Today we are announcing the release of quarterly industry benchmarks on an aggregate of all FreshBooks users as well as a handful of the more popular FreshBooks users’ industries.
We’re releasing these benchmarks because the professionals that FreshBooks serves do not have access to the kind of performance information most other industries take for granted. The service oriented professionals that FreshBooks serves – web designers, copy writers, dog walkers, management consultants, magicians, interior designers, ISPs, computer technicians – can’t go to places like Dun and Bradstreet and buy a report about their industry. Even if they did, they’d find the metrics covered to be mostly useless to their way of evaluating the day to day performance of their business, so I’m hopeful that business owners will use this data to steer their business in the right direction in any kind of weather.
For those of you who are familiar with FreshBooks, you may know our report card service (a different, more detailed and account specific service) gives FreshBooks account holders a quarterly snapshot of their business based on a handful of useful metrics (average time to collect payment, etc). For those FreshBooks account holders that share their profession with us, we go further and compare your metrics against those of other businesses in your profession and tell you what percentile of the group you fall into.
There is more about the industry data we’ll be posting quarterly from now on in the new industry benchmarking section of our site. Please note that FreshBooks account holders have access to far richer data than is available in the industry benchmarks because they get it at the profession level – not the industry level – and because we deliver more metrics to them than we offer publicly.
What you do with the insights you get from your report card is up to you. In the video below I tell the story of Terry, an IT professional I met at a customer dinner who used his report to change the way he runs his business based on what he learned about himself when we was compared to his peers.