While guests are having a great time and seeing everything there is to experience at your site, most of us are watching our bottom line. For every site, no matter what your primary attraction is or what market you serve, staying profitable is key to keeping the doors open. It’s even more crucial at non-profits, which frequently operate on thin margins.

How well do you know your numbers?

Taking a close look at your site’s numbers can be intimidating, and the best way to overcome that is to look at it head on. Checking the numbers daily will increase familiarity with the trends in your business, including seasonal fluctuations, revenue, and expenses.

Which numbers should you be looking at?

All of them! Look at capture rates, attendance, sales, expenses, and upsells. You’re looking to identify which numbers need to be watched on a consistent basis for your business. Once you find out which number is the one that impacts all the others, you’ll want to communicate that to your staff so that they know where you are, and what goal you’re aiming for.

What are you looking for?

As you review your numbers, keep an eye out for three things: trends, anomalies, and influences. Look for numbers that are inconsistent with the others – ones that are surprisingly high or abnormally low. See if you can find the explanation for them in your other statistics. For example, do sales consistently drop in February and peak in July? When your revenues are high, are package sales and capture rates also up? If you want to influence one number, sometimes it helps to start with the other.

What happens when you watch the numbers?

When you begin tracking your numbers as an everyday habit, patterns will begin to emerge that will allow you to plan more effectively for downtimes. Slow periods won’t be the only thing you see. It’s just as crucial to plan to maximize busy periods. This means planning promotions, staffing and events around these natural ups and downs. The more numbers you know, the better you can assess how each factor affects your business. With consistency, the statistics will become less intimidating, and you’ll feel more prepared for every season.