Let me tell you about my vegetable patch.
My wife orders organic food every week and I am a big believer that organic food is far better for you than the food you get from your local supermarket.
After all, you get the nutrients from the soil, right? And the better the soil and less pesticides the better your fruit and veges should be.
Anyway, we have a big backyard, so we thought why not have a shot at growing the veges ourselves.
My brother in law was doing it and we thought it would be fun.
Anyway, the gardens up now.
We're eating fresh lettuce and some herbs. There's a strawberry plant in there my son grew.
And the broccoli plants have shot up like crazy.
But there's one problem. The broccoli plants are getting holes in them like you wouldn't believe.
In the meantime, I'm busy working and not being a gardener, just let it go. I walked up to the plants, took a look and really couldn't see much that was the matter.
But I kept noticing there were these butterflies always hanging around the plants.
Then one of my relatives, Shannon, who is a panel beater came around one day to fix the car. And while he was there he took a look at the vege patch.
And when he took a closer look, I was blown away by all the caterpillars camouflaged onto the plants.
Needless to say, we picked them off, cut off the branches which they'd already chewed to pieces and put some pest spray onto them.
There's a lesson in this, isn't there?
You can learn a lot from taking a closer look.
For instance, this year I started measuring specifically where my sales were coming from.
And it turned out that my sales are coming from:
A. Big clients.
B. People who have been on my email list for some time.
It turned out that people who contacted me out of the blue were not great leads at all.
And the time to pursue them wasn't worth it.
That's valuable information I would not have gained had I not taken a closer look.
Now I know exactly what it's worth when I lock in a meeting (on average) which is absolutely vital information I can use to forecast my sales.
And there's a whole lot of statistics I think every business should gather including:
cost per lead from different sources conversion rate of lead to sale value of a sale from different sources (i.e., is a customer from a newspaper ad worth more than a customer from a TV ad?)
Conversion rate when you charge for an appointment versus offering an appointment at no charge
Conversion rate of each web site (what happens if you change the offer - can you improve it)
... because when you start doing this sort of thing you eliminate your wastage in advertising.
Remember, look from a distance and your business could get eaten away by sloppy measurement practices.
But get close to your "business garden" and you will grow an amazing crop which will feed your family for years to come.
The choice is yours.