Need help tracking your business progress? Get in touch with Alliott NZ's team of Business Advisers in Auckland on 09 520 9200.

Topics: benchmarks compliance customer experience efficiency employees esg Goal setting Innovation key performance indicators marketing Performance regulation risk sales small business sustainability