How Business Dashboards Can Boost Your Small Business

As Business owners, we need to regularly keep track of how our business is doing; keep an eye on the various activities and processes of our business; find out which areas are performing well and grow them; figure out which areas are not doing well and fix them.

But, how do we constantly monitor the various aspects of our business? How do we identify new growth opportunities and respond quickly? Logging into various systems and pulling out the required information may be fine, once in a while. But doing it every day or week can be time-consuming. On the other hand, without this information, you have to simply rely on gut instincts and guesswork.

That’s where business dashboards come in.

Just as the dashboard of your automobile tells you how fast you are going or if you are running low on fuel, a business dashboard tells you how your business is performing – highlighting the goals you have achieved and any problems that might be occurring.

A small business dashboard is a set of charts & numbers that shows exactly what’s going on in your business. It provides at-a-glance status of your business so that you can spot growth opportunities and risks instantly.

Business Dashboards can boost your Small Business in 7 ways as follows:

1. Monitor status of your business from one place

Business dashboards enable to know exactly what’s going on in your business, what’s working and what’s not. Each business depends on various processes such as sales, customer support and marketing to run smoothly. Dashboards help you gather all the important metrics from various parts of your business like total sales, daily sales and number of new visitors/customers in one place and monitor the health of your business regularly.

2. Drill down into individual business processes

Dashboards can be used to not only get an overview of your business but also dig deeper into specific business areas for detailed information. For example, if you see a sudden dip in your sales, you can drill down into your sales dashboard to get more information such as sales trend for each product or region, identify the cause and take action. This allows you to quickly investigate issues and respond immediately.

3. Immediate measurable feedback

Business owners are constantly trying out new ways to grow their business faster. Dashboards make it easy to measure business performance and provide immediate feedback. For example, your dashboard can show the impact of your latest marketing campaign on your sales. You can find out which customer segments(e.g. based on age, location, etc.) bring in most sales and refine your marketing efforts to target the ones that are not responding well. Such immediate feedback enables you to find out what’s working and quickly improve performance.

4. Quickly find answers to your business questions

Everyday, business owners get so many questions which need immediate answers. How many people signed up yesterday? How many new customers have we attracted this week? What is the total sales? By how much did it grow this month? How many customer support issues are still open? Without this information, we have to rely on guesswork, to make decisions. Dashboards automate the tasks of number crunching & data processing, and directly provide you the final numbers. This allows you to spend more time running your business instead of looking for information.

5. Increase profits

Dashboards can be used to monitor revenues & costs regularly. You can break out these numbers by various sources (e.g., revenue from direct sales, content marketing, SEO, Social media, etc.) and compare them with the associated costs. This allows you to measure their ROI (Return on Investment) and try out various initiatives to increase sales or streamline costs, and increase profits.

6. Boost productivity

Business dashboards automatically pull the data together, process it and show the results in real-time. They can be set to update automatically once every few minutes or hours. This enables you to spend time understanding business issues & growth opportunities instead of creating reports manually.

7. Collaborate with your team

Dashboards make it easy for you to collaborate with your team. Dashboards can be accessed anywhere, anytime using a laptop, workstation or a mobile phone. They even allow you to share insights and questions with each other, using comments. This allows everyone in your team to easily get the latest information about your business and be on the same page. Also, it saves you the trouble of mailing reports back & forth.

Initially, you can start by creating a simple Small Business Dashboard/Startup Dashboard to regularly track the key metrics about your business and share them with your team. Reviewing it daily/weekly will enable you to see how your business is progressing with respect to business objectives, identify growth opportunities and take action. You can add more metrics to it if you need more information.

Here’s a list of business dashboards that can help you in various aspects of your business:

Marketing Dashboard

Marketing Dashboard can be used to monitor all your marketing channels like SEO, Email, Social Media and analytics from one place. It can enable to you to track the number of leads, conversion, branding and engagement. Marketing dashboards are great to identify which channels are working for your business and which ones aren’t. They can help you tie each channel’s contribution to your goals so you can stop focusing on non-responsive channels and plug the budget leaks.

You can even create channel specific dashboards to get in-depth information about a particular channel such as social media or SEO. Social Media Dashboards can be used to monitor number of mentions, twitter followers, Facebook Demographics & more. Web Analytics dashboards can help you track top referring domains, SEO keywords, location and source of traffic, and their site engagement.

Sales Dashboard

Sales dashboards are a great way to keep track of your sales pipeline. They can be used to view sales goals, top performing reps, new customers, latest opportunities, leads, wins. You can even monitor number of leads in each stage of your sales process, identify the bottlenecks and fix them. You can boost your sales pipeline velocity by monitoring key metrics such as number of qualified leads, win rate, sales cycle length, and average deal size. You can even break them out by various sources to get more details and identify areas of improvement.

Finance Dashboard

Finance dashboards can be used to view your business’ financial data in one place. You can find out how much you are spending, as compared to your business plan. You can track your costs & expenses over time and think about what adjustments can be made. This can help you keep an eye on business expense, company revenue, customer invoice and balance.

Customer Support Dashboard

Customer Satisfaction is one of the most important requirements for a growing business. For that, it’s important to always know which customers are facing issues. You can create a customer support dashboard to regularly monitor key customer support metrics such as number of reported issues, average response time, average resolution time and abandonment rates. You can even break out these metrics by type of issues to gain more granular insights. Monitoring your customer service performance will enable you to rapidly improve it. You can easily identify the key pain points of your customers, support agents that can benefit from additional training and areas which need additional resources. It will help you improve your product or service, boost customer satisfaction and grow your business faster.

Being able to monitor all the vital information about your business, on-demand, in your dashboard, gives you a huge advantage over your competition. You know precisely how your business is performing and what to fix, while they spend most of their time on the wrong tasks.

Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy, once rightly said, “Measure everything of significance. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.”

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