- Players: Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor
- Company: SweepSouth
- Past skills: Software developer and researcher (with a PhD in human genetics)
- Launched: 2014
- Visit: sweepsouth.com
Why have metrics been so important for the growth of your business?
We believe metrics should be at the heart of every growth strategy. As a researcher Aisha’s background was lab work, using the principles of process engineering. You experiment and then measure your results against your expected outcomes.
When we launched SweepSouth we approached data in the same way. This is a data-driven technology platform for ordering, managing and paying for home cleaning services online that matches cleaners with clients; it’s a completely different industry, but the process of tracking data holds true.
What do you attribute successes and failures to if you don’t know what you’re measuring, or the outcomes that you’re looking for?
Where should businesses start?
That’s very dependent on the company and its industry, but customer feedback is always a good place to start. Data is just information. Too many business owners and managers see it as intimidating. It’s not.
Just start with something — one small unit of measurement. Once you’ve got that, build on it. You’ll be amazed at what you can do and the decisions you can make once you have data at your fingertips. Information is power.
Is there a right way and a wrong way to collect data?
The main thing is to use it appropriately for your business’s lifecycle. We launched with an MVP, so our early data points were related to refining our product. Now we measure different things that will help us grow the business. It’s easy to get blindsided by plans and ideals.
I don’t believe we are unique in our propensity to overcomplicate things without stopping and listening to feedback. You need to take the time to stop and listen to your customers. If you look at the overall data available to you, is what you’re doing satisfying goals and projections?
How do you determine what you should be measuring?
You need to know your business and what your ‘north star’ is. What’s important to you? What will drive business growth? For us, how many bookings we receive per month is important.
We break this down into new and returning customers; returning customers indicate how well our service providers perform on a customer satisfaction level, while new customers reveal how well our marketing and sales efforts are working. Both are important metrics.
How do you stay focused?
This goes back to knowing what your north star is, and then being ruthless in sticking to it. We encourage healthy debate in our organisation.
New employees in particular are able to look at how we do things with fresh eyes and make valuable suggestions, but then everything gets evaluated according to our north star. This lets us know what we are measuring the idea against. Will it impact this key area? If it won’t, we don’t put focus and energy into it.
How have metrics improved your business?
Most notably by showing us that we shouldn’t presume to know what our customers want. Our first algorithm had customers picking a date for their cleaning service.
Carefully monitoring how the site was used revealed an important detail about customer behaviour that we had missed. Many users would switch dates if it meant getting a specific cleaner. Initially, this wasn’t an option, and so people would leave the site and try again later.
Adjusting the algorithm to allow them to find when a cleaner was available upped our returning customers. It was such an important discovery, and all because we measure metrics.
These matches are really based on asking the right questions, so we are refining those all the time as well. Because of this, we keep tracking the success of what we’re doing. We never take anything for granted. It’s an internal mantra of the business to assume we can keep doing things better — and then finding a way to do it.