How to Use Financial Data to Grow Your Business

Nov 6, 2021 | Best of the Best, Listen

How to Use Financial Data to Grow Your Business

We all know that data is crucial to the financial health of any growing business.

You’re probably sitting on a mountain of financial data right now – including historical sales, your current balance sheet, profit and loss (P&L) statements, and more.

But is it “good” data? Is it accurate, timely, and correct? Or is it erroneous, disorganized, and unclear? Poor financial data can be highly damaging to your business. Often, business owners and founders don’t even know the data they are working with is bad, and the company fails despite all efforts.

However, there is a solution: to work on your data so that it can work for you. Good data can provide the insights you need to increase productivity, sales, and profits.

But how can you turn your financial data data into profit? What does that look like? What are the steps to harness the power of data to help you connect the financial dots of your growing business?

Today, our guest is Lynn Corazzi, the “Data Magician” and owner of Data2Profit Consulting.

We took a closer look at how to use your financial data to the advantage of your growing business and create sound business strategies.

Key Insights for this week’s episode

  • 2:50 What’s the difference between accounting and finance?

  • 3:55 Common misconceptions about financial data and decision making.

  • 5:25 What to consider and how to act when using financial data for sales strategy.

  • 9:30 When does it make sense to sell certain products or services at a loss?

  • 15:30 Shifting from reactive to proactive leadership and business management styles.

  • 23:50 How do business owners and founders develop financial confidence?

  • 27:07 The differences between revenue, profit, and cash.

  • 32:50 What to focus on when onboarding a new client or business?

  • 38:55 What is the next tangible step business owners can take in the next week or so to get them to be more proactive and have clean financial data in their business?

Common misconceptions about financial data and decision making

  • Many don’t have a clue about what their data is all about.
  • For example, many only see high summary results – the P&L, and equate them with the whole story – it’s not.
  • Founders don’t “rip data apart” or go down to the invoice level to check by customer or product, to find out what caused both increases and fallouts in sales, and to identify possible sales gaps that need filling.
During sales analysis, remember RAPS: Retention of customers, Acquisition of customers, Product penetration, and Same-store sales.

What to consider and how to act when using financial data for sales strategy.

1. Look deeper into your customer data and the customer characteristics

2. Find out the average sales or orders your customers make and analyze if you would instead grow your business by selling more to the same number of customers or selling the same amount to a much larger number of customers.

3. Refer to your business RAPS:

  • RRetention of customers

Check where your sales are coming from. Is it mainly new customers? That’s good, but don’t forget your existing customers. Check up on how they are doing and stay proactive to keep their business.

  • AAcquisition of customers

Get new sales by finding and maintaining a steady stream of new customers. Listen and discover what else your market is asking for, what they need that they can probably get from somebody else – why not from you?

  • P Product penetration

Aim to have a wider variety of your products and services – including those which customers don’t even know they need until they see it – available and on hand – also to encourage impulse buys. Some examples of these:

  • All the candy by the checkout counter
  • Adding pool floaties when selling big and small bikes to complete the summer theme
  • Placing ketchup bottles by the mustard if it’s hot dog season
  • S Same-store sales

Monitor and check if your customers are buying more or less of the same products vs. a year ago for example.

“When your transactions (data) are accurate, your statements are accurate, then your forecasting can be accurate.” – Lynn Corazzi

Shifting from reactive to proactive leadership and business management styles

1. Ask the following questions:

  • What’s going on with your business?
  • What data/KPIs are you looking at?
  • Who uses and accesses your data beyond your accounting staff?
  • What do you think your pain points are?
  • Do you have the information needed to dig into/analyze?
  • What are you doing with the information available to you today?

2. Determine your overall success rate.

Understand who you are winning with and who you are not – despite all your efforts.

3. Check your profitability.

4. Evaluate your capacity.

Do you have enough people on your team to grow your business effectively?

The decision based on bad data is worse than the bad decision itself

How do business owners develop financial confidence?

Developing financial confidence is a natural evolution of starting and working on a business.

Over time, you’ll receive monthly statements and reports and develop a basic understanding through conversations with your (typically outsourced) accountant.

As your business grows and expands, you’ll hire an in-house accountant, accounting manager, and a controller and eventually engage with part-time, fractional CFOs. As you spend more time with them, you will gain the confidence to perform business and performance analyses and make better decisions, hopefully leading to more profits.

“I would never tell a business leader not to trust your gut. Because you have an intuitive sense of what’s really driving your business, but occasionally test it, validate it.” – Lynn Corazzi

Actionable Step

1. Accept that you can’t do “everything, everywhere,” to increase your sales and expand your business. So focus and identify what you can do to get a small win because that small win will give you the confidence to take another step.

2. Make sure you tell your team what you’re doing and why, and what it’s going to mean to them. This will reassure them that you are working on your data to improve the organization and that it isn’t about them – but about the whole company collectively getting smarter.

3. Stress the fact that you want them all to have better information going into a sales pitch, for example, so that they are ready to go without spending hours and hours prepping for the meeting to find the data needed.

4. Aim to get people the correct information when they need it, in the format that they need it, which will be the most useful to them because ultimately, that’s how you get the buy-in.

Try to identify what you can do to get a small win. Because that small win will give you the confidence to take another step.


Data is the foundation of the financial health of your business.

It must be clear and accurate to prevent making bad decisions based on inaccurate data. You can turn your data into profit by harnessing the valuable insights it provides.

To effectively make this happen in your business:

  • Don’t be afraid to rip your data apart by asking questions and drilling down to the invoice level, checking customers and product sales information to gain a deeper understanding of your sales trends.

  • Always refer to your business RAPS when using your data to come up with a sales strategy:
    • Retention of customers
    • Acquisition of customers
    • Product penetration
    • Same-store sales

  • Aim to become proactive versus reactive when running your business by asking all the pertinent questions, understanding your overall success rate, checking your profitability, and evaluating your capacity.

  • Don’t be afraid to dive deep into your financial data. You might feel lost initially, but over time, you will develop financial confidence via the constant interaction you will have with your accounting and finance-related team members.

  • Temper your “enthusiasm” and accept that you can’t do “everything, everywhere”. Focus on small wins since they will encourage you to keep going.

  • And finally, get the right information to those who need it – when they need it, in the correct format most beneficial to them – so they can focus on pitching and closing sales instead of finding data.


Read More

About Lynn Corazzi

Fractional Finance Expert & Owner

Data2Profit Consulting

Lynn Corazzi is also known as “The Data Magician” and owns Data2Profit Consulting.

He helps small and medium-sized businesses make more money with their data by sharing financial ideas and tools typically only available in large corporations. He goes beyond the numbers provided by bookkeepers and accountants.

He also brings his unique ability in helping clients think of the big picture while at the same time digging into the details of their results. When you feel you have a lot of numbers around but no answers, Lynn will make those numbers work as hard as you do.

Website –


About host – Kathy Svetina

Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing small businesses with $10M+ in annual revenue.

Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.

She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.

Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.

Explore More

How to Hire Your Best Employees

How to Hire Your Best Employees

Kristie Holmes and Kathy Svetina share why businesses are short-staffed and why it’s hard to find the right people on the Help, My Business is Growing podcast.

Table of Contents