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28 Feb 2019

Numbers Every Business Owner Needs to Know

“Know your numbers” is business advice you’ve no doubt heard before. It’s often repeated because it’s great advice. Of course, you need to know your overheads, your sales, your marketing costs. There are plenty of blogs to cover this, but none of them cover some very important operational figures. Here are a few more numbers I think every business owner needs to know.

Numbers every business owner needs to know

Average Call Length

How long do you and your staff spend on the phone?

This is important to know because this number detracts from your productivity. Let’s say your team spend ten minutes a day answering the phone. That doesn’t seem that bad, but five days a week, 52 weeks a year, that’s 2,600 minutes.

Or 43 and a bit hours. Nearly a full working week.

That’s not quite the full picture (an interruption, like a phone call, actually takes away more time than it seems), but how much could an extra week’s work every year add to your bottom line?

Number of Missed Calls

How many calls does your business miss in a day?

Most business owners assume this number is zero, but that’s rarely correct. If that is your response, ask yourself how you know that?

Perhaps, you don’t have any voicemails, and so you think you didn’t miss any calls? Well, about 80% of people won’t leave a business a voicemail.

A missed call doesn’t always leave evidence behind.

You need to be getting this information in an automated report from your phone system every day. There’s simply no other way to reliably get this information.


According to BT, this is the amount that a missed call costs the average business.

That’s an average, so you need to know what this number is for your business. It’s usually safe to assume it’s the same as the lifetime value of a customer as a minimum.

  1. A person can’t reach you on the phone
  2. They can’t become a customer
  3. You lose the lifetime value of that customer

I say it’s usually safe to assume it’s the same as the lifetime value of a customer at a minimum because you can take this further. For example, you can factor in your average rate of referral. If that person had become your customer how many other people might they have referred to you?

There are plenty of ways to get these numbers. A good phone system will get you most of the way there. We use and often recommend a company called Invoco.

Best wishes


Jacqui Frost

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Jacqui Frost

Jacqui Frost

Chief Genie

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Exceeded our expectations

Following our commencement with The Office Genie earlier this year it has been brought to my attention one more than one occasion and by several contacts, how professional and courteous the telephone call handling service is.For a business such as mine, where by we are site based a lot of the time it is essential that we can rely on somebody who can not just answer our calls, but can do so in a way that supports our customer service approach to business and the office genie has so far exceeded our expectations in this area.


As we approach our peak season I am 100% confident that our business will be supported by an answering service that not only picks up calls we are not able to but is able to help assist us in that all important first impression.

Ian Barnsby

Total Facility Solutions LLP