Business Tips

What it Takes to Build a Dashboard for Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner, you know what it means to get the most out of every dollar. But what about getting the most out of your data? If your data is optimized for effective decision-making, you could increase your dollars earned. Digital reporting and dashboards can dramatically improve business performance, but only if you have the right tools and strategy.

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Key Metrics for Your Small Business Dashboard

Small BusinessesLike any business owner, your goal is turning a profit. That’s why financial dashboards are so important for small businesses. Generally speaking, SME dashboards focus on two things: revenue and expenses. Tracking overall profit is a lot like the speedometer of your car; it gives you a general idea of the direction you’re moving and how fast you’re getting there. Simply tracking this metric isn’t enough, though. You’ll need to bolster it with other analytical data so you can make fast, informed decisions about your business needs.

A few of the most important metrics your small business dashboard should track include:

  • Overall revenue
  • Repeat customers (if applicable)
  • Average size of sale
  • Overhead expenses

Not every business should focus on returning customers. By nature, some businesses offer a one-time service. This is the exception to the rule, which means most small businesses should find a loyal customer base that keeps coming back. Similarly, the average size of each sale (or average value of the products you sell), may not be crucial for every company. Simply get to know the most important data points for your company, prioritize them, and incorporate them in your data reporting.

Read next: How Smart Small Business Owners Use Dashboards

Campaign Metrics Are Important, Too

Your dashboard shouldn’t stop at company-wide data points. If you want to improve business performance, you’ll need to track any campaigns you use to drive customers to your business. This might include your website, events, print and social media advertisements, and more. When you plan a campaign like this, take the time to identify the key metrics that will define its success.

Here are a few tricks to help you set a baseline for your campaign metrics:

  • Use past experience. Let’s say you’ve run radio ads for your business before. Given your experience, were they successful? How many customers did you get from it? Use these numbers to gauge the performance of your next, similar campaign.
  • Use industry baselines. If you’re interested in getting more customers through a new venue, measure success by the industry standard. Then, track the data you gather from your campaign and build from its success or find ways to improve it.
  • Use actionable information. Track data that will help you make more informed decisions and take action on. Use the information gathered to forecast future campaigns initiatives and make improvements.

What Defines a Successful Small Business Dashboard

Small Business DashboardsGood reporting gives you information, but great reporting helps you make decisions. This is the goal of your business’ dashboard. A successful dashboard reporting tool lets you focus on running your business, so you don’t have to waste time interpreting data. If the data you gather isn’t actionable and directly related to the success of your company, it probably isn’t worth tracking. Instead, focus on creating lean reports with information that helps you propel your business in the right direction.

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 Requirements for a successful small business dashboard:

  • Relays simple, actionable reports
  • Easy to interpret and deploy to employees
  • Accessible from any device, even your mobile phone
  • Promotes informed, analytical decisions

Try Our Small Business Dashboard Software, Free

At iDashboards, we help businesses like yours succeed. That’s why we’ll let you try it out, absolutely free. Our software can help you identify important metrics in your businesses, including areas of success and places that need improvement. As your business grows, your reporting should grow with it – and our dashboards are designed to do just that. Learn more by contacting us today!

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Nicole Faulkner Account Manager @iDashboards

Nicole Faulkner is an Account Manager. During Nicole’s time at iDashboards, she has developed a passion for helping prospects realize the full potential of their data. Outside of work, Nicole has a passion for reading, playing golf, and spending time with her family.

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