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Countless people are continuously looking for ways to improve their businesses. There are numerous software tools, accounting reports and research strategies that they use to determine how well their business is doing. The following include the most common tools that are used in nearly every industry.

Analytics

Analytics is a display of data that shows business trends and changes over time. The data is interpreted, analyzed and used to predict future business results. The main areas include predictive, prescriptive analytics, cognitive and descriptive analytics. Web analytics is a popular form of analysis that website owners use to analyze the effectiveness of their websites.

Financial Reports

In accounting, financial reports are made to review the savings, expenditures and investments that are put into a business. Cash flow statements indicates the amount of cash that is saved and spent, and balance sheets show the company’s assets, liabilities and equity. Reviewing financial statements is necessary to evaluate the current success of a company and predict its potential for one, five or 10 years in the future.

Customer Surveys

Satisfying the customers is a top priority for every company. Surveying is the only effective method to understand the customers’ needs. A customer survey has questions and answers that make it easier to evaluate a persons’ true feelings and opinions about a certain product or service.

Performance Evaluations

Every employee should undergo regular evaluations of his or her work performances. It’s the employer’s responsibility to remain vigilant about every employee who is doing a good or bad job and create a written outline of any improvements that need to be made. The feedback should be positive and constructive to help the employee improve.

Competitors

Analyzing nearby competitors is necessary to compare their levels of success with one’s own. Website owners can learn how high their pages rank on search engine results pages. Small business owners should review the strengths and weaknesses of every competitor in the neighborhood. Hiring an industry-specific expert, such as a business consultant, is recommended to gain deeper insights into how businesses succeed or fail.

In today’s business world, success is never determined by guessing. It includes an accurate and timely overview of data and information about a business’s sales, expenses, profits and all other activities. Just as importantly are tools to collect, analyze and manage this information with the highest level of accuracy.