What are the Dashboarding options for Small Businesses (SMBs) ?

When you think about it, driving a car is pretty complicated. It requires coordinating several extremities while keeping your eyes on the road and the dashboard gauges. Steering a business takes just as much dexterity, which is why a dashboard view of your company’s operational metrics could really come in handy.

You don’t need more reasons or justification for dashboards

In one of the surveys it was mentioned, most of the new Small business’s fail not because of their execution or anything else but because the owner never realized where the problem is. To keep track of your business, you need to actively monitor who is your top customer, what is your open account receivables, what is your inventory etc.

Sure, all of this information is available right in Quickbooks but the problem is you need to run seperate reports to get all these information. So lets say it typically takes 5 mins to run a typical report and if the business owner where to run say 10 different reports on a daily basis that itself accounts to a precious 50 mins of his/her time.

A small business is often bootstrapped so obviously there are no administrators who will run the reports so it is the owner’s job to keep a daily health check of his business.

This is a major major pain and the most painful part is that this is a tough part to comprehend, understand and implement for a small business owner.

SaaS leaders like NetSuite and Salesforce.com pioneered this kind of front end for business processes. This kind of dashboard reporting has been missing for Quickbooks until now. There are quite a few Dashboarding options for a small business using Quickbooks.

MyBizHomepage, a Middleburg, Virginia-based startup, automatically uploads your QuickBooks data (2007 and 2008 versions only) to your own customizable web page, where you can keep an eye on your enterprise’s critical operational factors in real time. Many are standard-but-important business measures—the state of payables, receivables, cash flow and inventory.

In the above option you need to send your quickbook data to a third party which may be of little concern for few business owners.

InfoCaptor, is another Dashboard alternative where you can download the software on your PC and view the dashboards. It provides Expense trending, Sales trending and various gauges for financial ratios to alert you if your business is going off-track.


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