Posted on 29 June, 2017 | 4 min
It’s no secret that small business owners want to find more time in their day. Given the breadth of responsibilities, it’s not surprising that even the most hard-working SME decision makers want to find new ways to get everything done. In fact, 84% of UK Small Business owners we surveyed say they wish it was easier to manage their time.
We built the 9 Spokes dashboard to help you be more productive and enable you to make smarter decisions. So, how can 9 Spokes help? Sign up for a free dashboard and check out the following 5 tips to be more productive today!
1. Data driven performance culture
Our number one tip is to create good data driven performance culture for your business. Data driven performance culture is one that embraces learning and knowledge over guessing and intuition. Businesses with good data driven performance culture make data driven decisions and lay the foundations for tracking goal progress.
The free 9 Spokes smart dashboard displays all your business metrics in one place. All you need to do is connect the business apps you are already using, and your dashboard will instantly provide you with interactive data-based insights. Quickly see how your business is performing so you can make smarter decisions based on that data. You can assign additional users to your dashboard so you can collectively work on goals based on fact, not fantasy.
Your data tells the story of your business. When you embrace measurement culture, it’s easier to manage your time because you are taking the guess work out of decision making. You’ll be able to tell the story of your company just from the business metrics, and you’ll have all your most important business metrics at your fingertips, which brings us to our next point…
2. Focus on what’s important
We are often distracted by what we sense is urgent, but urgent is not the same as important. A 9 Spokes dashboard allows you to see what’s important fast so you can decide what to do next.
Create a dashboard hierarchy so that your workflow enables you to focus on what you’ve pre-determined is your priority before you devote time to urgency. We usually absorb information from left to right, top to bottom. Organising your interactive widgets to reflect your top priorities by placing them at the top of your dashboard will help you see what you deem most important, first.
Of course, what’s most important to you and your business will shift over time. Your 9 Spokes dashboard will always be customisable so you can put the widgets that reflect your current priorities towards the top of your dashboard.
Let’s say you are running a marketing campaign to drive people to view your new website. Your priority will probably be keeping a close eye on your e-mail campaign and your click through rate. You can view your promotional offers through posts on social media platforms and send an email to your customer database using MailChimp, while monitoring click-through rates to your website using Google Analytics. With the 9 Spokes smart dashboard you can move these widgets to the top of your dashboard, and next week, when you’re prioritising cash flow and gross profit you can view your top selling products alongside your expenses all on one dashboard.
3. Spend less time online
By connecting your business apps into your 9 Spokes dashboard, you save time simply by avoiding the dreaded online ludic loop. What is a ludic loop? You know when you check your email, your sales, and your social media, and then start again, and somehow, an hour goes by? That’s a ludic loop. It’s the same science that locks people into playing slot machines. With a 9 Spokes dashboard, you’re interrupting the loop because you only have to look in one place to get all your data. It’s a stopping tool for the loop and a starting place for your goals. Focus on your key priorities with your 9 Spokes dashboard and structure a more productive day
4. Stop researching apps
This is an easy one: stop spending valuable time researching apps and new technology. The team at 9 Spokes is already doing that work for you. We understand every business is unique, so we work closely with industry experts to select and recommend the best apps that will add value to your business.
Every app we include is subject to our rigorous accreditation process. The “Spokes” in 9 Spokes refers to 9 key areas we’ve identified as critical for business success: money, customers, product, people, marketing, sales, productivity, information and specialist. We have carefully curated a list of the best apps in each of these categories, and you can further customise your dashboard for your industry.
5. Make fewer mistakes
Companies often make a number of errors measuring themselves—whether it’s from poor data entry or not prioritising the right metrics. When you use cloud-based software, your metrics rely on actions, not data entry. You’re much more likely to get accurate measures, and with a 9 Spokes dashboard, you can clearly see your most important data all in one place.
Still, everyone makes mistakes. When you run into the inevitable business kerfuffle, having your dashboard at your fingertips can make a huge difference. When mistakes are made, business metrics can show you what went wrong. It is much easier to figure out how to improve when you can quickly and accurately compare your metrics. With the 9 Spokes smart dashboard, you can quickly to address problems as they arise, and make data-driven choices to get back on track.
Reliable metrics provide feedback, but also help drive smarter decision making, saving you time. A good metric can help you predict what will happen next. Our goal at 9 Spokes is to help SMEs access reliable metrics in a way that translates into good business decisions.