How to set actionable metrics as a startup

This should be step one when you're starting a business, even if you don't have a solid idea of what you're doing. Defining goals and metrics is really the only way you're going to be able to tell if you're on the right path to something that you want to create and something that will be successful.

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    Startup Financial Planning Spreadsheet (Google Docs version)

    This is a financial planning spreadsheet you can use. Click File then "Make a Copy" to create a duplicate version of this to edit and save for your own. 

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    Google Spreadsheet Version of the KPI Metrics Dashboard

    To use this, open it up, click on File. Then, select "Make a Copy". Save this copy to your Google Drive account. Now, you can edit it as you wish!&nbsp;<br><br>This is an example of a metrics dashboard for an early stage software as a service company.&nbsp;

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    A KPI dashboard for early-stage startups

    This is an explanation of a dashboard you can set up to measure your progress. Again, this is particularly tailored to a software as a service business. However, if you're creating a different type of business, perhaps this could provide you some insight on how to set everything up. I'll also attach the Google Spreadsheet version of this so you can edit it.&nbsp;

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    How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

    Lifetime value simply represents the amount of revenue you can expect to make from your average customer. There is a way you can calculate. This article provides detailed definitions for a few metrics including lifetime value and customer acquisition costs.&nbsp;

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    How to Use a Single Metric to Run Your Startup

    The One Metric That Matters (or OMTM) is a single number that you care the most about at the current stage of your startup. This is a good way to draw a line in the sand and understand exactly what's most important when you're starting out. KissMetrics always has excellent articles on this subject.&nbsp;

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    Digging Deeper into Lean Business Model Canvases

    How to stay lean with your metrics and use it to your advantage.&nbsp;

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    Lean Startup Metrics & Analytics Presentation

    Another great presentation on setting up metrics and analytics.&nbsp;

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    Lean Canvas - use this

    Use this to really map out what you're doing and what matters. It's free, and a nice piece of software.

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    The Practice Guide to Startup Metrics

    A detailed guide in plain english on how startups can measure their progress. Written by the founder if Informly, Dan Norris.&nbsp;

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    The Angel VC: Financial planning for SaaS startups

    This is an explanation of a very similar model to how Zendesk set up one of their first financial planning sheets. Financial planning is obviously pivotal when looking into your metrics. You probably should know if you're running out of money.&nbsp;

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    A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters

    I understand this is pretty complex, and not every business is a software as a service business. This post, however, goes into really nice detail about how to set up actionable metrics and tie them in with your financials.<br><br>"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it"

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    The only things that matter in a startup

    Another introductory article, this goes into detail about how important product/market fit is in your success. Three important terms to understand are, the caliber of a startup's team, the quality of a startup's product, and the size of a startup's market.&nbsp;

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    Startup Metrics for Pirates - Dave McClure

    This probably the most popular piece of literature for startup metrics. Read through this presentation in it's entirety.&nbsp;

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    9 Metrics to Help You Make Wise Decisions about Your Start-Up

    This is an outstanding article written by KissMetrics explaining soem of the most important metric measurements when starting out.&nbsp;<br><br>Revenue is the most important metric when it comes to starting a business. But it's not the only metric you should be concerned with. Of course, some companies have gotten very creative when it comes to justifying their business model to investors, but I don't think those are the kinds of metrics you should be paying attention to, especially if you want to succeed.

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    Understanding the Cost of Customer Acquisition

    You need to understand how much it costs to bring in a customer that generates revenue for your business.&nbsp;In the many thousands of articles advising entrepreneurs on what they have to focus on to build successful startups, much has been written about three key factors: team, product and market, with particular focus on the importance of product/market fit. Failure to get product/market fit right is very likely the number 1 cause of startup failure.

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    How to Create a Business that Prints Money | Forever Jobless

    This is a good starting point for getting in the mindset of what's important when launching or researching a company. Written by Billy Murphy, author of the blog Forever Jobless, this post explains the two most important steps of getting started if you plan on making any money.&nbsp;<br><br>1) Create something of value<br>2) Locate your potential audience&nbsp;<br><br>Metrics don't have to be complex, but they should be specific. Start here, and understand where your focus needs to be, then we'll jump into setting up real number.&nbsp;

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