Running your business is like driving a car.
When it comes to driving, part of the routine is to check it’s in good working condition before jumping behind the wheel.
You’ll also find a dashboard that will display critical data, such as the temperature of the engine or the amount of fuel in the tank. It also alerts you if there are any issues before setting out, such as an open door, an unfastened seatbelt, or a problem with the engine.
While the dashboard cannot fix the issue for you, it can certainly let you know so you can tend to the problem and fix it before moving forward.
Your business works the same way
Without that car dashboard, you’d be nervous to drive, right?
The same goes for a business. The unknown while “driving” it can keep you in a constant state of worry.
As a business owner myself, I understand that feeling. With what-ifs and anxious thoughts about your business swirling around in your head, some nights, it’s a struggle to get even just a few minutes of sleep.
However, just like the driving analogy, you and your business can benefit from utilising a dashboard that allows you to identify problems early and make adjustments accordingly, helping to reduce your anxious thoughts, streamline your operations and ensure you get a good night’s sleep once again.
Even better, when everything is running well, your dashboard can put you completely at ease too!
What is a business dashboard?
A business dashboard is an intelligence-gathering tool that displays critical metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that enable you to examine your business’ performance at a glance.
You may be reasonably familiar with business metrics and KPIs, but when did you last take the time to properly analyse yours and ensure that your business is still on the path to success?
A business dashboard, no matter how simple or intricate it may be, provides you with a complete and detailed overview of your business, allowing you to immediately respond to any issues in an informed manner.
Why are metrics important for your business?
While it’s natural to have some level of worry about your business, also known as productive paranoia, it’s only really beneficial when it’s based on accurate and measured data – rather than just being nervous for no reason.
Tracking your business metrics and KPIs can provide a number of benefits and help you to improve your overall results. The top three benefits are:
- Metrics can measure your financial performance – Healthy cash flow is vital to your business. Measuring your financial performance provides you with a broad overview of your cash flow, allowing you to make key business decisions.
For more, see my previous blog on the importance of cash flow.
- Metrics help to build more accurate processes and objectives – Metrics can help to overhaul vague business processes by providing actual, relevant and easy-to-digest business data and statistics that directly inform you to improve your business’ operations.
- Metrics enable you to achieve your business goals – Unseen or unresolved issues within your business can impede your ability to achieve your goals. Metrics play an important role in highlighting any problems, allowing your business to take appropriate action and improve efficiency and productivity.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep on top of your business’ performance is to display your metrics and KPIs across a comprehensive business dashboard.
How to effectively utilise a business dashboard
A great business dashboard doesn’t need to sit inside any fancy software. In fact, you can use something as simple as a spreadsheet to create a dashboard that captures all your important data and provides a summary of your business.
So long as the information you see is relevant, it serves its purpose and helps you get more sleep.
An effective business dashboard breaks your business down into four categories, each with their own KPIs:
- Sales and Marketing
This category should provide information about how many sales were made over a period of time, as a direct result of the clicks or visits your website has received.
For your Sales and Marketing category, you may consider these KPIs:
- Conversion rate
- Average lead score
- Website traffic lead ratio
These KPIs will help you measure your marketing effectiveness and adjust accordingly to maximise your overall business sales.
The Operations category monitors and measures the effectiveness and efficiency of your employees’ progress in relation to their targets. This also lets you track the performance of your team in the operations function.
So, you may consider these KPIs for the Operations category:
- Productivity rate
- Productivity capacity
- Work quality
This category provides insights into your management team and their business decision-making, including Accounting and Project Management. Administration also goes hand-in-hand with your Operations.
The Administration category may include these KPIs:
- Audit scores
- Delay in admin task time
Your business dashboard also needs a Finance category to track your monthly profit and losses and assess your financial health.
The following KPIs can be included in the Finance category:
- Operating cash flow
- Cash flow forecast
- Profit margins
Implementing the right dashboard that best fits your business will help you to monitor your efficiency and ensure that everyone in your team is well-aligned with your business’ goals and objectives.
Do you need help building a business dashboard so you can sleep better at night?
Anxious thoughts about your business are not completely counterproductive, so long as they are based on actual data.
This is where a robust business dashboard can help.
A comprehensive business dashboard displays essential information that provides you with a complete overview of your business and where it’s headed for the future.
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business owners like you to help you achieve your business goals. Whether you need help with lead generation, brand awareness, or building a business dashboard, I can guide your business towards success.
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