Benchmarking on a page

Some time ago we were working for a client whose turnover was slowly going down, year-on-year. They were losing hope for their business and letting things get to them. It led to stress and negativity about their future.

Whenever we asked, our client told us that the business’ poor results were due to the industry they were working in. At the time, we thought they knew best. After all, we can’t hope to know everything about every industry sector.

However, we did have one thing up our sleeve. We’d started using our one page benchmarking with some other clients. This is just a single sheet of A4, but it can be very useful. Among other things, it includes some benchmarking data, showing our clients’ performance against their competitors.

Running this report for the first time showed us that the top 25% of our client’s competition were actually growing their sales. We also showed how much more their own business would make if they emulated their successful competitors.

We presented our findings, slightly nervous of our client’s reaction. We needn’t have worried as they took it very well. The report gave them fresh focus and impetus. Instead of being negative about the future they felt positive again. It wasn’t long before we made new plans for growth and had to think about investing their new profits.

The story shows how Merlin can help your business, however well or badly it’s performing right now. Having a ‘critical friend’ who understands the numbers that matter can transform things. It might just need a sheet of A4.