This article was written in collaboration with OCBC. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg
There are many aspects to running a successful business, including managing your clients, customers, employees, suppliers and business cashflow. It isn’t dissimilar to driving a car. For your car to be driven safely, all its parts have to work well independently, as well as in conjunction with one another. If any component is faulty, your car may no longer be safe to drive.
This is why cars have numerous indicators on their dashboard. These indicators signal to the driver if something is wrong with the car, and provides an early warning to alert the driver to take a closer look at the components which are malfunctioning.
Similarly, business owners should have a dashboard to help them monitor and manage their businesses. A dashboard not only lets them see how the different parts of their businesses are performing, but also alerts them to areas that are underperforming and may need more attention.
Read Also: Business Banking In Singapore: Then And Now
How Our Personalised Digital Business Dashboard By OCBC Helps Us
As a financial media start-up, there are key aspects of our operations at DollarsAndSense.sg that we constantly monitor. These include our web traffic, social media growth and our electronic direct mailer (EDM) subscriber base. The growth of these digital assets are essential for our business, and reflects how well we are performing.
To help business owners in Singapore, OCBC has recently introduced its innovative Digital Business Dashboard to its business banking customers. This service is available for free with the OCBC business account.
To understand how the Digital Business Dashboard works, we decided to give it a try. As an existing OCBC business banking customer, we could register and login to use the Digital Business Dashboard with the same login details for our business account.
We have been using it for about two months now, since it was first introduced in December 2018. Here are three ways that the dashboard has helped us.
# 1 Bird’s-eye view of the business operations
The basic concept of the Digital Business Dashboard is to give business owners a snapshot of the key areas in their business which matters the most to them, via a single login ([email protected], Business Internet Banking), instead of having to log in via multiple apps.
This way, whenever a business owner is logging in, presumably to check on their account balance, they can also review other key information for their business and use it in a similar way to the dashboard in their cars – as an early warning signal to look more closely into certain areas of their operation.
Aside from viewing our account balance (which has been blanked out), we are also able to see other key metrics which are important to us once we connect them to the dashboard. These include our website traffic (from Google Analytics), our Facebook Growth (from Facebook) and our EDM subscriber base (from Mailchimp).
Being able to observe data from a business overview is great, because it allows us to know which areas of our business is performing well, and more importantly, areas that can be improved upon.
Also, instead of looking at information in isolation, we can now benchmark it against other data points. For example, we can now compare our website traffic against our EDM opened and clicked rate to determine if there is any correlation between the two.
It’s important to know that your Digital Business Dashboard isn’t going to tell you how you should be managing your business (just like how a car dashboard isn’t going to teach you how to drive). Rather, it gives you the key information that you want and need – as determined by you – so that you effectively monitor the growth of your business, without needing to manually log-in to multiple platforms or download and consolidate all these information into a daily or weekly report. This added convenience gives you precious time to focus on higher level work such as to analyse the data and trends that your business is seeing.
# 2 Finding other apps that you can use
As our company grows, it’s natural that we find ourselves using more apps to help us manage our business. For example, while an excel spreadsheet might suffice in the past in helping us keep track of our order book, invoices and account receivables when our annual revenue was still at five-figure, it quickly becomes harder once the company scales up.
With an extensive list of apps that you can connect to your dashboard, we were able to identify other useful apps that we could consider utilising to help us manage specific areas of our business which we need help in.
For example, by selecting the Money category, we could sort out all the accounts and finance related apps that we can use to help us manage our account. If like us, you outsource certain portions of your accounting work to a specialist, you can even connect the app that your external accountant is using to your dashboard, giving you convenient access to look at areas that your accountant is working on anytime you want, without needing a meetup, or having to request information from them.
You can also find useful marketing, human resource and sales apps that you may consider using for your business, depending on the needs of your operations. New apps are also constantly being added to the list.
# 3 Getting information on the go
Probably the biggest advantage of the Digital Business Dashboard is that it allows me, as an entrepreneur, to keep track of all the key areas of the business on a daily basis, in a quick and convenient manner.
If I want to get all the information that I need today, I no longer need to access multiple logins and inevitably finding myself having to ask my colleagues for the passwords to different apps, as our IT guy regularly change it.
The dashboard allows me to now get a quick overview of the business while I am on the move, whether it’s going home at the end of each day, or running between meetings during the day.
This not only saves me time, but more importantly, reduces the man-hours required for my colleague to furnish me with information that I need, information which I can now easily access on my own through the dashboard.
These days, they only get a text from me when something isn’t going right!
Get Started With Digital Business Dashboard Today
If you are an existing OCBC business banking customer, you can get immediate access to your Digital Business Dashboard today.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how you can get started.
Step 1: Go to the Digital Business Dashboard webpage. Login to the dashboard using your existing business account details.
Step 2: Once you log on, you will be able to select the type of industry your business is in. The dashboard will also suggest a list of relevant apps that you may consider linking to the dashboard.
Step 3: Choose the apps that you are currently already using and wish to link to your dashboard. You will be asked to connect these apps. You only need to link each app once.
To find out more, watch this video about how the Digital Business Dashboard by OCBC on how it can help you make better decisions for your business.