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The times were data analysis was segregated to big enterprises that had the necessary resources to carry it out are long gone. Today, thanks to the rise of self-service BI tools, the analytical doors have been opened to a wider audience. That said, this level of accessibility has turned the use of data from a choice to a mandatory practice for businesses that want to succeed, no matter their size. Enter small business dashboards and metrics.
BI dashboard tools provide smaller businesses with valuable insights regarding their operations thanks to real-time access to data. It is critical for them to understand what is going on inside the organization in order to be successful and stand out from competitors, and small business KPIs and dashboards allow them to do just that. How you might be wondering? Here, we will tell you everything you need to know about the topic. Starting off with a definition.
What Is a Small Business Dashboard?
A small business dashboard is an all-in-one analysis tool that provides real-time access to various KPIs related to marketing, finances, customers, and others. Powered by data visualizations, small businesses can use them to track performance and ensure steady growth.
Running a successful organization entails dealing with several operational and strategic aspects for various departments including sales, finances, HR, and marketing, among others. To do so efficiently, it is necessary to gather data and make decisions that will power growth and profitability. That is all possible thanks to the interactive nature of dashboards.
Modern dashboarding software technologies use data visualizations as a base, making them easy to manage and understand. With the right charts and graphs, smaller business owners are able to stay on top of any developments and share them with their teams. It does this by providing a centralized location for the most important data sources, giving owners the necessary information to make informed strategic decisions in real-time.
What Are Small Business Metrics?
Small business metrics are performance measurements that provide insights into the progress of different activities and company goals. By tracking all KPIs together in a modern dashboard, businesses can spot trends and improvement opportunities for continuous growth.
While you might think that metrics for smaller companies look a lot different than they do for bigger ones, it is not like that. No matter the size of the organization, metrics, and KPIs have the same purpose: translating the progress and performance of a business based on its main strategic goals.
That said, there is not a set of predefined KPIs that will work for all smaller enterprises, as this will solely depend on the industry, organizational goals, resources, and much more. To pick the right ones it is necessary to put in time and effort, analyze the inner workings of the organization, and never rely only on intuition. To get you started on the topic, you can take a look at our post on KPIs vs metrics. For now, let’s dive into the next section of the post.
Why Do You Need Small Business KPI Dashboards?
As an entrepreneur, you want to make sure you make the best out of the monetary and human resources you are investing into making your business succeed and grow. With that in mind, shooting in the dark when it comes to important decisions is not an option. Making important strategic moves based on intuition and not data can lead to a waste of resources and irreparable damage to the company.
If this is still not enough reason for you to understand the value of implementing a modern KPI dashboard software into your organization. Let us enlighten you with some other benefits you can reap from them.
- Save time and money: Let’s start with the obvious, when you make important business decisions based on what you want or think will happen, the possibility of it blowing up in your face is big. A professional dashboard filled with your most important KPIs for small businesses will provide you with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions and make the most out of the resources you have. In the long run, this will not only make your business more successful but also save you time and money on repairing issues or rethinking strategies.
- Get to know your company better: With the help of a powerful online dashboard you can know what is going on in the company at all times. This will allow you to constantly spot improvement opportunities as well as test the success of different strategies in real-time. The best part is that these tools provide a centralized view of various data sources, this way you don’t need to jump from one place to another looking for insights. For example, you can set up a marketing dashboard to compare the development of three different campaigns on different platforms and extract conclusions on the spot.
- Increase profit and productivity: Last but certainly not least, the use of dashboards for small businesses will increase productivity and profitability. Being able to see the performance of different activities will motivate your team to work harder to improve the areas where they are lacking. Knowing where to focus your improvement efforts enables you to spend your resources wisely in getting better results. This will boost your profit and set you apart from competitors altogether.
Small Business Dashboard & KPIs Examples
Those are just a few of the various reasons why you should be adopting dashboarding practices to approach your small business reports. Now, let’s take a look at how they look in action with a list of examples.
1. Marketing KPI dashboard
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We’ll quick off this section of examples with a small business marketing dashboard. Your promotional efforts are fundamental as they are the means to make your enterprise known as well as build a loyal customer base. To do so, you will need insights into what channels are better to target customers in your industry as well as which type of content resonates the best with them, but above all, you should consider how profitable your marketing team is, as this is the bottom line.
This dashboard does just that by providing a mix of relevant KPIs any marketing department should be tracking. With insights into costs and revenue, you will be able to understand how profitable your marketing strategies are as well as find improvement opportunities to avoid wasting resources in unsuccessful campaigns. Let’s look at some KPIs.
- Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition (CPA) is an online advertising pricing model, where advertisers pay a stated price to acquire new customers. When it comes to mid-size businesses with a limited budget, every dollar counts, therefore, tracking this marketing KPI closely for the different channels is a great way to make the most out of your monetary resources. Reducing your CPA while maintaining a high level of conversions is not an easy task, but it is still manageable with time and effort. You can start by thoroughly defining your customer segmentation to ensure you are targeting the right audience as well as analyze their behaviors to understand what they like and what they don’t. Optimizing your landing pages and website performance is another way of minimizing your CPA while maximizing the results.
- Conversion rate
Although it is not directly covered in our dashboard example above, the conversion rate highly influences metrics such as the CPA – if your conversion rate decreases, your CPA increases. A conversion is known as any desired action made by a visitor. It can be anything from clicking on an ad, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading an ebook, just to name a few. To efficiently track the success of your strategies it is necessary to implement conversion goals for the different sections of your website. This way, you will be able to easily spot when something is not going according to plan.
- Marketing ROI
Arguably one of the key small business metrics to track for marketing is the ROI or return on investment. As its name suggests, this indicator tells you the percentage of profit you made from your marketing efforts. It can be calculated for the entire department based on business profit, or for specific campaigns or channels as a measurement of performance. The last way is the most common one and it tells marketers where to focus their efforts.
2. Sales performance dashboard
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Our sales dashboard example is the perfect overview to monitor all relevant aspects related to sales performance on a weekly basis as well as for longer periods. Armed with powerful KPIs, this dashboard will help you understand if you are meeting your targets and goals and spot areas where you need to improve. Let’s look at some of these indicators in more detail below.
- Sales growth
Starting with a fundamental metric, we have sales growth. This straightforward KPI tracks the growth of your sales and compares it to a previous period to illustrate if there was growth or not. It goes without saying that this indicator is influenced by many factors such as sales channels, marketing efforts, seasonality effects, and much more. Therefore, it is necessary to measure it next to other KPIs in a sales dashboard in order to understand why it goes high or low.
- Sales target
This is another straightforward indicator that proves to be one of the most valuable small business performance metrics. As its name suggests, the sales target KPI will let you understand if you are on track to meeting your expected goals. An important note here is to set targets that are realistic and attainable to the reality of the company. This can be done by looking at historical sales data and defining a target based on that.
The ARPU or average revenue per unit measures the amount of revenue generated from selling a product or service. The “unit” part of the name can be replaced for customers, accounts, or any other type of paying customers depending on the type of business. The ARPU is a great indicator to assess the success of a product and it is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of units, users, or subscribers.
3. Financial cash management dashboard
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The cash management example generated with a professional dashboard creator provides an overview of your cash flow and liquidity in real-time as well as indicators on how you can improve it. For instance, by looking at your quick and current ratio, you can easily understand if something is off by looking at the icons in red and green. In this case, we can see that the quick ratio has issues, meaning your business could be facing slow sales, a lot of debt, or poor collection of accounts receivables. Whatever the issue is, tracking this data regularly can help you quickly spot the issues and solve them before they become bigger. Let’s dive into some KPIs from this small business financial dashboard.
- Current ratio
The current ratio is a financial analytics metric that monitors a business’s ability to pay off its financial obligations in a short-term period, usually 12 months. As seen in the image above, this indicator considers all assets and liabilities and it is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities. An ideal current ratio is higher than 1, as this means your organization is able to pay its debts if they are due soon.
- Accounts payable turnover
Accounts payables are short-term debts that a business owes to suppliers, it can be anything from transportation and logistics, materials, building leasings, or equipment, just to name a few. The accounts payable turnover metric tracks the number of times a business pays off its debts during a specified period. It can tell potential investors about the liquidity of an organization and how capable they are of paying its debts.
- Accounts receivable turnover
On the other side, accounts receivables are the unpaid money an enterprise should be getting from the sales of goods and services from their customers. Your AR is considered an asset as they bring money into the business and they are fundamental to assessing profitability. Just like we saw with the accounts payable turnover, the AR turnover tracks the number of days it takes to collect payments owed by customers as well as the number of times debts are collected during a specific period. The faster your company can turn credit sales into cash, the higher your liquidity.
4. Customer retention dashboard
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As a small business owner, you should know that acquiring new customers is 5 times more expensive than retaining your existing ones. And that increasing your retention rates by 5% can lead to a 25-95% increase in profitability. With all this in mind, it is a smart financial decision to invest your efforts and resources into efficient retention strategies.
Our customer retention dashboard will help you do just that. With insights into various satisfaction and loyalty metrics, you will be able to know your customers better and provide them with the best experience possible. Here, you can also see the financial impact that this has on your business over time with indicators such as net retention or MRR growth.
- Customer retention
Starting off with the main character of our small business metrics, we have customer retention. As mentioned before, this indicator tracks the ability of your company to retain its customers over a 12 months period. In the image above, we can see that the retention rate is displayed with a target of 90% which is a good way to measure the success of your efforts.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Net Promoter Score or NPS is a customer satisfaction and loyalty KPI that tells you how engaged your customers are with your organization and how likely it is that they would recommend you to a friend. The NPS is as straightforward as it sounds, you simply ask your clientele the question and divide their answers into promoters and detractors and get a rate from the results. A good way to use your NPS to increase retention is to include customer feedback in product development.
- Customer churn
The customer churn rate is an indicator that is mostly useful for businesses offering a recurring service or subscription, and it monitors the percentage of customers that stopped using your product or service during an observed period, usually a month. This indicator is a great performance measurement for your retention strategies. Naturally, you want to keep it as low as possible and look into the higher months to see what happened and prevent it in the future.
5. Employee performance dashboard
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Rather your business has 3 or 10 employees, tracking their productivity and performance is a great way to ensure your company is functioning efficently. In the end, employees are the ones that make the magic happen and work towards the company’s vision, so it is important to ensure they have a great work environment to stay as productive as possible. Our HR dashboard above does just that by providing insights into absenteeism and overall labor effectiveness. Let’s see some of these metrics in detail.
- Absenteeism rate
First in our small business performance metrics is the absenteeism rate. As its name suggests, this indicator tracks the rate of absenteeism from the total working days among the entire workforce. It is an important indicator to track as it can provide insights into employee satisfaction and engagement towards working in the organization. If you see this metric increase it could mean that something is going wrong and needs to be looked into.
- Employee productivity
The overall labor effectiveness or employee productivity tracks the performance of your entire workforce. It is calculated by dividing your total sales by the number of employees and it is often measured against a target, as seen in the image above. The OLE can provide your workforce with insights on how much they have done and how well they did it, and adjust their ways of working when needed.
- Training costs
If you are a smaller enterprise looking to grow, then it is necessary to invest in training your workforce to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform at their best. This KPI will enable you to understand the costs and returns of your training investments divided by the year-occupation. Investing in training instances can not only bring economic rewards to your organization but will also keep employees happy and motivated.
Key Takeaways Small Business Dashboard Analytics
As you’ve learned throughout this post, small business reporting using dashboards and metrics are the perfect tools for smaller-sized companies that want to grow using data. Having the level of knowledge provided by these analytical tools will not only help in making accurate decisions to ensure financial success but will also help manage day-to-day operations by automating processes that would otherwise need to be performed manually.
As an entrepreneur, you need to make sure you make the most out of your human and monetary resources. This is possible thanks to the real-time access to data provided by modern dashboarding technologies. If you are ready to test the best dashboard software for small business then try datapine for a 14-day free trial today!