to your industry or a competitor
Keep it simple, look at fundamental measures: sales revenue, gross sales margin, net profit margin, capital expenditures, tax rates and the cost of capital.
Restated: how much do you bring in, how efficient are you at selling, how efficient are you with all overhead included, what does it cost to offer more products to customers, are you getting the best tax break, and how much does it cost you to borrow money or raise cash through stock offerings?
What is the trend overtime - tell the market place story
Compare your numbers to your industry's averages over time for these fundamental measures, e.g., sales per square foot (sales revenue), incremental inventory per new customer (a capital cost), etc. Plot back as many years as you can, at least five.
The example below is Bur-Mart versus the industry average on sales per square foot.
Click show me to see the story.