Do You Have A KPI Dashboard That You Check Daily?
Today, I’m talking about your business. And I have a question for you. Would you drive your car without a gas gauge? And if you didn’t have a gas gauge and you are driving your car, let me ask you what would the driving experience be like and how would it be different than the current way that you are driving if you have a gauge? And by the way if you have an electric car as I do, you’ll still have a battery gauge, right?
Your Car Dashboard is a KPI Dashboard
So without that gas gauge what would driving be like? If we just took that out of your car? Well, if you ever had your gas gauge go down on you, you know what it is like. Here what happens.
Number one, you are constantly worried about your gas. You’ll never know if you have enough gas to get you where you need to go and you’ll never know when you’re going to run out of gas.
So, you’ll always have this constant worry and fear in your mind and what typically happening is you have to get gas a lot more often. And you have to come up with other ways of tracking how much gas you have in your tank, right? Because you don’t really know, but you know kind of how far you’ve driven.
So when you drive the same road, you’ll start going ok in 3 or 4 days I need to get gas let’s say, right? But then you can’t wait four days. Because if you wait four days, guess what? You might get stranded on the side of the road. So you’re getting gas now every two days to be safe. So you end up being one, worrying about it all the time. And god forbid if anything happens when you get off of your normal routine.
Then what happens is you’re getting gas all the time, and you’re getting it more often, and I guarantee you, you’re still going to run out of gas at some point. Because no matter what you do you will screw up. You’ll forget. Something will happen something will change, and you’ll run out of gas. Isn’t it crazy?
Like it worries you more. You get gas more often yet you still run out of gas. Now let me as you this. For how many of you does this sound like how you run your business? See you constantly worried about things. Whether it’s the finances, it’s about making payroll; it’s about sales numbers, it’s about delivering to your clients or whatever it may be.
You constantly worried about these things, and you’re putting in more effort than you should. You still fall short every once in a while. Still comes a time that you don’t have enough money in the bank. You don’t make enough sales; you don’t close enough business, you don’t get enough leads, whatever it is, you’re still struggling to get the result and yet you’re worried about it a lot. You’re worried about it in fact constantly.
You’re putting more into that area of your business than you should. So what’s the answer?
See the brilliant people who developed the car put a dashboard in there. And in fact, in my book the Business Bible, I actually have a dashboard of a car in there.
Breaking Down KPI Setting Guidelines
Because I talk about this and say make your business kind of like your car. See when you sit down on your car seat, you’ll have in front of you a beautiful KPI dashboard. Now, what is KPI? KPI stands for “Key Performance Indicator.” Some people call them vital factors. It doesn’t matter. When you go to the doctor, they have vitals that they take on you.
As a person who has a background in medicine. I can tell you; you go to the doctor for whatever it is. A broken bone, you’re sick, whatever it is. Instantly they take several vitals on your body. Ok, these are your KPI’s. They take your heart rate, they take your blood pressure, and there is the third one that they take that you might not notice but they take your breathing rate.
An Example of KPIs in Action
So when someone gets to the hospital that’s what they do. And then depending on what they see there, they may or may do additional tests. Now there are reasons they pick these three things that I’m going to show you in a minute because they are not randomly picking these three things.
There are a lot of other things they could check for. But they start with these three because number one, they are very easy and quick to track. Ok? That’s the number one reason. There are a lot of things that would be better like for example; I remember being in medical school and they are like look at the patient’s breathing rate. Now, I was like why would you look at the breathing rate?
Well, because you want to see what their oxygen level is like. And I was like why wouldn’t you just take oxygen saturation test? Because to do that you need this instrument and it takes, you know, a couple of minutes and breathing rate you can just observe them while talking or while they are standing.
And why, for example, pulse? Well, because that is some you can quickly take with your hand. Why blood pressure? Well, even though it requires an instrument. It’s so quick and easy to get that it’s worth it. Now, what happens if someone’s breathing rate looks off?
What happens if the blood pressure is off? What happens if their pulse doesn’t seem to be where you needed to be? Now, you can take an additional test. Now, you can do an oxygen saturation test. Now, you can do x-rays. Now, you can do all these other things. Of course, it’ll be great if every time you went to the hospital they took a full MRI of your entire body. Did x-rays of your entire body.
Forget all the radiation you’re getting. Imagine how much time it would take. Imagine how much time that would take. How much it would cost. And 99 percent of the time they wouldn’t find anything. So they are not just going to run these randomly start doing these things on you.
So in your business, you have to think of it in the same way. Because a car, for example, is giving you a beautiful KPI dashboard as you‘re driving. What are the different things that you needed to see? Well, it’s really nice to be able to see your speed, right?
In most cars, it’s nice to see your RPM’s. See how fast the engine is going. You can see how much gas you have. And then there are other gauges that some of you may not even notice it. If you’re not into cars but if you’re into cars you’ll know them and you look at them but I bet you if any of these gauges are off, you’ll know. For example, the temperature of the car.
Most of you don’t actively look at the temperature of the car. But it’s still there. Because one day the temperature of your car goes out of whack is the day you’re going to be stuck on the side of the road or burn your engine.
These brilliant people who have developed cars have done something that is unlike what you’ve done in your business. They’ve made these gauges to be really smart. So take your speedometer for example. You see what they’ve done is, they put numbers there for you to see things but they haven’t put every single number, right? You have bigger numbers possible at 0, 10, 20, 30, 50 so on and so forth.
And maybe a number like 100 or 75 or 65 or something like that. It’s bolder or bigger or a different color. And then your RPM gauges literally is color-coded, right? So you can see when you‘re getting to those danger zones where you could be damaging your engine.
It tracks all of that. And then your gas gauges are awesome. Why? Because it tells you how much gas you have and then if you get to a certain level, a light goes on. In fact, in some cars in addition to a light coming on, it even starts beeping at you.
How freaking brilliant is that? Isn’t that why most cars don’t run out of gas? Now, some of you even with all those indicators, still run out of gas in your days, ok?
We got to have a talk because apparently KPI dashboards aren’t working so well for you. But the thing is, I noticed that people typically don’t run out of gas. 99.9999 percent of the time people don’t run out of gas. But how may business go bankrupt? Huh? Isn’t that interesting? More businesses go bankrupt than cars running out of gas. I guarantee you.
If you look in any city, in any country, in any given year. More companies go bankrupt than cars running out of gas, but there’s a heck a lot more cars on the road than there are businesses. Isn’t that amazing? Well, it’s because most businesses aren’t operating with a KPI dashboard.
See, car engines typically don’t burn unless you do something really stupid. Cars don’t typically run out of gas. Cars typically don’t have their temperate go up so high that the whole radiator or something burns. These things don’t happen. Why? Because you got these indicators. Key Performance Indicators. And now some of the newer cars will tell you how your brake pads are doing. A light goes on when your brake pads are in 20 percent or whatever. Even in the old cars, isn’t interesting? They still have KPI indicators for brakes, right?
That screeching sound. That is a KPI. That is a Key Performance Indicator that your car has. Because your brake pads are worn down and start beeping at you, screeching at you. It’s an annoying noise. They made it annoying on purpose.
And so you go and get your brakes changed, right? Now it’s interesting because some of those cases they make it screech quite early because of course, they’d love to sell you another set of brake pads. But let’s keep that conversation for another day, right? So some cars what you have is they tell you the tire pressure on your car and if your tire pressure is low. It tells you. All of these are these incredible things in your KPI dashboard. Key Performance dashboard. And I told you the medical exam so now let’s jump into your business.
Your KPI Dashboard Needs to Give You the Most Critical Numbers
In your business, you need to have a KPI dashboard that gives you the most critical numbers that you need. Now, as you are building your KPI dashboard, I want you to keep checking your car. See what kind of KPI your car has. And then go back and try to recreate something similar. Because what most of you will do, is you’ll try to track way too many things. See in a car there aren’t that many KPI’s. You could be tracking a thousand other things, but it doesn’t.
See it tracks only the important things. And then things are represented in different ways. You can’t represent everything in the same way. Something like the seat belt not being on. It’s just a light. It’s not a gauge. It’s not a number. And if you don’t put your seatbelt on at least in my car, first it’s just a light but then you start driving, and it starts beeping at you. So there are levels where the sort of KPI indicator changes the way it talks to you. And then you have your speedometer.
That’s a gauge. You have something else. Like your radio. It’s a number that displays what radio station you are on and if it’s on or if it’s off. It’s a red light or green light. Something like that. That’s what you got to create for yourself. You got to find the most critical things in your business and if you don’t know where to start? Start with 3 things.
What Are Your Three Most Important Types of Key Performance Indicators?
If there were 3 numbers that you could get on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. And all you could get is 3 numbers. What would those 3 numbers be? Then if you want to expand it to five. But start with those 3. Get those 3 first because most of you aren’t looking at those 3.
So get those down first and then you can dig deeper. Now, here’s the way you should want to run your business. I something called “The run your business from an island test”. If you can pass this test, it means you can run your business from an island. I’m not talking an island where you’re working all day. I’m talking about an island that you are relaxing most of the day and out of 24 hours a day you are only working about 10 minutes on most days.
The Run Your Business From an Island Test
And more importantly, this remote island is so remote that you literally only have 1 minute of internet access each day. And that 1 minute of internet access, comes in 2 30 seconds increments, at 8:00 am and then at 8:09 am, ok? So what happens is this, let’s play this game.
Every morning at 8:00 am you have 30 seconds of internet and then you don’t have internet for 9 minutes. And then at 8:09:30, you get another 30 seconds of internet. And my challenge to you is to run your entire company. Let’s assume that you have 100 employees. Ready? Go! How do you do that? Well, one way you could do it is having a brilliant KPI dashboard.
Now, you have to have a system set up. So for the entrepreneurs and the artist, hey you might want to have an operator to help you to get the system set up for this first but once you have your system set up, now the key is this, you should be able to in those first 30 seconds of internet service.
You should get your KPI’s sent to you. Now if you’re trying to run the entire company, you might need a lot more KPI’s than just 3. But you should get all the KPI’s. And when you look at the KPI’s, it should be the big KPI’s first. Because you only have about 9 minutes to analyze all of this information. So what you got to do is quickly analyze it.
Meaning, you get the KPI’s in those first 30 seconds then within about 45 to 60 seconds, you should be able to analyze that data. And decide what needs to happen. And you’re going to spend the next 7 or 8 minutes figuring out what needs to happen in reaction to what you saw in the KPI’s.
Your KPI Dashboard is Like a Treasure Map
Now, hopefully, you don’t see anything big, and it’s like “hey, great work.” That’s all you got to say. Back to your team. But in other cases, you need to give them guidance based on what you’re seeing. Like they need to do this, they need to do that. They need to make cuts here. They need to do this with here. And then if you start focusing on this more or that more. Or you could request more data. That’s the big one, right? And I call it dig here. What it means is, you see in a treasure a map.
There’s a spot that the treasure map tells you to dig. Your KPI dashboard is doing the same thing. All its doing is saying “hey dig right here.” That first set of numbers that comes.
Those first numbers are there to tell you where there may be an issue and where you might want to dig. And then, when you need additional details, you ask them to send you additional KPI’s. So what you end up having is multiple layers of KPI’s.
Where the little stuff rolls up to the big numbers. But you don’t look at the little stuff every day. You only look at it if there is something in the big ones that’s off, right? Like if a red light goes off. Something happened. Now you dig deeper.
So you tell your team “Hey, I need stuff, on all of these little things.” Like you request that they send it to you during that 2nd 30 seconds, and now you got the rest of the day. I know you’re on your island and you wanted to just relax. But now you’re going to take the rest of this day. And you’re going to work on figuring what you need to do to address those issues. And that is the island test.
Setting up Your Business KPI Dashboard
If you can pass that test that means you finally graduated my friend from being a business operator, someone who is in his or her business every single day. Grinding away to be truly being a business owner. Because wouldn’t you like to go on an island every once in a while? Even if your island is right in your office. You just don’t want to work on day to day, right? I’m not trying to tell you; you have to move to an island.
Maybe you don’t want to do that. Fine! But wouldn’t it be nice to let your business run on its own, right? If you want to grow. Wouldn’t it be nice if certain aspects of your business on running on their own? While you go, look at other aspects, but you could still keep an eye on those older places that you used to be in every single day.
So if something goes wrong, you boom! You go right back into it and find out what’s going on. That is what’s critical. So today, I challenge you to develop a KPI dashboard, and I want to remind you. Go to your car. Look at the KPI dashboard in your car. Jot down some of the things you noticed. Some things that I haven’t even mentioned here.
Then design a KPI dashboard much like your car. It doesn’t necessarily look like your cars. Although it could, I’ve seen ones that literally look like a car dashboard. But you could make it however you want. And at first, it doesn’t need to be fancy.
It’s doesn’t need to be digitized. It could just be a piece of paper that people are bringing you, right? It could be text messages that your employees are sending you. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a matter of having the numbers on a regular basis.
And you can have some KPI’s that are daily, some that are weekly, and some that are monthly. But at first, don’t make it complicated. Stick with 3 of the most important KPI’s. Key Performance Indicators. Get your team to start providing you those on a regular basis and then you can expand to 5, 7, ten do whatever you need to do to develop that model.
One day you could technically run your business from an island. Working only from 8:00 am to 8:10 am. And until that day, I want to leave you with one really important message in your business, in your life and everything that you do. Go out there and lead with your heart.