There’s nothing quite as valuable to a company as data, especially when it comes to marketing. Knowing how you’re performing, where your marketing dollars are going, and how much of a return you’re getting on your investment is priceless.
Even more so, marketing data helps you identify opportunities—you can see where you might be spending too much, where spending more would be a great idea, where your money’s getting wasted, and where it’s going furthest.
While that’s all well and good, raw data can be completely overwhelming, and for a business owner, diving into that data is generally a poor use of their time.
Your time is valuable. There are certain things you do that literally no one else in your business can do. You NEED to be focused on these high-value tasks and NOT be spending hours diving into data that someone else should be evaluating.
That’s where a business dashboard comes in.
Business Dashboards—Minimize Your Time Spent Analyzing Data, Maximize Your Impact
Business dashboards are simply tools that centralize data into a single place so that you can look at it quickly.
Good dashboards will provide more than raw data—they’ll interpret that data somewhat (giving you percentages gained or lost, for example), and they’ll include visualizations of that data.
Great dashboards do that PLUS they ONLY show you the most important data—the stuff that has the biggest impact—while keeping the rest away from you so that you don’t get distracted by unimportant numbers (usually called vanity metrics).
One of the biggest mistakes we see many business owners make is that they want to dive deep into their data. They spend enormous amounts of time worrying about things like follower counts and blog post views when they should really be focusing on other numbers that actually impact their goals.
The reality is that most business owners have little time that they can reasonably devote to their marketing efforts without letting the business fall apart. That bit of time should be spent in the most valuable way possible
Dashboards are designed to tell you at a glance what’s working and what’s not so that you can either quickly pivot or make changes to your marketing efforts yourself or have someone else (an employee or outside marketing firm) make those changes for you.
Sounds straightforward and obvious when you put it like that, right? The next question most people have is, “How do I get started”
Well, the thing is, setting up and running business dashboards is a specialty in and of itself, so we set out to find some of the most knowledgeable business dashboard specialists out there to get you the scoop on everything business owners need to know about marketing dashboards.
Jayne McQuillan Dives in Dashboards in this Quick ValueByte
Jayne McQuillan, owner and founder of Journey Consulting, writes extensively about business dashboards in her new book The Value Journey. We recently interviewed her to get her unique insights into how important the right data is to business owners who are planning to exit.
In this video, we talk with Jayne about how she helps business owners discover their most important KPIs, the numbers that will be the difference between a successful exit from their business in 5 or 10 years and a failure to grow or sell for the price they had in mind.
For example, Jayne finds that many business owners are so focused on revenue that forget about the importance of their gross margin and the powerful impact that will have on their long-term growth if managed properly.
She also discusses how her team builds custom dashboards for all her clients to make sure they can quickly and easily see the data that’s most important to their organization.
Watch the video to discover more great insights about the most important metrics to track for any kind of business.
Vinil Ramchandran on the Importance of Business Systems
In this next video, we spoke with Vinil Ramchandran, a Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Professional and Certified Business Broker with many years of experience helping owners of manufacturing companies exit their businesses and hand over the reins to the buyer successfully.
One of the first points he brings up is the importance of robust business systems. Many businesses don’t have systems in place to get things done—instead, they have people who know how to get things done, people who can leave really at any moment.
A business that depends heavily on any one person is a business with a lot of risk, something that buyers avoid like the plague. Vinil discusses how to successfully set up standard operating procedures and business systems that ensure work is done effectively no matter who’s in charge.
And according to Vinil, one of the most important systems to set up is marketing (along with a great dashboard that ensures whoever is in charge of marketing has a clear idea of what to focus on).
Check out the video to see more of Vinil’s insights.
Greg Merrill Talks Metrics that Matter
Greg Merrill, CEPA and CFP at The Shantz Mantione Group, has helped dozens of middle-market business owners to grow their businesses and exit or transition successfully, a tough job in today’s flooded market.
In this video, Greg walks us through the most important numbers that every business owner needs to be thinking about years before they decide to exit their business, including the most important number of all—the amount of money they need to sell their business for if they want to retire.
Check out the video to find out all the other critical numbers that business owners need to be tracking when the time to move on is coming over the horizon.