With so many variables across industries and business life stages to consider, a one-size-fits-all approach to KPIs will never succeed.
The most important metrics are those most closely related to what investors expect. For private companies this means tracking the KPIs that owners and financers need to make sound decisions. While the specifics can vary between businesses, the common thread is analyzing metrics which can inform short-term and long-term operations.
Overarching business goals such as profitability or liquidity will also influence KPI choices because KPIs can address different business objectives.