A simple plan is better than no plan, I always say.
In trying to be everything to everyone, the dashboard apps I’ve found out there are WAAAAYYYYY to big, too complicated, too sophisticated and frankly too useless because of all that.
That being said…how many of us have NOTHING in place at all to track our progress?
For entrepreneurs – especially solopreneurs, many days are “wingits” & “hopits”. I’m going to do what I think I’m supposed to do, what I feel like doing, whatever comes to mind to do, what somebody told me to do. I’ll read my email or check my Facebook to see what somebody needs me to do…or the “Christian” MO – I’ll wait for God to tell me what to do. Then we “hope it” all works out and by the end of the day we’ll be 1 day closer to reaching our goals. Anyone relate?
I don’t know how that approach is working for you…but for me, not so much. That’s how I “ran” my business for the first 2 years…until I realized that if wanted to be in a better place a year from now, that means by the end of the month I’d better be 1 month closer. By the end of the week, I’d better be 1 week closer…and that was never going to happen unless by the end of the day, I was 1 day closer to my goal.
Just like in my corporate days, I needed to create a dashboard to keep myself on track and monitor my progress. Just to be clear for those unfamiliar, a dashboard for your business tracks or measures key data points, or metrics so you can instantly see your progress – just like the gauges on the dashboard of your car.
So my search began…and whoa. I was almost instantly in overwhelm. So here is my solution – at least for now until we get our own dashboard app designed.
3 Keys to Creating a Successful Dashboard
- Fun – and if you don’t like to have fun in your business, then just make it meaningful & easy, that’s okay too. To me – if it’s not fun, I don’t want to it.
What data points, or metrics do you want to track? What moves you toward your goal…what makes sense to you? Metrics you may want to track depend on your business, whether or not you’re launching a marketing campaign or other initiative, and what really needs attention.
You can track things like:
- Facebook likes, if you’re actively building them right now
- List subscriptions
- Hours spent on a task
- Social media engagements
- Phone calls made
- Speaking gigs booked
- Advertising hits
- Referrals or leads
- Blogs or Videos posted
- Sales or revenue made
- Team members added, if you’re in network marketing
The point is that the metric make sense to you, and is a measurement that leads you to your goal. Your dashboard is not a to-do list, but it may influence what you put on your to-do list for the day.
Make sure the metric you choose is sized so that it makes sense to track it. For instance, if you’re putting on an annual event, your metric wouldn’t be “Event Held” – too big, or “caterer called” too small – it’s once and done. A properly sized metric might be “tickets sold” – tracked in numbers, or “event marketing” tracked in Yes or No.
So that leads us to how to track. This is where the 2nd key “Easy” comes in.
What is easy for YOU to get your arms around? We all have different ways to look at things, different personalities, and what makes sense to me may not make sense to you and visa versa.
I recommend using a quarterly dashboard for what you’re going to focus on, and weekly goals to measure by. That means you’re going to focus your efforts and attention on these 3 to 7 areas of business, items or initiatives – and you’re going to do the activity X amount of times.
If you’re a visual person, or like to use color, you can create graphs and fill them up by coloring them in or using stickers – for some of you bling people – go ahead use sparkles and stars and whatever floats your boat. Just remember the keys: meaningful, easy and fun!
Keep your dashboard with you, or even in front of you – put it on the wall next to your desk. Or, if you like electronic versions, you can design a spreadsheet or buy a computer or mobile app…if you find one that works for you. (As I said above, I haven’t, so I’m creating my own!) Stay tuned!
But don’t wait – this is a critical process in your business that will help you focus, stay on track and actually see progress toward your goals. Stop trying to drive blind. You are in business to make a difference in people’s lives, to make an impact using the gifts and talents God gave you to fulfill your mission. He wants you to be successful – to work diligently to reach the goals you set that in line with your purpose. There are people out there waiting for you, and the longer you stay stuck and confused or not making the progress you could be making – the longer they go without seeing the piece of God that is in you.
Until the next writing on my wall, remember:
Your DESTINY awaits…ACTIVATE!
Posted by Bralynn Newby, author, speaker, and content strategist for visionary coaches, consultants and influencers. Author of Planning to Profit: Architecting Your Unique Story Into a Business You Love. To contact Bralynn email Activate@BralynnNewbycom.