Make Your Numbers Come Alive
If you are familiar with the work we do around small business finance at WEV, you’ve probably noticed that we are particularly keen on two main areas: Preparedness and Action! Our goal is to help you transform how you think about your numbers: from dull, boring, and in-the-past to exciting, engaging, and forward-looking.
In this article, we explore another great way to put preparedness and action into practice: using your business’ data to drive and grow your revenue by creating and implementing a “Dashboard”.
Measuring Business Performance
What is a Dashboard? A dashboard is simply a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your business that you look at on a regular basis (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 your business is performing. These measures can be grouped together into weekly, monthly, and quarterly benchmarks.
Examples of Key Performance Indicators
- 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
Create Your Dashboard
Now it’s your turn:
- What are the three most important pieces of data that you want to track for your business?
- You can borrow the ideas above or consider other indicators that are important in your business.
- How much time can you commit to reviewing your indicators?
- 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. That’s great! Add those to your dashboard.
Check Consistently to Drive Your Business
Analyzing this key data on a regular basis 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 for your business’s success.
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