The Benefits of Visual Dashboards for Entrepreneurs
Bogdan Romaniuk

The Benefits of Visual Dashboards for Entrepreneurs

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Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting journey, but it’s also a challenging one. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for the success of your business, and it’s your job to manage the many aspects of running a business. From marketing to budgeting and operations, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. As an entrepreneur, the most important challenge is to stay organized and keep track of the daily operations of your business. With the right tools, entrepreneurs can gain a better understanding of their operations and make better decisions. In this article, we will explore if visual dashboards can be one of these tools and if they can bring real benefits to aspiring entrepreneurs.

First, what is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is an individual who has the initiative and drive to identify a business opportunity, take risks in pursuit of that opportunity, and create a new product or service to satisfy a need or address a problem. They are problem solvers and innovators who are able to think outside the box. Entrepreneurs often start their own businesses and use their skills and knowledge to build products, services, and companies that are successful. They are often willing to take risks and make sacrifices in order to achieve success. Here are a few entrepreneurship examples. An entrepreneur must also be able to manage their finances, adhere to legal regulations, and develop a strong team to help them achieve their goals. Entrepreneurs often have a vision for their business and are dedicated to making it a reality. They are driven, ambitious, and constantly looking for ways to improve their business. Additionally, they have the ability to motivate and inspire their team to strive for excellence.

What are the most frequent challenges of an entrepreneur?

One of the most frequent challenges faced by entrepreneurs is managing their time efficiently. With so many tasks to manage and decisions to make, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to prioritize and stay on top of their responsibilities. Additionally, entrepreneurs often have to juggle multiple projects and roles at once, which can be overwhelming and lead to burnout if not managed properly. 

Entrepreneurs also face the challenge of staying competitive in their market. With new businesses popping up all the time, entrepreneurs have to constantly be innovating and finding new ways to stand out from the competition. Knowing the latest trends and understanding customer needs are essential for success in this area.

Entrepreneurs must be able to handle stress and criticism. As the owners of a business, they will be responsible for all of the decisions made, which means they must be able to take criticism and learn from it in order to move forward. Additionally, entrepreneurs are often faced with high levels of stress as they try to juggle multiple responsibilities and manage the risks associated with running a business. Being able to stay calm and focused in such situations is essential for success.

There are many other challenges depending on the business type and the actual skills of the entrepreneur. Let’s focus on these and see if a visual dashboard can be a useful tool in these cases.

Can a visual dashboard help an entrepreneur manage their time better?

By writing down their activities and deadlines, entrepreneurs can prioritize and concentrate on the most urgent and significant tasks. Here are some ways a visual dashboard like the one in the picture below can assist them in managing their time:

visual dashboard can help an entrepreneur manage their time better
  • By prioritizing activities: a visual dashboard can help entrepreneurs decide what tasks need to be done first by arranging them in order of significance and immediacy. This will enable them to focus on the most crucial activities first and make sure that deadlines are met, and progress is made.

  • By steering clear of procrastination: By making a list of tasks and setting deadlines, entrepreneurs can prevent themselves from putting things off by having a clear and achievable plan to complete the job.

  • By maintaining organization: visual dashboards can help entrepreneurs remain organized by keeping track of all their responsibilities, including due dates and necessary resources.

Let’s take a few concrete examples:

If an entrepreneur fails to meet the target date for a product launch, it could result in the item not getting to consumers on time. This could lead to unanticipated lost sales and damage the standing with customers, who may then have doubts about the company's reliability in keeping its word. Additionally, the missed deadline could cause a backlog in the production process, leading to more money being spent and putting financial strain on the business. Consequently, the entrepreneur may need to dedicate effort and resources to regaining the faith of customers and partners, which could take away from expanding the business. This could easily be avoided by spending no more than a few seconds each day on a visual dashboard that contains all the essential deadlines.

A business owner may neglect to renew an essential business license or authorization, which would mean the business is operating unlawfully. This could trigger fees, punishments, and litigations, which could be a financial burden for the business and bring about a negative image for the entrepreneur. Besides, the entrepreneur may fail to pay taxes, expenses, or workers' wages, which could result in a poor credit score for the business, legal difficulties, and employee disappointment. All of these can be easily avoided with a clear and concise weekly planning dashboard.

A time management matrix, also known as an Eisenhower Matrix, is a tool used to prioritize tasks and activities based on urgency and importance. It was developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and is based on the principle that we should focus on activities with high importance and urgency and try to delegate or eliminate activities with low importance and urgency. The matrix consists of two axes—time and resources—and can be used to determine how much time should be allocated to a particular task or project. Entrepreneurs often utilize time management matrices to ensure that their projects are completed within a specific timeline and with the resources available. They can also be used to provide an overview of a company’s workload, helping to better allocate resources and personnel. You can add a time management matrix to a visual dashboard easily in the Xtiles app, and it will look like this:

time management matrix

Can a visual dashboard help an entrepreneur stay up to date with trends and help innovate?

They can, for sure. Let’s take this example of a template from the Xtiles app, called “Brainstorm Ideas”, visible in the screenshot below:

This template not only helps you stay up to date with trends related to your business, with demands customers have, and with unusual requests that they may have, but it also provides a framework that can bring forward easy solutions through brainstorming. 

Here’s an example of how the process might work:

To begin, you must identify the issue or change you want to handle. For instance, "How can we make a lasting fashion line for city commuters?" Encourage imaginative and crazy ideas. Don't reject anything, regardless of how unconventional or improbable it may be. Use brainstorming techniques such as "round-robin," where each person takes a turn suggesting an idea, or "mind-mapping," where ideas branch off a central concept. Document all the thoughts talked about in the visual dashboard template mentioned above while keeping the discussion focused on the theme at hand. After the session, analyze the ideas and look for similarities or common themes. Spot the most encouraging ideas and investigate them further. 

Another example of a visual dashboard that can be very helpful for entrepreneurs, especially for those at the start of their journey, is the reading list:

Reading books is an essential part of being an entrepreneur because it provides an opportunity to access a wealth of knowledge and insights that can help inform your decisions, expand your understanding of the world, and develop creative solutions to challenges. Books provide a unique insight into the minds of successful entrepreneurs and offer valuable lessons on how to succeed. Reading books also provides an opportunity to identify patterns in the behavior of successful entrepreneurs and helps to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding to draw from when making decisions. 

There are many great books that can be helpful for entrepreneurs. Here are three examples that stand out:

1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: This book is a great resource for entrepreneurs, as it focuses on the idea of “innovating faster and more efficiently”. It explores how to create startups quickly and sustainably while avoiding common pitfalls. It covers topics such as customer development, testing hypotheses, and creating successful teams.

2. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss: This is another popular book among entrepreneurs. It offers a unique approach to time management, goal setting, and productivity that can help entrepreneurs maximize their efforts while still having a healthy work-life balance. It’s a great tool for entrepreneurs who want to get the most out of their time and energy.

3. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk: This book is a must-read for any entrepreneur who wants to leverage social media to grow their business. It outlines strategies for leveraging platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogging to reach your target audience and create a successful business. 

Add any of these books, or any others that sound interesting to you, to a visual dashboard like in the screenshot I mentioned above.

Can visual dashboards help entrepreneurs relieve stress?

Yes, of course. We can appeal to the help of vision boards. They can be a great tool for entrepreneurs to help relieve stress. By creating a vision board, entrepreneurs can focus on the big picture and think about their future goals and aspirations. This can be helpful in allowing them to take a step back from the day-to-day hustle and bustle and refocus their attention on the bigger picture. A vision board is also a great way to stay motivated and remind oneself of what they are striving for. It serves as a visual reminder of one’s goals and ambitions and can be used to track progress and stay motivated when things get tough. Additionally, it can be used to set daily intentions and provide a reference point for decision-making. All of these things can help entrepreneurs keep up morale and stay focused on the bigger picture, even when dealing with the stresses that come with running a business.

In the Xtiles app, there is a vision board template entrepreneurs can use to speed up the process of creation. Here is an example:

vision oard creation process

You just have to click on titles or images to change them. And you can re-arrange them based on how important they are. 

Summing up

There are many areas in which visual dashboards can help entrepreneurs. To find something that works for you open the Xtiles app, create a new document, and then open the template gallery. Browse all the templates and see which ones could bring real benefits to your daily activities!

Before xTiles
Constantly switched between two different apps for task management and journaling.
Annoyed that his digital files were all over the place with no clear organization.
Felt a bit scattered using many different tools to manage his daily tasks.
With xTiles
Delighted with his personal task management and journaling template that is customized to fit his needs.
Pleased with how his documents are organized and how quickly he can retrieve any specific file he’s looking for.
Feels focused and organized using only one tool to plan and manage his life.
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