One of the truly exciting benefits of the Age of Technology we’re living through now is that the way we look at everything has changed. And that includes, the way we look at the numbers in business.
Gone are the days of financial reports that list lots of numbers on a page. Actually, that’s not true. Those reports still exist and are required to be produced for every business. But, from a management perspective, you don’t need to look at those reports ever again, if you choose not to.
I’m not really suggesting that you don’t look at those reports. What I am suggesting is that you can now see these same numbers in a different format: in graphs and charts and other pretty pictures.
Although the exact origin of “a picture paints a thousand words” is disputed, it nonetheless is an adage that applies well to graphs and charts that are based on the financial numbers in your business.
With 65% of the population considered to be visual learners, it’s no wonder that the majority of people’s eyes glaze over when presented with a set of financial statements which appear to them to simply be a listing of numbers on a page with no context and no meaning.
When you look at a graph and the line is in a general upward movement from left to right, you just know that this is a good thing. When you look at a pie chart that has one large slice that is more than half of the pie and a few smaller slices, you inherently understand that too.
These types of reports are now readily available and can be produced either on a monthly basis in a report, or with real-time updated systems, like Crunchboards. Either way, the benefits of a quick glimpse at them will paint a picture of what is happening in your business.
I’ve been providing monthly reports to one particular client for the past 12 months whilst she learnt the basics of the numbers, and just recently we have implemented the real-time system for the business too. From a woman who didn’t understand the numbers a year ago, she’s now excited about them and loving being able to check real-time how her business is going. Not only that, but she has made massive improvements to the figures due to focussing on the key drivers for her business and seeing those graphs every month.
The graphs didn’t always go up, and some of them are a bit like a yo-yo – up and down, up and down. But overall, she understands what they mean and is working on having more of the up, up and away graphs.
If you’re not using graphs to report your numbers, take action today and implement them. It will make a big difference, I promise you.