business-measure-metrics-marketingAre you one of those business owners who’s not tracking your business activity, tracking your marketing or recording how you spend your time each day working on your business?

If you are – you’re certainly not alone. Very few small business owners are measuring their business activity these days – especially on the internet. And even fewer – way fewer – have an established system for tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of each of the most important parts of their business.


I don’t mean the sort of mistake where keeping your business opened is threatened – though it could come to that. I mean that you’re missing an absolutely fundamental part of running a successful business. Just ask anyone who is successful. They’re going to tell you that they key to their success is:

…doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

It doesn’t really matter your field or your niche. If you’re an engineering firm who makes $10 million per year, you need to track what’s happening in your business. If you’re a life coach making $40,000, you need to track what’s happening in your business. And if you’re just getting started, you want to track what’s going on in your business.

Why? Because what you don’t measure – doesn’t exist.

Strong statement, I know. But just consider it for a moment: Can something that’s not being measured really, truly exist?

Now before we start playing a game of semantics about what measuring means – let’s consider a couple of definitions:

To measure means to ascertain the size, amount or degree of something by using a marked standard or by comparison with a known object.


To measure means to take an exact quantity or fixed amount of something.

So you don’t have to use a ruler to measure something. Your eyes measure everything you look at all the time. You don’t need a ruler to know the difference between a long board and a short one. The same is true when you look at a number of something. It’s usually pretty easy to gauge the difference in number between a line of ants on the ground and the number in and around an ant hill. So you’re taking measure of things all the time – that’s how our minds catalog our experiences. Hence, everything you see and experience in your life is because you’ve measured it in some way.

This is why I can feel comfortable in saying, “what you don’t measure – doesn’t exist.”

So let’s move from looking at the world around us to looking specifically at your business. Do you know how many people view your website? Do you know where they come from, what pages of your site they’re reading most and what pages of your site they’re leaving most from? If you have a website – you should. Just those four things alone can tell you a great deal about the effectiveness of your website in marketing your business.

Now, if you’re not measuring and looking at those statistics, are they happening any way. Sure, there are. But do you know anything about it? No, you don’t. This is why I say they don’t exist. The events are happening – xx number of people are reading your website each week – but because you’re not tracking that information and then using it to evaluate your marketing, the visitors really don’t exist to your business. Without knowing whether you have 10, 100 or 10,000 visitors this week, you can’t really know what they did on your website. And if you can’t really know what they did on your website, then you can’t use any of the information their visits left you about how well your website is doing. And if you can’t use that information, then the visitors really don’t exist. They don’t exist because you don’t know anything about them that you can use in your business.

The same is true whether you have a website or not. Following website statistics isn’t the point here. Rather, the point is to have a system setup to evaluate your business at different times, in different manners to find out how well you’re doing – and – to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.

That’s why every business should begin with clear business objectives or goals in mind. And those goals or objectives should be prioritized in importance so that you’re always leading with the most important objectives. Once you know your objectives you want to create a method for measuring and evaluating the efforts you’re putting out to meet each of them. This way, you can know the most important thing to know in marketing:

…what’s working and what’s not.

So are you measure your business efforts? If so, what are you doing, how often to you review your marketing? And have you found it necessary to stop doing an activity because it wasn’t helping you reach   your business goals?

Let’s talk about it.

Oh yeah…I’ll be speaking live on this topic further during The Self Employment Telesummit beginning on September 10th. I’m joined by some amazing presenters such as Molly Gordon, Pam Slim, Mark Silver, Sean D’Souza, Sonia Simone, Nancy Marmolejo and a host of others. Seats are filling up so register today.

note: image from ppdigital on Flickr, some rights reserved)

Reader Interactions


  1. Cheryl Pickett says

    Great thoughts Dawud. I coach people who are trying to figure out the best option to publish their books, and the first step I use is very similar to this. As in your industry, many/most other resources hardly cover it and then people wonder why there’s so much disappointment.

    I put it this way-if you don’t know where you’re headed, how can you know the best way to get there?

    Keep the tips coming!
    Cheryl Pickett

  2. Judy Murdoch says

    Hey Dawud,

    I think sometimes the “measurement/metrics” thing can feel like of sterile and tedious. It’s one of those “hmm well I know I should but I’d rather be having FUN.”

    Like “Hmm I know I should be eating broccoli but Tater Tots are way tastier.

    I wonder if there’s a way to make metrics more intrinsically fun and engaging. For example, I love the charts and graphics in Wired Magazine and some of the fun tables they create in Vanity Fair. It’s all statistics but offered in a way that engages both sides of my brain and tickles my funny bone too.

    What do other folks think?


  3. Wilson Pon says

    Hmm…, Dawud. I was ashamed to say that I’m one of them who didn’t tracking or measuring my business! I always use “busy” as the excuse to avoid from being blamed as a “Lazy” person. In this case, I have to admit that I have to dump this bad habit away as quick as possible!

  4. George says

    I have NEVER enjoyed tracking and measuring, which is why it has been so hard to actually do it myself. I do measure and track in my business more and more, because I know it’s important, but quite frankly I hate doing it.

  5. Ken Rio says

    Yeah, I also have to admit, I’ve been very lax about this end of things, but you’ve really given me a lot to think about here. I’m going to work on changing (I’m going to change!) these habits ASAP. Thanks.

  6. Lynn says

    Tracking your business is a very tedious job, but it’s one of the things that still helps your business regardless and something that you must do.

  7. Dawud Miracle says

    Right on! I couldn’t agree more. When sit down to drive your car, you have a least some idea where you’ll be driving it. You may have to detour or find other interesting stops along the way. And your destination may change. But how can you leave the driveway without having somewhere to go?

    So, how do you get your clients to understand this?

    Sure, it is tedious. And yes, I think there’s ways to make it fun.

    But I have another question…if we know it’s one of the most vital pieces of growing a successful business, why do we let tedium get in the way? Could it be that there are other reasons that keep us from knowing how well our business is really doing?

    Let me know how it goes. When you start to see that you can know what’s working and not working in your business and you make the appropriate adjustments, you’ll find yourself being excited about metrics.

    What’s the thing you hate most about doing it?

  8. Consumer court forum says

    I am a careless person who doesn’t like to look on to what is happening around and what should be done. Thanks for your post as now i will be very much careful and try to be much more careful.

  9. web page designer says

    I actually have the opposite problem, I care too much about measuring everything. I like to know what is going on with every little thing at all times. I’m sure that’s good for some things, but it can also be a little distracting.

  10. Dawud Miracle says

    So what’s the first step you’re going to take to make the change?

    It is. And keeping it simple, I’ve found, is the key.

    web page,
    I’m not just talking about measuring, however. You want to measure AND THEN evaluate. And from your evaluation make changes to your marketing efforts or business activities.

    Are you taking those steps?

    Does this mean you’re going to begin doing something different?

  11. web page designer says

    Yes, I know what you meant. I’m a perfectionist, so that can be good and bad. I measure, evaluate, implement, measure, evaluate, implement, etc etc… I’m just saying that taken to an extreme, it can become micro-managing.

  12. Dawud Miracle says

    web page,
    Without a doubt. The old adage – everything in balance – holds true. Especially with business metrics.

    What is the most important piece of information about your business have you learned from your metrics?

  13. ifigolf says

    I personally love the tracking and analytic’s. I feel like its proving success. We are all in business to be successful. Think of it as counting your money. It can be a time consuming and honestly an obsessive situation at times. I for one have not had the luxury of huge gains, or much traffic yet, but I still feel the appropriate tracking will make all the difference in success. It can easily boost sales and marketing returns if done correctly.

  14. Billigflug says

    Time-managemant and tracking are fundamentals for success in business. In that point I agree. You have to find the right way between high quality work and good time use. But you´re right, that most firms don´t track their time-management.

  15. Dawud Miracle says

    Are you talking about merely tracking your website’s traffic or tracking your business success?

    Right on! Most small businesses aren’t tracking much at all – let along how they use their time. Most are just looking at their monthly balance sheet to see if they’ve been successful that month or not. More money than last month – success. Yet, balance sheets only show the end result and give you absolutely no data of how you got there – and how you could increase revenue and reduce spending in the future – both absolutely vital to success.

  16. NYC Law says

    Time-management is a serious issue when it comes to owning and operating a business. One needs be as organized as possible without wasting time getting organized. It is certainly a catch 22.

  17. Sell Your Phone says

    Great article. It was helpful and informative. Good time use is an issue for me. great points here really helpful for the newcomers. Thanks

  18. Jen says

    Funny yyou mention about not tracking time-management. This should be on everyone’s list since it can determine productivity of each employee. Businesses should be able to measure all the things that needs to be measured since that determines what drives the company to thrive.

  19. Dawud Miracle says

    NYC Law,
    Time-management is something that I think every business owner needs to evaluate regularly. I work with clients who often have little time management skills and it’s one of the first things we deal with. More time equals more opportunity to increase revenue.

    Have a favorite time-management tip?

    Without a doubt. And even those who feel they manage their time well can often, with help, find a larger time to revenue ratio.

    Do you have a favorite time-management tip?

    It’s definitely true. You just have to know what 20% to work on. How did you figure that out in your business?

    Sell Your Phone,
    When you’re looking to find hidden profit opportunities in your business, often productivity and time management are the first places to look. Very often more profit can be found there than in marketing.

  20. Dawud Miracle says

    Time management is definitely something that should be tracked – and evaluated – regularly. I left it out because I merely wanted to make the overall point of tracking your business without the buzz term around time-management.

    What’s the most effective thing your company does to measure the productivity of your employees?

    Yes. And as I said, if you’re not tracking how your sales are made then you have no idea how to get more.

  21. Curbside says

    Great post. I also think it’s necessary to reevaluate your goals and adjust your measurements as time passes. Often you’ll find that as your business or focus changes, what you measure needs to change along with it.

  22. Stu says

    This is interesting.

    I think there’s also an issue if you spend too much time analyzing and tracking as well. We call it “paralysis by analysis”, meaning we need to spend less time analysing and more time doing.

    Of course, some kind of measurement is essential so that you know that the “doing” that you are doing is the right doing to be doing! 😉

  23. Food Coupons says

    Great Thought , Tracking and Measuring are very important aspect of a Business.. Until we have a Objective how can we think of achieving it .

  24. Dawud Miracle says

    Exactly. And how can you ever know what needs changing/updating in your business if you don’t have some way of qualifying your business?

    I think that’s often much more the case with focusing too heavily on web stats and not so much the case with overall business metrics. People tend to be obsessed with website traffic to the point of paralysis, certainly.

    But don’t you find that there’s no reason to be obsessed with solid overall business metrics?

    And once we have an objective, how can we be certain we’re on the right path to reaching it?

  25. Banks says

    Measuring dollars spent and the return is the easy part. Measuring what is effective and efficient with time is more difficult. Which often causes many small business owners to earn very little per hour because of ineffective time management.

  26. Web Design Company says

    Great information here. I am part of a small business and it has always been a challenge to track the local market. Going forward, I will have to find better ways to measure the exposure my business is getting locally and track the results. Thanks.

  27. Prius Owner says

    I think you are right, I am doing the same, doing things as they go, and not too much planning. Thanks for this article.

  28. Team The Rise To The Top says

    This is very intriguing and I completely agree with you that it’s important to have a clear direction for your business so you can begin tracking your progress. Even if you are putting forth the effort to increase something if you’re not tracking how do you know if your efforts are doing any good. Thanks for posting this!

  29. chris says

    you know, your post reminds me about Karl Rowe, who used to say what can not be measured, is not worth doing (or sth similar to this..

    You absolutelly right with this need of measuring one’s efferts, although I’d might add:
    – some stuff is hard to measure – like popular – 50% of my ad costs is wasted – just don’t know which one 🙂
    – some stuff can be just let alone..(for the sake of time management) assuming of course that it is not crucial.

    thank for post – very inspiring

  30. Kirstine says

    Being able to evaluate your business is really an excellent move as a business owner.”This way, you can know the most important thing to know in marketing: …what’s working and what’s not.”

  31. Donnie in Chattanooga says

    For me measuring this stuff ebbs and flows. Sometimes I get so busy working with clients and handling them, I forget to work on my business, then ever so often I take a day to catch up. I should do a better job.

  32. Dylan says

    No doubt about it, tracking is crucial. And analysing and acting on the results can only help your business grow.

    But tracking is so addictive. When I first installed analytics I spent ages just looking at the reports. It was so much fun seeing how people found my site!

    Now I have a limited and finite amount of time allocated to looking at my traffic and conversion analysis and have set the goal of acting on my findings each and every time

  33. excel says

    This is very intriguing and I completely agree with you that it’s important to have a clear direction for your business so you can begin tracking your progress. Even if you are putting forth the effort to increase something if you’re not tracking how do you know if your efforts are doing any good. Thanks for posting this!

  34. Dennis Tielmann says

    Yes, measuring is important. However, when you’re just stating out it can be way too overwhelming, especially on the net. So in my opinion, it’s best to let things run for a while and then after a few months or so, to look into the stats and details. Because those will tell you where the nooks and crannies are – the fine-tuning which will decide whether you’ll make it long term or go down. Like the comments here imply though, a balanced middle way is key.

  35. Dawud Miracle says

    And that’s exactly the point – you want to know what you’re earning hourly for your effort and time.

    Web Design,
    Start with what you know. Website traffic is often good. Then expand into lead generation, conversion and client hires.

    So now, what will you do differently?

    What will you do this week to track more of what’s happening in your business?

    Exactly! Now we just need a way to see which 50% it is.

    And why is that important to your business?

    Make time for it – really. Let your systems and software do all the heavy lifting – capturing data and such. Then, on some periodic basis, you need to sit down and spend some time evaluating.

  36. Business Logos says

    I don’t know that I agree that it doesn’t exist, I do however agree that its critical that you measure! How else can you tell what is effective?

  37. Dataflurry says

    Excellent post and great points! Actually, I heard less than 10% of business websites actually track and measure their business performance and examine their marketing performance closely – pretty sad.

  38. Physiotools says

    Some good debate here. To add my 2-penneth, if you arent measuring anything then you cant base decisions on facts. Therefore you are taking your business forward blindly.

    With online its even easier and quicker to measure stuff so there is no excuse!

    The other point to the conversation is you need to be measuring the RIGHT stuff. Just because you can measure it doesnt mean you need to. Make sure all measurements are aligned with business goals.

  39. rob says

    I am also another person who does not measure directly. I just measure on the amount of new sales, nothing else, i dont think anything else matters.

  40. Mark says

    Right on! I’ve been preaching this for years. I don’t know who it was attributed to but an old mentor of mine always said, ‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure’ – it’s one of this universal truths! Thanks!

  41. Case Ernsting says

    I don’t agree with only measuring direct sales. In today’s technological environment, there’s a bounty of easy to use tools and metrics that can measure your customer’s needs, wants, inclinations, buying power…anything to make your product better and more aptly targeted. That’s how google got to be GOOGLE!

  42. Custom Toronto Promotional Items says

    I agree you really need to measure everything – however I think it applies more to smaller businesses

  43. Svetlana: Lawyer Kiyv says

    Some great points are made here.

    To extend the point of “if you don’t track it, it doesn’t exist,” I suggest that if you are not tracking a particular metric, then don’t waste your time. So, if you don’t do anything with the data that you gather, stop gathering it! Focus on something that will be more productive.

    Granted, I think that anyone in business must track their performance to determine what is working and what isn’t, but stop wasting effort on non-productive tasks!

  44. Emma says

    Regardless of the nature of business, it is really mandatory to keep in track on what is really happening in the business. Every inch about the business should be known by the owner. No matter how small the business is.

  45. Simon says

    Good points, and in today’s world it is still so surprising that so many companies do not track their everyday activities.

  46. Andrew says

    I agree with the thoughts here. Many businesses only look at the bottom line, and don’t stop to think and analyse what is affecting it… By optimising or refining one part of the company, could greatly impact your bottom line and profits…

  47. Camisetas says

    Managing and measuring your business are crucial and a key way to improve cash flow quickly. To improve your business, you must be able to truly verify that improvement.

  48. Fusion Cartridges says

    I feel like I measure everything and test way too little. It’s crucial to measure, but if you don’t respond to changes it does no good to keep measuring.

    Good article, thanks Dawud.

  49. legal dictionary says

    I normally measure sales but have been thinking for a while now about time management. I am going to assess what i do and see if I can re-organise it to be more productive.

  50. DigitalSatelliteTV says

    I completely agree with your thoughts on website traffic and measurements. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  51. Lansing Homes says

    This post couldn’t be more on the money. I think the recession has really taught people this point whether they wanted to learn it or not.

    As a small business owner myself, I always tell clients and colleagues that “if there’s no metric for it, there’s no purpose for it.”

  52. alphainventions says

    Tracking is very important. Let’s you know what you did right, and what you did wrong. If it wasn’t for tracking I wouldn’t have the success I have.

  53. Andrew Olson says

    Measuring and analysing each stage of your business is essential.

    You may discover that one area is lacking above others and be able to work on it to bring it up to speed.

  54. managed forex accounts says

    it seems that time is always a constraining factor. although, we all realize how important tracking and analyzing the data we receive through our websites, it’s that common feeling of putting it off till tomorrow and then to the next day. have to agree with judy, if it was made more fun, more people would do it.

  55. Cincinnati Lawyers says

    We love measuring all aspects of our business especially ROI with marketing. The internet has really made the possible down to the click. A big lesson we discovered is that the amount of Traffic isn’t as big as the amount of conversions & those don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

  56. Lisa Russell says

    I think I have the opposite issue, I obsessively track and measure absolutely everything like an insane obsessive compulsive freak. I swear, I have spreadsheets that analyze the contribution of every keyword, every tag, every category name, the impact of various incoming links, page rank fluctuations, SERP’s on a week-by-week and month-by-month basis and even the impact of participation in various niche forums. Seriously. I don’t understand how a businessperson can NOT want to measure the affects of their efforts. How on earth do you decide where to focus your effort if you’re not measuring?

  57. Manhattan says

    I love Google Analytics. I need to know what’s working and not working. Being too obsessive about stats is never a good thing, but totally ignoring them can be even worse.

  58. Minneapolis Web Design says

    Wow, this is a big issue with my firm. We talk alot about Metrics and predicting consumer behavior but it can be an exhausting and time consuming process that requires adequate funding.

  59. wdct says

    What’s the most accurate analytics software out there ? Because I use a few, and there are significant differences among them. So, even if one is measuring, if the measuring is not accurate, it’s almost as not measuring at all.

  60. Ledward says

    Fantastic post. And I couldn’t agree more on your comments!

    As an old direct response guy, testing and measuring is a solid part of the deal.

    If you don’t measure no way are you going to know what works and what doesn’t work.

    Futhermore it’s an ongoing thing. You should always be looking for that next control beating result.

    And yes, you guessed it measuring is the grease that gives you answers you’re looking for.

    Thanks for sharing your insights Dawud. I look forward to more exellent posts.

  61. Nate Kragness says

    There are a lot of great tools available to measure your site’s performance, and to provide metrics for growth over time. For example, Google Analytics is installed on the vast majority of live websites on the web. However, aggregating the data is inconsequential if you aren’t willing to mine through it to see how you can improve your company. If you realize that 80% of your customers are coming from a small portion of your marketing efforts (which is quite common), you are able to then dynamically adapt, and focus more of your dollars where they can be the most productive. Continuing to re-evaluate your marketing, and re-allocating funds where they are the most effective, will ensure that you continue to increase your growth, and you will remain a competitive force in the industry.

  62. Iron Castings says

    Very true Dawud. I’m guilty of analysing things too much if anything – it’s very easy to drown in statistics!

    But over time, you can spot trends and begin to realise what works and what doesn’t.

    Analysing performance effectively is absolutely crucial IMO.

  63. MAS says

    Yup… metrics are everything.

    Without knowing how things are working or even without a general idea, you are sailing the Titanic northward.

  64. forex investing says

    I think you’re right. Tracking the different aspects of a business is a must. But how could I effectively track my business’ various aspects?

  65. Smith6237 says

    Dawud really a great tip about the handling of business.
    Everyone should have to be careful about the business happenings & make a good balance in business,

    Regards !

  66. Justin Marlow says

    Great post as this is very important for any business. The difficult part is not to get too wrapped up in the analytics. I could see some business owners becoming obsessed and losing valuable productivity time. I am one of those from time to time. But the proper balance of this is a recipe for success.

  67. FB @ says

    I’ve only just started tracking my stats on my blog, but sensing trends and figuring out what works and what doesn’t can be tricky if you just have no clue why some posts resonate with others, when others don’t

    Still, it’s a worthy endeavour!

  68. Free ads Ireland says

    Very true, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. This is as true as “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”

  69. Patrick Oden says

    There are so many fun comments that could be made about quantum mechanics in response to this article. Still, I think there’s a certain truth to the idea that missing measurements equals missing opportunities. One can become obsessed with measurements though. There always must be some cost-benefit in considering just how far the small business needs to go in evaluating operations. There is a line of excess.

  70. Newspaper SEO says

    It’s much easier to keep doing things than it is to keep track of them, but I know it can make me focus on doing the right things.

  71. Jello says

    You are right. Time managing and tracking and analysing is very important steps in succesful business. Critical I would say.

  72. small business says

    You are true, mate. The first thing to do is to make clear business objectives, so we can know which methods can be used to determine our business efforts. Thanks for sharing, your post help me so much as small business owner.

  73. Sandra says

    You’re right Dawud. Following up with your business is an important part of it, Google Analytics make this job easier with its Benchmarking feature. I would definitely suggest to have a look at it every second week at least.

  74. Robert says

    Analytics are essential, but I would avoid Google Analytics if you care about your data. For example, if you are in an extremely competitive market running successful PPC campaigns, do you really want Google to take that data and in tern jack up the prices on your keyword bids? Allowing Google access to that data can shoot your bids from single cents per click to over $.20 per click over night. I’d suggest either setting up your own in house analytics solution, or you could invest in a solution that guarantees you own your data.

  75. Mark Simon says

    Excellent post and I completely agree. Might be why I love web analytics so much. If you don’t measure you can’t improove.

  76. treatmentsforanxiety says

    post is excellent. tracking progress to meet the business objective through analysis is the most important business

  77. James says

    Great thought! I agree… measurement and analytics makes a good combination..

    I already bookmarked this, does anyone who can suggest another relevant topics that i can search for more information?

  78. Jocelyn says

    Great post! While I do track traffic to my site I stop short of really diving into analyzing what is work and what is not. I suspect it is because then I would need to take the next step of identifying my specific marketing approaches and prioritizing them. I disorganized approach is a lot less work; although not nearly as effective.

    One other thing. I really like how you take the time to respond to each poster with follow up questions. What a great practice.

  79. Lenen says

    From my own experience I know it can be pretty difficult keep track of all your online activity and to manage your time effectively. But to perform effectively it’s essential to measure.

  80. Kirsten says

    I don’t feel that you need to measure your business to make it exist. I agree that it is a good idea and would definitely be helpful but I have seen many people become extremely successful without doing so.

  81. Altinkum says

    I have just read your article and discovered I am so guilty. I look at my website stats and then that is it. I continue to blindly throw time in every direction. Other people have said they spend an hour a day promoting their site and I am like”oh my god”, how can you do that?

    Going away now to hang my head in shame, and think of a better plan of action.

  82. Buy Websites says

    I too have the problem of spending too much time on analyzing metrics. It could be PPC reports, traffic reports that I noticed that I have become over-consumed. Nonetheless, I think this is an important issue that is usually overlooked. Kudos on a well thought out post.

  83. BapBapa says

    Tracking is very important. Let’s you know what you did right, and what you did wrong. If it wasn’t for tracking I wouldn’t have the success I have.

  84. Case Ernsting says

    I have friends asking me about this topic all the time. “How can I measure my traffic for a low cost?” “Is it worth it?” “Why do I have to track that stuff? I’m making enough money”

    Not very wise of them. But I will show them this post and I’m sure light bulbs will go off. Thanks

  85. Blanket My Baby says

    One of my favorite things about being an ecommerce owner is that I can track everything with Google Analytics. I’m always digging in and looking at trends, keywords, bounce rates, conversion rates, etc. The data drives many of our decisions.

  86. Charles H. Green says

    All due respect, I have to strongly disagree.

    To pick an unusual parallel, the strong form of what you say (“what you’re not measuring doesn’t exist”) was precisely the version of philosophy espoused by A. J. Ayer and others in the 1930s, known as verificationism.

    Basically, it is a theory that has been thoroughly rejected as tautological and self-refuting. It lives on, however, in business, including such statements as “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.”

    I give you credit for stating it in the strongest possible terms, but if you step back and look at your statement, it is silly on the face of it.

    Of course it exists. The act of measurement has absolutely no effect on the existence of the thing being measured in any meaningful sense of the word. In fact, what you’re relying on is poetry–the psychological effect of your using “exist” in a metaphorical way instead of a literal way.

    Here are some things that absolutely exist, whether you’re measuring them or not. Further, even if you do measure them, you’re not necessarily doing anythign about them.
    Customer satisfaction
    Customer anger
    Customer resentment
    Customer delight
    Employee satisfaction
    Employee anger
    Employee resentment
    Employe delight
    Belief that you’re brilliant for measuring
    Belief that you’re a fool for measuring
    Belief in anything at all, actually.

    There is one exception: if you start measuring emotions too closely, you’ll change them. Try asking your wife to rate your marriage on a 1-10 scale. Then ask her again the next day to see if things have changed. And the next day. Sure enough, things will change; the ratings will drop and then she’ll dump you in a few weeks, because no one seriously believes you can metricize your way into a good marriage.

    This is even true in the physical world, not to mention the emotional world. At the subatomic level, the Heisenberg Principle suggests the act of measuring a particle alters the particle itself. In other words, you can’t measure what you think you’re measuring.

    The cult of measurement is just vastly overdone these days. I think it’s ironic that a treatise in favor of measurement itself resorts to poetic metaphor, suggesting existence itself is somehow dependent on measurement. The fact that it’s so obviously literally wrong is evidence that you can’t be serious about such a proposition, since you must resort to metaphor to make the case.

    As the cousin statement, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” that is equally obviously false. You can manage by fear and intimidation, by love, by random acts of kindness or of violence, by walking around, by showering money (or criticism), none of which require any measurement at all, and all of which can work very well. Bernie Madoff managed to get billions, in fact, by avoiding all kinds of measurements and flatly lying. Richard Branson has managed to do pretty well when by his own admission he has trouble remembering how to add and subtract on an income statement.

    As Albert Einstein once said, not everything that’s important can be measured, and not everything that can be measured is important.

    I guess you can see I have a little passion for this issue! It’s certainly true that metrics are important, very useful, critical in some cases. All that’s true. But it’s also been over-stated, not under-stated, I would suggest.

  87. Mike Portson says

    I think that it is always better to do too much than to do nothing. In our world many people are just not on the right mood to do anything at all but complaining that they do not have nothing. I would rather make some mistakes than lying in my bed, thinking about nothing.

  88. Sam says

    A CRM software usually allows you to measure your productivity, by gathering all your customer related data in one single place. Very handy as well in order to follow up on your different campaigns.

  89. Oak Sideboard says

    Business monitoring is an absolute must – how else can you see what you do right and more importantly, what you do that isn’t right?

    Robert’s post paints a worrying picture of Google analytics, however this free platform is a brilliant and in depth tool for many small business owners.

    Great post and comments.

  90. house roof says

    Personally I am a person who looks every little change in my business. But I have seen many peoples who doesn’t care much. This is a good article which helped me to look more into my business.

  91. Laguna Realty says

    Great post. Measuring Your Business results your business popularity. Google Analytics is a powerful website statistics program and a good resource for ecommerce merchants.

  92. bestpricemoving says

    I agree with your article. It is significant to remain path of how to your business are performing arts yet a lot of stop working to do so. How in addition would you calculate development? Great imminent

  93. bestpricemoving moving says

    I have not at all enjoyed tracking and measuring, which is why it has been so tough to in fact do it for myself. I act calculate and track in my big business more and more, for the reason that I know it is very important, but fairly honestly I abhorrence doing it.

  94. Hostgator says

    Most people don’t do this because it’s hard work to measure and evaluate and measure again.

    Those are the kind of people who only care about the $$$ signs and don’t want to put the work needed into growing their business.

    Split testing is the one I really should be doing more of…

  95. Larry McLeod says

    I could write volumes on this issues, thanks for a well written post on the matter.

    A quick share, I was interviewing a company the other day as I was considering taking on their Web Marketing. I was meeting with the CEO and Design Director. Pre-meeting I did some research into their online presence and PPC and SEO history. To make a long story short, I found that back in late 2007 they has a significant budget in PPC and then ZERO until last month 10/09 and only fraction.

    I asked what happened and the CEO said. “it wasn’t working out” – certainly not the first time I heard that, however, I asked what metrics he used to come the this conclusion. I think this made the room spin for my CEO friend, he said. “we didn’t track anything”

    I end by saying, this is a multimillion dollar company in (well I’ll save them from embarrassment)

    We measure everything, even moving creatures and the stuff in the employee lounge fridge, LOL

    Thanks again

  96. sex shop says

    Very true Dawud. I’m guilty of analysing things too much if anything – it’s very easy to drown in statistics!

    But over time, you can spot trends and begin to realise what works and what doesn’t.

    Analysing performance effectively is absolutely crucial IMO.

  97. information on bed bugs says

    Hi Dawud Miracle , It was was a great post anhat Measuring Business provides international insights into non-financial ways to measure that manage business performance improvements and company’s value create dynamics. Measuring Business will enable you to apply best practice, implement innovative thinking & learn how to use different practices. Learn how to use innovative frame works, approach and practices for understand assessing and manage the strategic value drivers of business excellence. MBE publisheing both rigorous academic research and insightful practical about the development and adoption of assessment and management models, tools and approaches to support and value creation of 21st century organizations both private and public.Thank you.

  98. Tom says

    Great article. I have 2 huge projects ahead of me and I think that if I do a good job in tracking my time and expenses then I will be prepared to adjust my resources as necessary.

  99. Data card says

    Measuring your business is really very important and helps in many ways to know about what exactly you need to do and what not. It helps to make a blue print of the plan which u want to make it a great success.

  100. Elizabeth says

    I definitely agree about the importance of measuring things. In addition to measuring something, you also have to be able to translate that measurement into usable information. How does that bit of information help increase or improve business?

  101. Val Unternehmen says

    I am guilty of this one. I don’t track my business activities, too. Thanks for posting this. Now I realized I don’t have specific goals for my business. I should be more vigilant with my business activities starting now. Thanks!

  102. Wilderness Programs for Teens says

    I’m not aware of measuring things regarding on my business. I just ask advices and learn from it. Figures are really important but the metric one never had been on my vocabulary.

    Thanks for letting me know how important on measurement is. This is a very important thing to learn!

  103. ken says

    Online marketing gives us the chance to track such a great amount of information about our efforts. We have to take advantage of this opportunity, else we will just be wasting money.

  104. pThomas says

    Nice article, I agree completely, we just started our own in house marketing efforts and we’ve incorporated some good tools and reports to track our efforts. Its best to leave nothing to chance.

  105. Gazelle Freestyle says

    I couldn’t agree more. Measuring your metrics, has got to be one of the top 5 most important things an entrepreneur should be doing. Because without knowing your metrics, nothing can improve, hence you cannot grow your business without analyzing data. I’ve been doing this since I work full-time online. Good reminder for the newer folks 🙂

  106. Janedoe says

    I’m an internet marketer and the number one rule for profits is tracking. With tracking you know where your traffic comes from, what works and what doesn’t. It really is essential. Or else, you’re just shooting in the dark..

  107. pools design says

    The ideal business sells the world, rather than a single neighborhood
    or even a single city or state. In other words, it has an unlimited global
    market (and today this is more important than ever, since world markets
    have now opened up to an extent unparalleled in my lifetime).

  108. Denise says

    Very true, too many small business owners just muddle along hoping for the best. If you’re in business for yourself it’s all to easy to fall into that trap. Small business, large business, it’s all the same – we need a plan to succeed. Thanks for the reminder.

  109. Khate says

    You hit the jackpot. Analytic is a must for every business. You will know where you are then other actions will be done to make sure that you are not beyond your plan.

  110. Makati Condo says

    I think you make good points in the article. Planning is crucial to every business. You also need to measure and track your progress just to see how far you’ve come along, as well as identify your strengths and weaknesses as guides for improvement on your business.

  111. TermMonster says

    We use analytic tools and are always trying to measure data to help us make better decisions. At the same time, we try to think out of the box and look at non-traditional factors that may influence our business.

  112. Fred AET says

    I’m an internet marketer and the number one rule for profits is tracking. With tracking you know where your traffic comes from, what works and what doesn’t. It really is essential. Or else, you’re just shooting in the dark..

  113. Jack Knollson says

    In a small business, lack of measurement may come from not knowing how. We can all learn more about this. In big business, there is another aspect that I hate to mention: Politics.

    I have known marketers who avoided measurement, not because they did not know how, but because they did not want to be measured. They argued that most marketing activities could not be measured. This was to cover their poor performance.

    The sad thing is that for every political player who takes up the “it can’t be measured” position, there is a handfull of other business people who will agree. And when they agree, they stop trying. The result is that many marketers have never learned these basics:
    (1) Everything can be measured.
    (2) What’s measured is managed.

  114. MLS Search says

    Analysis i good but as the say too much analysis can kill your business. So it is a must you have a basic knowledge on how to run your business online keeping the pros and cons in mind.

  115. Bhanu Pratap says

    I am a careless person who doesn’t like to look on to what is happening around and what should be done. Thanks for your post as now i will be very much careful and try to be much more careful.

  116. boat auction says

    A good start to start measuring if you’re a website owner is to install Google Analytics. Its free and will help you measure anything worth measuring when it comes to website visitors.

  117. Låna says

    Well an online business is still business too and like traditional ones it should have a measure for something. Otherwise it’d be pretty much like going around in the dark, ain’t it? If you don’t know what’s going around with your business, you’re pretty much bound to fail.

  118. business crm says

    I cent agree with you, Dawud, Most of the business owners do not use any strategy to evaluate their effectiveness in the market. Your other points are also have sound foundations.

  119. Property Development Finance says

    I think any business that deals with the public really needs to measure the quality of the customer service they provide. It seems in recent years that the standard of customer service, especially in the UK, is rapidly declining rapidly. For me, there is no greater put off than poor customer service. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that I’ll even pay extra if I know the customer service will be better!

  120. Shredding Services Chicago says

    Constantly tracking an analyzing your time and resources spent on your business is very important to improving and making sure your business is running efficiently and making sure that you are improving on things you may be doing wrong.

  121. huseyin says

    Yeah, I also have to admit, I’ve been very lax about this end of things, but you’ve really given me a lot to think about here. I’m going to work on changing (I’m going to change!) these habits ASAP. Thanks.

  122. saç ekimi says

    Yeah; I have NEVER enjoyed tracking and measuring, which is why it has been so hard to actually do it myself. I do measure and track in my business more and more, because I know it’s important, but quite frankly I hate doing it.

  123. Nick P says

    Amen to that! I always tell my agents nonstop that they’ve got to track, tweak, and try again – if you don’t know what actions produce results, then you don’t know how much money you COULD be making!

  124. Electric Under Floor Heating says

    Exactly if you are running any kind of business and you are not tracking the business activity so its the biggest mistake of life. Be careful and track back your business activity to make yourself a successful businessman/woman.

  125. Pallavi says

    This is nice article shows the importance of measuring things and how to expand our business. Online marketing really getting rapid popularity and gives us the chance to track such a great amount of information about our efforts. Even i used to do online marketing through full service advertising and i see great results .It also helps in promoting our website. Thanks to full-servicead.

  126. bankowned says

    Many businesses only look at the bottom line, and don’t stop to think and analyze what is affecting it… By optimizing or refining one part of the company, could greatly impact your bottom line and profits…

  127. john says

    I’d say this was definitely me. Now, things are changing, habits are chaning and im always up to par with my business.

  128. Antique Salvage says

    This article is very useful to anyone who owns a business. After reading this article I just see how much I do not think about when it comes to my business. My friend who owns a business should read this article. You must be on top of your game in order for your business to be successful all the time. Great work.

  129. Bars and Night Clubs says

    The old adage that half your marketing dollar is wasted… its just a matter of finding out which half still rings true (largely with the exception of online, which thanks to Google Analytics is very accountable)

    TV, Radio and Billboard advertising can be readily measured using differing phonenumbers or URL’s as the call to action..

  130. my business says

    very true, my one. very difficult to market this effort, please help valuable tips on this blog, I hope dawudmiracle can help me overcome this problem. please give tips and reward you in my blog, I’m waiting, thanks

  131. Cottages to Rent says

    Now I realize where I have gone wrong. I think I have been doing more of what doesn’t work. Thanks for the advice.

  132. epoxy flooring says

    Its pretty hard for small business with 1-2 people to keep track of things due to most of the time being spent on marketing and getting more customers. Although it helps to know where your market comes from.

  133. Carico says

    I am definatly guilty of not watching what my business is doing. Although at the end of the year I try to sit down and go over cost and see what can be changed. Great article and very helpful. We all need a good kick when it comes to running our small businesses.

  134. Joe -leather laptop bags says

    Always have a plan and a backup plan. Trial and error works if everything has been considered and analyzed. Always watch stats and focus on repeating those things that work instead of fixing things that don’t

  135. discounted cosmetics says

    From my experience perfect analysis,creative idea,innovative thought,risk taking decision also enhances your busyness to move ahead so rapidly.If you have this startities.Then it’s no doubt that you will be the topper most.Thanks……for explaining your own trick or method of growing business.

  136. fishing organizations says

    Great post.

    Tracking and measuring is every thing in business. OK, maybe profit is “everything,” but in order to make more profit, you have to know where to focus your time and effort.

    Measuring and tracking allows you to do that. With all the software out there, tracking has never been so easy.

    Thanks for informing everyone on this essential subject.

  137. Duncan says

    This is a great post. I’m a huge supporter of marketing metrics and the value it can add to your business. But your mention of tracking how one spends their time each day is an area I could improve on.
    Thanks for the nugget. If I can improve one thing every day that’s great progress.

  138. Jerky says

    you are right, but not all people have different ways of doing business. Including the concept that I have, the business will run like a flowing river water. Goes according to existing lines, without any intervention. When there are no obstructions in front, he would turn to avoid a rock and find a way to keep flowing ….

  139. work from home jobs says

    I agree.. it’s necessary to size everything up – however I think it fits more to smaller businesses rather the larger ones

  140. love_shenandoah says

    one hundred percent same with you. although, we are always count the website statistics that we know it’s so not real business. but outthere, we need it. thank you for give us inspirations.

  141. Local Services Expert - Marjorie says

    It’s my first time to visit your blog and this post rocks! I’d like to comment on what you said in one of the comment replies about thinking you’ve failed if the online visitors don’t convert. Sometimes, I get disheartened with no sales, but I can see a rise in my online visitors. That should count, right?

  142. Aaron says

    Very true. Measuring metrics is the key for any business. Without that you are shooting in the dark, measure your performance and analyze which part needs improvement and which can be more monetized. Very useful article Dawud, thanks for posting.

  143. Bodybuilding Advice says

    Couldn’t agree more with this post unfortunately I’m guilt of not tracking and I get pretty annoyed at myself for that so I deffo need to start implementing a tracking plan.

  144. MMO Forums says

    Yeah it’s important to keep track of all spendings and analyzing wether they are worth the costs. Many small rivers can make a huge lake… of waste cash

  145. Get Ex Back says

    Anyone who doesn’t track their business is a huge mistake. I use free websites such as Statcounter to keep track. It works just as well as paid programs.


  146. NessWorld Magazine says

    Has anyone found the best accounting software for running an online business yet? Something that can link up with paypal/alert pay/your own bank account etc.? One that really knocks your socks off?

    I need one that can do all of that, taking into account future payments (from content production) coming in, as well as pending bills plus work earned from freelancing. All with multi currency support. If anyone knows of such a piece of software, that doesn’t require the sale of a limb or bodily organ to finance, then I’d like to hear about it!

    For me, the best tool I have found to track the ‘value’ of my work (the internet stuff, not the freelance design stuff) is google analytics. Rocks. My. World.

  147. DNR Enterprises says

    I completely agree, What You’re Not Measuring Doesn’t Exist. It doesn’t exist for YOU that is! And that’s unfortunate because if you don’t have close eyes on your cost, profits, trends you are not able to cut the fat. In a good market or maybe the beginning of the product life cycle you might be able to get away with “flying blind” but in a recession, or when the ‘tide goes lout’ you will get to see who is “swimming naked.” Every business owner must always have as much information to make the critical decisions to keep the business running strong. This is especially true for website owners and operators.

  148. Margaret says

    I can really appreciate it when you say that goals/objectives should be prioritized in importance so that you’re always leading with the most important objectives. That is SO true! Thanks for stressing this. I just stumbled on this site, and I’m so glad I did. Thanks!

  149. Beth Charette says


    Thanks for this post.

    You know, my main goal is to make a living with my site.

    One of my friends now has over one hundred unique hits on her blog every month.

    Now that’s a measurement she can be proud of. Very very few businesses have that many unique hits.

    Unfortunately, with all that, she makes exactly $200 in ad advertising. That’s it.

    She, like me, has no real skills. I wasted for years at a traditional college and all I have to show for that is a drinking problem and lots of football memories.

    Oh, yes, a $17,000 student loan to pay off which at the current rate will take me 20 years to take care of.

    My brother on the other hand took his degree online, spent his time studying, has a great career, and is supporting me.

    Now, I didn’t get a REAL education as the on-campusers call it to have an on-liner as we call them support me.

    However, with the returns I’m seeing with the kind of measurement my friend showed me, what is my REAL potential online. Doesn’t sound to hopeful no matter how much a measure.

  150. Scooter says

    I’m a small business owner but I try my best to track my business due to some reasons I couldn’t make it happen. As an investor I’m ready to work for hours but the staffs are not cooperating to make it a big success.

  151. Edinburgh Mover says

    As a small business owner I think there is just sometimes too much to do and you can easily become distracted from monitoring aspects of your business.

    For monitoring web visitors however I use Google Analytics, one of the best pieces of software around for that purpose and the best part – it’s FREE! 🙂

  152. David Centeno says

    I have just read your article and luckily I haven’t fallen into this trap. Your marketing advice is spot-on. Need to know where your income is originating from. Thanks Dawud!

  153. Adrian Swinscoe says

    Great post and I completely agree that ‘what gets measured gets managed’. However, I think it is worthwhile to identify what are the key ‘levers’ in your business that will add the most momentum to growth that way it will allow the business to focus on the most important areas and deal with possible analytic overload.

    Best wishes,


  154. Kerry says

    For me, to get correct measuring, I always do a proper research before taking any action for developing my business. Good articles

  155. Razib Ahmed says

    I am a professional blogger and manage a small business in this field. I feel that most website owners whether large or small give enough importance to tracking their business (page views, visitors, epcm etc). The good thing is that there are free tools (Sitemeter, Adsense, Google Analytics etc) for measuring your website’s performance.

  156. alfandi says

    Great thoughts. Measuring is extremely important and without it there is no success. Testing is another important requirement for success of online business but it requires measuring.
    Many thanks for the info.

  157. Nick - News says

    Haha I love my statistics. Working on the web with the tools available the data you can gather is invaluable! I’d say 60% of the time I’m going over statistics.

    Thanks for another great post,


  158. Tom says

    Managing your business is the key, work out what the important metrics are and focus on them – you don’t need to get dominated by data but use what make a different to both your business growth and profits as well as your mental health.

  159. ShilpaSEO says

    Your point is absolutely right. Its really impossible to run an online business without targeting your traffic. You have to make proper plan for it. And I think analytic is very important for every business.


  160. Tucson Tax Accountant says

    As a CPA in Tucson, I find that it’s really hard for my clients to get a handle on exactly where they’re spending (and sometimes ‘spoiling’) their time and energies. It really take being able to implement resources outside of yourself, like an accountant, good clerical personnel, and sometimes even a loving spouse to help you keep track of your vision, and where you might be off. I’m always thrilled to see a client get excited by the simple revelation that a small adjustment in perspective can make.

  161. lesbian dating blog says

    its good to keep track specially with google analytical but yes its better to spend more time promoting and marketing.

  162. rehobothjobs says

    I for one have not had the luxury of huge gains, or much traffic yet, but I still feel the appropriate tracking will make all the difference in success.
    Your right about this one some measurements might as well be written in sandscript.

  163. Digisha Modi says

    I agree with your opinions and suggestions.. nowdays we need to analyse for current market affairs .. about customer requirements before developing any business, really great…

  164. Megan says

    Hi, Dawud!
    I agree with you!
    When you implement your business marketing plan, make sure that you have the marketing tracking tools in place so that you can analyze and evaluate whether your advertising investments have been effective.
    Keep up the good work!

  165. San Diego Website says

    I see this all the time in different forms with a lot with my clients, many of which are local small businesses. Very few even do simple things like ask their clients where they heard about the business from; such a very expensive form of ignorance.

  166. Tabatha Hayes says

    nice thoughts. now this gives me the idea that a business who does not measure his customers doesnt have a customer. i wonder how small business, who doesnt measure the number of their customers, gains?

  167. Lucy says

    Bingo! Although it’s very easy to become obsessed with analysing results – every now and then I have to stop myself and avoid micro-managing everything.

  168. Chris Pontoon says

    Hey There,

    I agree as well that this is a huge item that needs to be measured better. How could any business owner know the true potential without this data.


    Chris Pontoon

  169. Red Bull of Soccer says

    But that is what makes business a business doing what YOU think works. What we may consider something that doesn’t work may be working the someone else opinion so we never know

  170. Reptile Care says

    Your right about this one some measurements might as well be written in sandscript. Thanks for the article 🙂 Excellent.

  171. ecommerce regulations says

    Dawud, Cheryl and Chris above, I completely agree! It’s incredible to think that many folks running their own enterprise or whom are self employed don’t really have a clue how to plan, measure and budget for their business. Running an online business is arguably even harder, as competition is rife and popularity is everything.

  172. Salom Gea says

    Tracking your business is a very boring activity, but that’s one thing that still help your business matter and something you should do. Thank you for the information.

  173. mp3soul says

    Very true Dawud. I’m guilty of analysing things too much if anything – it’s very easy to drown in statistics!

  174. Medical Assistant says

    I’m an obsessive tracker by nature and I love to know how I’m doing and where I can be most effective. There are so many tools out there to choose from, but I totally agree that doing more of what works is the absolute key to success.

  175. Chicago Daily Coupons says

    It is easier said than done. people can easily advice you to do this and that but ultimately we are the ones who’s gotta take the risk. Phew!

  176. Small Business News says

    This is definitely something every business owners should do to keep their business afloat. Kudos for sharing!

  177. Magician Bristol says

    Completely agree. I measure EVERYTHING. The old cliche of “I know 50% of my marketing works, just not necessarily which 50%” doesn’t exist any more. No excuse in 2010 not to track.

  178. Las Vegas Valley Real Estate says

    Keeping track of all these things AND manage your business is a very difficult job. It’s a good idea to hire other people to deligate some of this work from off your shoulders so it doesn’t take away from time you should be putting into running the actual business.

  179. Military Rings says

    One of my favorite things about being an ecommerce owner is that I can track everything with Google Analytics. I’m always digging in and looking at trends, keywords, bounce rates, conversion rates, etc. The data drives many of our decisions.

  180. parirui sportive says

    nice thoughts. now this gives me the idea that a business who does not measure his customers doesnt have a customer. How could any business owner know the true potential without this data.

  181. Seth says

    Very good observations. I’ve never really measured anything in my business (except my debts!) lol!
    I guess there are many more tools available today to make “measuring” relatively easy.
    Thanks for the post.

  182. Fort lauderdale says

    I agree that control is what makes good business profitable business. Without total control over income and outcome it is impossible to build even small empire.

  183. converse skor says

    Well done, I tend to agree with you on that control is key to sucessfully create a profitable business. Measuring is a great way to achieve and maintain good control.

  184. Margaret says

    I am surprised that so many business’ are not tracking. I would think it to be one of the fundamentals for measuring business growth, development and success. Look at any successful business and I’m sure you will find effective methods of financial control.

  185. San Francisco Moving Companies says

    It took me a very long time to understand this concept. I used to run my business without any tracking system at all. When I finally started to pay attention to my day to day activities and my marketing, my business started doing much better. I was able to actually see where business was coming from and how to improve it.


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