UPDATE: since we wrote this post, we have made some changes…
So, for the most current list go to : Top 30 SME KPIs


Use these Top 27 SME KPIs to assess the performance of your business.

Keeping your Eyes on your Prize

This list is by no means comprehensive and there are only indicators – use this information to highlight where to investigate further.




Ten Financial Indicators

  1. Profitability – Profit Margin
  2. Solvency – Current Ratio
  3. Gearing – Debt to Equity Ratio
  4. Work-in Progress – WIP Turnover
  5. Debtors – Debtors
  6. Fixed Costs – Fixed Cost Ratio
  7. Variable Costs – Gross Margin
  8. Performance against Budget and Cost – variance reviews
  9. Costs as a % of Revenue – payroll, advertising & marketing
  10. Costs per employee – rent, stationery, travel, phone etc.


Seven Business Performance Indicators

These will vary from business type to business type; these apply to ALL businesses:

  1. Performance against SLAs
  2. Quality of product or service
  3. Delivery against project and program schedule
  4. Response Rates – Inquiries to customer resolution
  5. ROI
  6. Service Availability metrics – up-time, speed, errors etc.
  7. Accuracy of reporting – Tax office reports, Payroll runs, etc

Seven Business Generation Indicators

  1. Revenue breakdown by Customer
  2. Revenue Breakdown by Service/Product type
  3. Revenue Sources – lead generation information
  4. Employee Productivity – Sales per Employee = Annual Sales divided by average number of Full Time Equivalent Employees
  5. Client and Referral channels – social media, website, forums etc.
  6. New Business v repeat v referral ratios
  7. Number of Referrals by source


Three External Indicators

  1. Risk – Reducing frequency and impact – consider, market, economic, geographic and demographic risks
  2. Benchmarking – industry comparisons
  3. Resource availability – what scarcity is impacting inputs into your process

NOTE these are not personal performance indicators and so they apply to the business overall, not any one staff member.

Do you have other Business Vitals?

Should this list be 30 or 40 or only 15, your comments and input are always welcome…