5 Essential KPIs That Every Professional Service Business Should Measure

Posted on 30th March 2017 in KPIs

Written by Freya Hughes

If you’ve obtained special training in your field, then you’re labelled as being in the professional services industry. In this broad sector, it’s no surprise that KPIs are actually quite niche when you dive deeper. This blog gets you started with 5 essential KPIs to monitor in your business.

We’re obsessed with metrics (as you may have noticed) and our KPI Library has hundreds of niche KPIs that you can use to measure aspects of your business. We spoke to our client, digital agency Komodo, a while back who gave us a great account of how swing factors can cause huge upheaval to the discourse of his operation. As their MD says, the focus for you should be on delivering your services, not wasting hours on forecasting – and that’s where FUTRLI can help. You can read the full case study here. But for now, here are our top pick of professional industry KPIs, because what’s measured is managed.


1. Sales: actual vs forecast

Compare your actual figures with your forecasted figures to see if your business is heading in the right direction. If you were to only compare your figures monthly, let’s say, then by the time you reach month end, it would be too late to repair any losses. Your forecast is about the future and what can be achieved. Using your actual data to see how far you need to go to reach your goal, you’ll be able to implement changes to get your business on course for your target.

You’ll need to have clarity when it comes to the future to grow sustainably. Measure your success with ease by breaking your figures down to shorter time frames. Forecasting is a step towards growing your sales and your business. When you’re ready, construct a 3-way forecast (which include profit & loss, your balance sheet and cash flow statement) which will help you focus on the most vital part of running your business – your cash flow forecast. Discover how forecasting can work for you.

2. Client satisfaction

Quite simply, the more satisfied your clients/customers are, the more likely they’ll return to you, thus increasing your profits. You need to be aware of how much time and revenue you should spend on managing your client accounts. Existing clients should take up less of your time than winning back or gaining new clients. Measure your clients’ worth in terms of how long their contract is, therefore giving you an idea of how much cash they bring in for you per month. Once you know this, you can focus on winning back past clients and, of course, hunting for new ones. You’ll be able to approach these clients with confidence as you’ll know how long – and how much – time and effort to spend on them. See how forecasting can help you manage your time and cash effectively.

3. Wage %

Wage expenditure is a crucial KPI to measure. Consider your rates by skill level – a junior member of staff may be cheaper but a more experienced employee will save you precious time in training. Calculate your revenue per employee here. Of course, if the figures are not stacking up then you still have options. Using sites such as Upwork and People Per Hour you’re able to find freelancers which will allow you to pay per hour or on a project.

4. Return on assets vs return on excess cash

Here, your focus should be on your return on assets because your assets are an investment with an expected return. Excess cash will just sit in your account not helping you make more, so reinvest it to grow. Conversely, if your cash is diminishing then ensure there’s enough to cover your outgoings and then try to increase your income as soon as possible. FUTRLI can help you prepare a forecast or prepare scenarios to prepare for potential impact on your cash flow.

5. Project margins (per service)

You need to be able to tell if you can afford to deliver the service a client has ordered. Have you priced it correctly? Is there enough cash to cover the service or project, plus all your other outgoings? If you’re not sure, use a forecast to give yourself an idea of how much cash is required to cover all outgoings.

You’re running a business so don’t forget the inevitable “surprises” either, make sure your planning is comprehensive.


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