Brian Jo

What are good benchmark metrics for a new startup?

Hi all,

New to starting up a business and while I understand all situations are unique, I would like to gauge some benchmark figures and metrics on user acquisition. Its just a vanilla online retail business so I'm guessing user signups would be a lot lower than most social interactions. Is there any research out there that proposes 'XX number of registered users is good for the first Y weeks?'



6 Answers

David Ferris

David Ferris Business Development Executive at Davelcorp Insurance Brokers

There are some tremendous resources available on the "" website which focuses on a "one page business plan . You are extremely astute to recognise that  understanding  key metrics from the outset will position you well for success.

Gregory Ferrett

I suspect your biggest challenge, assuming it is stools and chairs you are selling, is people do not buy them every few weeks.

One thing you might consider, as an online strategy, is offering an ancillary product for people who order AND introduce a new customer. Perhaps a stool cover or something of value but inexpensive.

You may also end up with a large list of people who do not buy at all - just sitting there as Facebook friends or similar. You might want to think of product you could offer them as well. for example. What do people do while sitting on a stool? perhaps they drink coffee? you could add a coffee range, coffee mugs with your logo - or something inspirational. In this way you can keep the list engaged while they move towards that next purchase of stools and chairs.


Duncan Smith

Duncan Smith Director at Business Advice + Tax


Maybe I am an old fashioned accountant.

The most important measure to me for retail whether store or online is to know your Gross Profit Margin.

Ask your accountant for an ATO benchmark or obtain one yourself.

What is the budget for your business and how long can you survive if sales/profit is not meet.

In business, profit is the goal   Sales is a means of making a profit.

I use the word 'reward' with my clients.
What is the 'reward' for your efforts?.
By example, salary plus profit plus salary sacrifice etc

Know your business well    Have a good BAS Agent

Talk often with your Tax Agent have a monthly fixed fee    Use Cloud Accounting

Listening to Ellen tonight on a Current Affair - Tracey Grimshaw asked her audience want they liked most - it was her energy and passion.

Bring lots of energy and passion to your business.

Good Luck.

Duncan Smith
Business Advice + Tax
Dream with an Accountant - bringing life to tax







Brian Jo

That first line you wrote has hit the nail on the head. That is the problem, and even having a large database, would not directly lead to conversions as purchase prices are relatively high and infrequent. Rather it is the word of mouth conversions I would suspect to be most efficient for such items.Would have to tread a fine line between keeping the users informed and not bombarding them with emails so when a friend of a user is in the market for Stools/Chairs, my website would organically spring to mind.

Gregory Ferrett

Tough question.

First time I setup my blog I took six months to get 50 subscribers. I restarted the blog with the same articles and within two weeks had 500 subscribers - go figure!

In Australia 500 registered Australian based users is an awesome number for an online store with new products being added regularly. On ETSY you can see shops with just  200 subscribers making $20,000 a year and shops with 1,000 plus subscribers struggling to make money.

My recommendation, for an Aussie based business selling competitively priced consumables, is to target 200 in the first three months. Of course, if you have more that is great. Keep your target low and be surprised and motivated.



Brian Jo

Thanks Gregory. I guess at the end of the day, quality of subscribers is just as important as number of subscribers. You really need both hand in hand. I currently believe I

- have products that are already proven good sellers in Australia
- have those products priced at below the rest of the market
- will be employing a lowest price beat guarantee

So its a matter of making my website a household name from here.

Brian Jo