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Benchmarking is defined as the measurement of business practices and metrics and comparing them to other companies, departments, etc. to understand where a company needs to make changes. Benchmarking has four main categories: internal, external, practice and performance. In short, benchmarks allow a company to grade itself on its performance. They can reveal what departments or processes are keeping up with or lagging behind other companies.

What Small and Midsize Businesses Need to Know About Benchmarking

For SMBs, benchmarks are a practical way to compare aspects of their operation to competitors and industry standards. Organizations have difficulty improving if they do not understand what they are doing right and where they are struggling. Benchmarks also are a way to grade a company and its various departments. SMBs can easily get the tools to develop their own benchmarks, so the practice is achievable for them.

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