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Arbolus Journey
July 7, 2020

Why Does Anyone Use KPI Metrics in the First Place?

Sam Glasswell

Earlier this year we set about building a metrics dashboard in the build-up to our Series A. Here’s what we included for our invest and why.

A few months ago, an investor asked us, “what are the business metrics you really care about?”.

We thought long and hard about that question. Why does anyone use metrics in the first place?

What’s the point in metrics?

Clearly, metrics are useful in telling management and investors about the financial health of a company (sometimes misrepresented in the P&L), customer stickiness, efficiency of customer acquisition etc. But shouldn’t they also be used in helping track your progress against your own specific company goal?

In our view, this is why out of the box metric templates don’t work.

They aren’t specific enough and we want to ensure that we track the metrics that matter to us the most. So, with the help of our Finance Associate, we built our own Arbolus KPI Dashboard.

Here’s what we measure:

1) Goal metrics

At Arbolus, we believe in the power of sharing experience and removing the barriers that prevent experiences being shared. That's why we set ourselves a Big Hairy Audacious Goal this year of 1 million matches by 2021. 

So the most important metric for us is: How many matches are we making?Followed by the 2nd most important metric; Where are these matches coming from?

To make 1 million matches we need our Hyperion matching engine to be working, so we want to measure the % of matches Hyperion makes.

2) Financial metrics

  • Revenue growth
  • Revenue (Net of any money paid to experts which, for us as a SaaS business, isn’t revenue)
  • Gross margin %
  • Revenue performance against plan (We think it's important to show investors that you deliver on plan. Most people say forecasts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Ours are!)
  • Costs (Burn rate, cash left, cost breakdowns etc.)
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR, our predictable revenue)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost Payback (Sometimes the P&L can be misleading since our CAC might be high but we are interested in seeing the potential of this in the future. This will gives us a sense of how the business unfolds as it scales)
  • Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost (It’s a long name! But this metric will tell us how profitable our business will be at maturity)

3) Customer metrics

  • Customer retention rate MoM
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Active clients
  • New clients
  • Revenue by customer type and geography  (As we want to make sure that our clients are as diverse as possible)

What's next?

Initially, we built our Arbolus dashboard in a Google Sheet. Then upgraded to Google Data Studio to make it more dynamic. We use the dashboard to give existing and prospective investors better insights about Arbolus, but most importantly, to measure our progress against our own goals.

At Arbolus - we believe in sharing and are always keen to hear new ideas and learn. If you’d like to learn more, either as a future investor or an interested entrepreneur, please reach out and don’t be shy!

Sam Glasswell

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About Arbolus

Arbolus is a knowledge-sharing platform investors and consultants use to collect more insights from the best experts, in less time.

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