February 21, 2019 by Nicki Parr, WEV’s Business Resilience Specialist
If you have been following these SmartMoney articles for a little while, you will realize by now that I am particularly keen on two main areas: Preparedness and Action! My goal for you is to transform how you think about your numbers: from something dull, boring and historical to something exciting, engaging and forward-looking. This month’s topic is another great example of putting preparedness and action into practice: using your business’ data to drive and grow your revenue by creating and implementing a “Dashboard”.
What is a Dashboard, I hear you ask! Well, a dashboard is nothing more complicated than a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your business that you look at on a regular basis, with the emphasis on regular! While the specifics may differ from business to business, there are some common measures that you can be tracking to see how well (or not) your business is performing. These measures can be grouped together into weekly, monthly and quarterly criteria. Here are some examples:
- Total sales
- Number of new customers
- Number of repeat customers
- Cash balance
- Receivables balance (including aging)/cash collected
- Overhead expense (can be by category)
- Gross Margin by Product/Service
- Net margin by Product/Service
- Average sale per customer
- Actual vs Budget
- Click-through/referral rate
Now it’s your turn: what are the three most important pieces of data that you want to track for your business AND how much time can you commit? Whether you have 15 minutes a day or 5 minutes a week, start with what you can commit to reviewing on a consistent basis (apps such as usemystats.com can make gathering data effortless and informative).
You may find that as the weeks progress, you will naturally start to become more curious about other metrics and add those into your dashboard. Analyzing this key data on a regular basis is what will help you drive your business forward, allowing you to make adjustments in real time, and place greater attention on the things that are working. Vroom vroom!