SMB Leaders Failing to Identify and Track Key Metrics, Stunting Business Growth

According to a survey commissioned by Geckoboard, 1 in 10 SMBs have
no growth targets and only 1 out of 10 SMBs that do have growth targets,
track them in real-time

the live TV dashboard application, today released key findings from
their 2016 Small and Medium Business (SMB) Growth and Metrics Survey.
According to the survey of more than 250 small and medium business
owners in the U.S., one in 10 companies failed to identify any growth
targets for the year ahead. Without setting targets and monitoring key
performance indicators
(KPIs) on a regular basis, a vast majority
(77 percent) of these businesses remained small in scale, reporting less
than $100K in revenue annually.

The Value of Real-Time KPI Monitoring

According to Geckoboard, setting and tracking KPIs, the critical metrics
that contribute to a business’ growth, is an important step to success,
as both employees and companies perform better when clear goals have
been established and monitored.

Tracking data consistently has significant benefits to a company’s
bottom line, as those that monitored in real-time were twice as likely
to meet all of their growth goals, compared to the rest of the survey
participants. Of those businesses that track in real-time, 50 percent
met all of their goals in the last 12 months and 92 percent met all or
some of their goals compared to those who don’t track in real-time, who
reported a success rate of 24 percent and 64 percent respectively.
However, the overwhelming majority of respondents (70 percent) stated
that they don’t have insight into their company’s performance on a daily
basis. In fact, only 14 percent of businesses reported that they monitor
their important metrics in real-time but less than nine percent of
business leaders say they look at their company’s data in real-time.

Younger Leaders Value Data-Driven Decision Making More

Survey findings also indicate that the younger generation of business
leaders is more inclined to define and monitor key metrics. Of the
leaders who track their metrics in real-time, 33 percent were under 35
years old and 58 percent were under 45, with only 13 percent of leaders
55 or older tracking data in real-time.

“With so much data available, business leaders don’t know where to start
with tracking it in a meaningful way,” said Geckoboard CEO and
Co-founder Paul Joyce. “Most companies aren’t defining their most
important metrics and even if they are, they’re not monitoring them in
real-time. However, the data clearly shows that companies who measure
and monitor their performance against goals can improve performance and
grow more quickly. Sharing key metrics in real-time with all employees
ensures everyone is focused on working towards the same goals.”

Employees Perform Better When They Understand Critical Business
Success Factors

While tracking metrics is crucial, it is not enough on its own. Business
leaders must also make that information available to the entire team to
motivate them towards achieving goals. According to the survey, six
percent of companies never share KPIs with
their employees, despite citing that the most important factor
contributing to business growth is every team member having clear
objectives and the number two most important factor as every employee
being aware of the key metrics which help the company grow. Companies
that don’t share their data tended to have older leaders (80 percent had
leaders that were 45 years or older) and tended to represent smaller
companies (100 percent had less than 100 employees and 66 percent had
less than one million dollars in revenue). Younger leaders were much
more open to transparency in sharing company performance.

“There are so many things that are outside of an entrepreneur’s control,
but establishing and tracking key company goals is not one of them.
Businesses that don’t learn to follow suit are limiting their chances of
growth before they even get properly started,” Joyce concluded.
“Solutions like Geckoboard help build goal-focused teams. When leaders
and employees have constant access to evaluate performance against key
goals, they can make the necessary moves to immediately impact their
company’s performance. The longer companies wait to define goals and key
metrics and then make performance data against them accessible, the less
likely their teams will change the outcomes for the business.”

For more information on the results from the survey please see the infographic
or visit the Geckoboard

About Geckoboard

Geckoboard provides a tool to build live TV dashboards, which transform
businesses by making their most important metrics available and
understandable. Geckoboard enables businesses to monitor performance
live and unite everyone in their company around the data that matters
for success. Geckoboard has over 3,700 customers and pre-built
integrations with 60+ tools including Google Analytics, Salesforce,
Zendesk, Mixpanel, Github, Intercom and Google Sheets. Geckoboard is
backed by investors including Index Ventures, DN Capital and 500


Senior Account Supervisor