If you’re a small business owner, you know exactly what your customers need. Whether it’s a product or service, you’ve found your niche and are ready to deliver. You’ve taken the time to develop something different – something your clients want – and cultivated a relationship with those first, crucial buyers.
Here comes the hard part: taking your small business to the next level.
For many small businesses, this time is crucial. This is when you stop “keeping up” with customer demand and start looking toward the future. With the right business intelligence strategy, the future will be bright.
Small Business Dashboards & Your Success
If your business is in the crucial where-do-we-go-from-here phase, it’s time to look into data visualization. Using dashboards, small businesses and startups like yours can not only track data, but use it. Instead of simply knowing you were successful, you can understand why you successful and build from there.If your #smallbiz is in the crucial where-do-we-go-from-here phase, it’s time to look into #dataviz. Click To Tweet
How to Build a Dashboard for Your Small Business
If you’ve ever seen kindergartners play soccer, you know half the challenge is finding the right goal. The same is true of small business dashboards: Once you know what direction you need to go, getting there is a lot easier – even instinctual. That’s why the first step in building a dashboard is uncovering the right targets and key performance indicators (KPIs). For small businesses, these should include:
- Sales value and revenue
- Customer retention
- Monthly profits and gross income
In short, these metrics should define the success of your business strategy. Once you understand the data points that define this success, you can turn them into a business intelligence strategy. Of these metrics, which one is the most important to the success of your small business? How do the other metrics support your most important ones? For any businesses, the obvious answer to the first question is “profit,” which means the real challenge is finding the relationship between this data point and your other metrics.
Building Your SME Dashboard (Without a Degree in Information Technology)
It’s okay if you don’t have a big tech department – or even a degree in IT. Dashboards give any user the freedom to use and understand data visualization. Here are a few tips and tricks to point you in the right direction:
- Find the right graphs and charts for your dashboard. Do a little research and figure out which ones communicate your data points most effectively.
- Viewers have predisposed assumptions about certain colors. If red means “stop” and green means “go,” don’t let your dashboard contradict this color association.
- Use a variety of graphs and charts. It’s okay if pie charts are your favorite, but visual diversity has a higher impact than repetitious data visualization.
- Pick a good color scheme. Ease-of-use is important, so make sure your dashboard’s color scheme doesn’t get in the way.
What to Do When You Get the Ball Rolling
The weeks and months after you create your small business dashboard are more than important; they are critical. Two of the most important things you can remember are:
- Don’t put your dashboard on autopilot
- Gather enough data before making changes
Once your dashboard is in full swing, you’re ready to start making important changes and business decisions based on the information you find. These decisions will affect your business strategy and your dashboard strategy – just make sure you have enough data in the bank to make a withdrawal. In other words, don’t implement any changes until you can predict the results with the information you’ve already collected. Instead, monitor your small business dashboard and look for new ways to improve it, along with your business intelligence game.
Take the Guesswork Out of your Data
At iDashboards, we want to help you be successful. That’s our goal. By integrating data visualization and technology, we’ve created software that can help small businesses like yours realize their potential. If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of next year, try iDashboards free today!
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.