PSU Insight

The Importance of "Running the Numbers"

Developing Your Own Numbers

Now it’s fine to say “run the numbers!” But what do you do when you don’t have any numbers to run? What if you don’t know how your customers will respond to your offer? What if you don’t know how many widgets you’re going to sell?

If you think you can’t run the numbers because you don’t have numbers to run, think again.

Admittedly, some numbers are better than others, but you can almost always come up with something to work with. The next several sessions explore different ways of coming up with numbers for you to run, but let's start with —

If you do have the numbers, use them.

Where do you get these numbers? Past experience — yours and other people’s. Using your own numbers is probably the best thing to do. They can be the easiest to get your hands on, and they can be more relevant to your current situation.

But other people’s numbers can also serve you well. Just make sure that their situation closely resembles your own.

For example, if you’ve done a postcard mailing before and you’ve always gotten a conversion rate between 1% and 3%, then those are pretty good numbers to work with on a new postcard marketing campaign. (Use both numbers — 1% for the worst case scenario and 3% for the best case.)

But if you don’t have your own past-experience numbers to work from, use somebody else’s numbers. If you’re preparing to do a postcard campaign, ask your trusted advisers or members of your mastermind group if they’ve ever done postcard marketing. If they have, get their numbers and use them.

If your advisers can’t help you, then turn to one of your fellow professionals — someone whom you’ve met at a National Speakers Association convention, for example. Or research the Internet. Or there’s tons of marketing data available for sale from various marketing professionals.

Wherever you get your numbers from, try to have a situation that’s as close as possible to yours. Someone who’s done a postcard marketing campaign for a $10,000 bootcamp may have excellent numbers, but they won’t necessarily be appropriate to someone who wants to hawk $20 CD albums.