Do you collect meaningful information about your training business, your contracts and clients? Or do you sometimes feel like you’re shooting in the dark when it comes to marketing or pitching for new clients?

Perhaps you have a collection of data – metrics from social media, reports from Google Analytics, feedback from training, etc. – but don’t really know how to capitalise on them.

If so, I’ve written this two-part blog just for you (you can find part two here). This week, I’m looking at the information you can extract from your client list and financial records and what it can tell you.

Client data

Data protection rules under GDPR mean that you can only collect as much data about your clients as you need to provide the services you offer. However, once someone becomes a client, there is nothing to stop you asking for feedback about your services or information about how they found you.

If you look at your current client list, you can begin to build up a picture of where your marketing efforts are working or where you’re attracting referrals.

You can directly ask clients questions such as:

  • How did you hear about my services?
  • What factors were important to you when looking for a trainer?
  • Did you visit my website before you called/emailed me?

You could choose to do this via email or by creating a quick survey using a free tool such as SurveyMonkey.

Other data should also be available within your records. For example:

  • Is there a certain time of year when you take more training bookings?
  • Do clients contact you in response to world/industry events, legislation or restructuring?
  • Do your clients all have a similar budget?
  • Do your clients express distinct preferences for how or where you provide training?

Tip: Create an Excel document where you can build up an overview of your client base. Things like their business size, needs, budget, preferences, etc. can all help you to build up a picture of the common ground that might become your niche. It can also help you identify your ideal client.

Financial data

If you use accounting software such as Quickbooks, Kashflow or Sage, you can tap into a wealth of data about your own business and your clients.

For example:

  • Identify your most valuable client/who uses your services the most – you could use this information to create a package aimed at this client or to add a special VIP service for them
  • Identify which clients take longer to settle your invoices – you could decide to build in a five percent discount to clients who pay within seven days as an incentive for quicker payments (just don’t forget to build that five percent into your original quote)
  • Pinpoint your busiest and quietest times of the year (a 12-month overview of your invoices should show you clear peaks and troughs) – you could use this information to market an exclusive deal for bookings during a typically quieter period; it will also help you plan your cash flow
  • Purchase histories of individual clients – this can help you to pre-empt your clients’ needs

Accounting software can also help you to keep tabs on when your invoices are due, monitor repeat outgoing payments to your suppliers and much more.

Tip: Take 10 minutes to look through the reports available in your accounting software. You might be surprised by the information available. As well as noting what’s there, write down what the data tells you and how you can use it to grow your business.

Identify your purpose for collecting data

From your client and financial data alone, you can hopefully see that it’s important to connect what your data tells you with a reason why this matters to your training business.

As I’ve mentioned, client data can help you to build up a picture of your target audience, as well as refining your services or setting your prices. Financial data can help you to identify your highest value clients, plan your cash flow and generally feel more in control of your business.

Join me for Part Two when I’ll be taking a look at the data and insights available for your website, social media marketing and from training feedback and how you can use them to underpin your marketing strategy.

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