For a small business owner, learning what is happening within the company could be easier said than done. While tools like a financial plan are fantastic for keeping everything on track, there are also other critical factors that are needed for an in-depth analysis.

Most businesses should follow several key data points, and there are a number of great ways for management to do just that. From mobile applications to ambitious decision-making, small business owners should always take a hard look at their own company before growing.

Numbers that are crucial for a startup
All massive corporations have to start somewhere, and regardless of the owner's goals – whether to reach a specific level of success, or just craft a well-respected local firm – there are several numbers that are worthy of attention.

For starters, every owner should watch pipeline coverage, according to Inc. magazine. This is where all the prospects are kept, as well as a projected sales amount and probability of closing the deal. Therefore, it pays to update and monitor these figures closely. Each one is essentially an estimate of how likely the customer is to complete a sale, but they also provide good indicators of overall growth and profit.

In addition, sales per employee should also be looked at, Inc. magazine noted. It is the gross number of sales divided by the number of employees, and it can help a small business owner understand how fast the company is growing – and if everything is headed in the right direction. The customer payback period is also critical, because it shows if each new client is profitable. The quicker a firm can recover the costs, the faster they'll grow.

Mobile apps to help manage information
Once a small business owner understands what the company is doing and where it is headed, the entire process could be simplified with easy-to-use mobile apps. This technology can help manage financial tips and keep everything under control.

One ideal tool is Evernote, according to Forbes. This app utilizes cloud computing, so a user can write on a smartphone or tablet and pick up where they left off somewhere else on another device. A small business owner could store photos, notes, text and voice memos from anywhere.

Another useful app is Google Drive. Also cloud-based, Drive is a great file-sharing tool for companies to pass information from one person to another quickly. Notes on business banking could be stored and edited by relevant personnel, and it streamlines the entire process.