Turn Your Annual Goals into a Dashboard

Financial Dashboard

Effective decision-making is the most important job of every business owner. The challenge is the number of decisions that need to be made and the abundance of data to take into consideration. This makes using resources that give you a more efficient way of evaluating data an essential tool. 

When crafted correctly, financial dashboards can be the perfect tool for organizing data. They collect all of your information in a meaningful way – based on your preferences – and give you easy access to all the insight you need to make decisions for your business. It’s efficient and provides an over-arching view of the state of your finances. 

In order for your dashboard to improve your decision-making, you’ll want to align it with your goals. Meaning it’s important you include numbers in your dashboard that will direct you towards reaching your goals. 

Benefits of incorporating your annual goals into a dashboard

Adding metrics that will help you reach your annual goals to your dashboards is a smart move for any business owner. 

Here you’ll find a list of the benefits that your dashboard can have on your business. 

  • It makes big goals smaller. One of the best ways to keep your eye on the prize is to find ways to easily gauge your progress. Seeing metrics that drive your annual goals on your dashboard helps you quantify the steps you are taking towards them and measure your progress. 
  • Team members can see how they are reaching goals on an individual and team level. This makes it easier to communicate with your team the motivation behind your decisions and gives them essential insight into the impact of the work they do every day. 
  • Easier access to information. Not having to go through half a dozen spreadsheets or waiting for someone to generate a report is a huge time saver. With a dashboard tailored to meet your needs, you’ll have easy access to your numbers. 
  • Mistakes and areas for improvement are front and center. With this knowledge, your whole team can explore different ways to improve from their perspective, which will increase collaboration and accelerate results. 

Incorporating your annual goals into a dashboard

Now that you’ve seen how beneficial it can be to add metrics that propel your annual goals to your dashboard, here are three steps to get it done. 

1. Set annual goals

The first step is to determine which metrics you’ll be tracking on your dashboard. This will depend mostly on which ones are most essential to you reaching your goals. So making sure that you have clear priorities on what will have the biggest impact on your business is the first step. 

A great way to set your goals is to use the SMART methodology. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound. Each of your goals should be SMART goals.

If you have a large team or your team is divided across departments, involve them in the goal-setting process. They may bring new ideas to the table.

2. Break annual goals into smaller goals

Oftentimes, having a big goal is a great measure of progress. But depending on the different elements that make up the goal, you might need to break the goal down into smaller milestones.

By breaking down big goals, everyone in your team will have an easier time visualizing their contribution and make the whole process less daunting. 

The other benefit of this approach is that it lets your team members gauge whether or not they are on track. This way you empower them with the information they need to plan their workload ahead of time and focus their efforts on what will help them move the needle the most. 

3. Design your dashboard

Deciding what data is most important to you and how you want to present it will make a big difference on your dashboard. So there is a bit of planning that you need to take into consideration before putting your dashboard together.

 If you are not sure where to start, here are two quick guidelines to have an effective goal centric dashboard:

  • Keep key reports and metrics together as they relate to their corresponding goals. 
  • Place your most metrics front and center.

Follow through with your new system

As is the case with every strategy, it all boils down to execution and consistency. You could design the most impressive dashboard, but if you don’t follow through with its implementation, you won’t give the system enough time to give you the results you need. 

Your follow-through should also include your team. A great way to make sure your whole team uses their dashboard is to give them the opportunity to track their progress and suggest ways in which they can improve their contributions. After all, the purpose of presenting the most valuable business information in a dashboard is to reach your goals, and you can’t do that without the help of your team. 

If you are having trouble visualizing this new system or need help implementing a dashboard that drives success, turn to an experienced and trusted accounting partner, like creditte

We’ll help you put together a dashboard with your goals in mind and ensure you are following through with your new system. Contact us today

Start building a better business with better numbers

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