Dashboards give you the platform to control your performance, day by day, even hour by hour, helping you keep your business on track for growth
How to set up a business dashboard to help growth
Plans happen over years. Decisions are usually required now. Some of us rely on instinct to guide us through. Others prefer to create a dashboard for themselves. Like someone flying a plane, they know they will inevitably keep veering off course. The dashboard lets you make adjustments for any turbulence as it happens, so you do not end up in the wrong place.
Each of us will have different numbers and dates that count day to day in our business. The ones you select to track will usually come from your plan for the year:
- you will be looking at financial questions, such as how are your sales today against the same time one, three or five years ago;
- you may well link to levels of traffic on your web site and across social media;
- and you can track progress against the deadlines and milestones for the projects that really matter to you
You can create this dashboard on a simple web page. Everyone involved across the business will be able to see the headlines, although you can restrict access to different levels of information through the use of passwords.
Any variations will be spotted as soon as they happen. If you follow up and take action, you can catch any risks to your growth early on. If all is going well, you can review your metrics, finding ways to optimize or exceed your performance.
So far, you are just dealing in numbers. The intriguing possibility is that you can include wider sets of data to report on what is happening, give you a prescriptive analysis and predict the consequences of any action you take.
You might know, for instance, that you sold a hundred apps to a crowd of 25,000. Mathematically, it looks good. But how many potential buyers saw you on their mobiles at the event, took a look and then walked out? What might be the impact of any other promotions or campaigns you run next time?
Looking forward, you might want to be alerted to changes in external conditions, such as the weather. If we are expecting a cold snap in Scotland, how many extra units might it be worth shipping? And what happens to your stock if the freeze hits Yorkshire instead?
Dashboards give you the platform to control your performance, day by day, even hour by hour. Ultimately, the series of small decisions that you take day by day will determine whether you can keep on your flight path to growth.
SMEforGrowth Editor 23.02.17