It’s time to take my car in for a service. The warning lights on the dashboard are reminiscent of Las Vegas at night, and messages keep flashing at me that the brake pads need replacing and the tyre pressure is unbalanced. If it wasn’t for the warning signs, I would have been none the wiser.

In the same way, your business needs a dashboard. As the driver of your business, do you understand and regularly monitor your dashboard? Do you even have one? If not, you might not see the warning signs that your business is heading for a break down.

Why we need a dashboard

Within the engine and parts of a car are hundreds of processes that impact the performance of the vehicle. The dashboard summarises this information, giving you peace of mind – at a glance – that everything is operating effectively, and helps you monitor and navigate potential hazards.

What do you need to measure, monitor and be aware of as a business owner?

Before you can begin to customise a dashboard for your business, you need to have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place. Your key performance indicators are the metrics and measures that you need to monitor to ensure that performance is optimal. These differ from business to business, depending on the type of business, size, industry and goals of the business. Here is a broad framework that I give my business and executive coaching clients, that you can work from to create, tweak or assess your dashboard.

Financial Dashboard
  • Current revenue growth – monthly, relative to last year, relative to your budget, ETC
  • Cash flow projections
  • Working capital
  • Breakeven, profit and loss
  • Debtors, age analysis
  • Accounts receivable
  • Revenue / expense ratio
  • Cash in bank
Sales dashboard
  • Number of leads generated
  • Percentage of leads converted to customers, conversion rate
  • Number of calls received
  • Proportion of proposals accepted or rejected
  • Number of customers – has this increased or decreased?
  • Average profit margin
  • Average purchase value
  • Client retention figures, how many new vs repeat customers? Which customer contracts are coming up for renewal?
Marketing dashboard
  • Leads pipeline
  • Marketing spend
  • Ave client acquisition cost
  • Digital marketing statistics – followers, tweets, interactions, mentions
  • Website traffic and conversions – SEO, first visits, sign ups, online sales
  • Database / new newsletter sign ups
  • Market share
Production and operations
  • Stock control
  • Deadlines met / missed
  • Complaints / returns
  • Project status
  • Top product / service by sales
  • Top product / service by profit

If you want your business to go places, your journey needs to be carefully monitored and consciously driven.  If you don’t have your KPIs or a dashboard in place, or if your dashboard’s warning signs are screaming at you, perhaps it’s time to talk to me.

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