Everybody loves the promise of a "one size fits all" solution. But the reality is that no two natural businesses are alike and each requires different solutions.
A lot of solution providers claim to offer all the answers for you to grow your business. There are a plethora of topline/canned reports that are a great, quick, overview of your competition, their sales performance, the market and anything that might affect your sales.
At first glance, topline reports will answer some of your important questions. However, the challenge is that your business is a lot more complex than any canned or topline reports can address.
That's because topline reports:
- Are designed to work for everyone equally—including your competition
- Do not give you a competitive advantage
- Are generic and do little to answer most pressing business questions
- Are frequently hard to read and understand
- Don't provide actionable insights
Most solution providers offer little support, if any, on such reports. All the data in the world is only as good as the person who interprets it, which is why it's wise to consult with an expert who can help you maximize your results.
Data that helps grow your business
Imagine reading a report that tells you that your business is healthy nationally, but fails to identify threats and specific markets where you're losing share to your competition. Wouldn't it be more helpful to identify a potential threat before the competitors take your sales? The right reports will help you proactively manage your business and crush your competition.
Important questions you need answered to effectively grow your business:
- How is your brand performing at retail?
- Do you have full distribution at key retailers?
- Can you properly support promotions with enough on-hand inventory?
- How is your brand performing in each market?
- How healthy is your brand compared to the competition?
- How is your competition doing and are they outperforming your brand?
- Is there a hidden opportunity to reach more customers?
- Are your promotions attracting new customers?
- Is your pricing strategy attracting sustainable sales?
- Are your promotions driving sales, growing your brand and are they profitable?
- Are your customers selecting your competitors when you're out-of-stock?
- What steps do you need to take to become the preferred vendor?
Topline/canned reports are like a box lunch on an airplane while ad hoc reports are like a gourmet meal from a five star restaurant.
What questions are you trying to answer? Seek an expert who can create custom reports that provide answers to these questions that are key to the success of your business.