In This Episode:
Ben identifies four problematic factors that may actually be motivating you to create that shiny new dashboard helping you avoid sophisticated procrastination and redirect your efforts toward fixing the underlying issues.
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Okay, yes, the title is a little clickbaity or designed to poke people… however, often there are other reasons why people go searching for or get entranced by a new dashboard, new piece of software, or a new way to report their numbers. And in this episode, I wanna help you spot those reasons so that you don’t get distracted by a shiny object too.
[00:00:19] Welcome to the Business Numbers podcast. I’m your host, Ben McAdam. I’ve helped over a thousand business owners with growth, profits, and clarity around the numbers, and I created this podcast to help you with that too.
[00:00:32] Okay. Yes, the title is a little clickbaity or designed to poke people. A new dashboard or software might be the solution for you.
[00:00:39] However, often, there are other reasons why people go searching for or get entranced by a new dashboard, new piece of software, or a new way to report their numbers. And in this episode, I wanna help you spot those reasons so that you don’t get distracted by a shiny object too.
[00:00:55] I’ve got four reasons to look out for.
[00:00:57] There’s more. These are just the most common ones I’ve seen. And one or more may have been from my personal experience earlier in my entrepreneurial journey…
[00:01:08] So the first reason why you might get tempted by a new shiny object, and it might not actually be the answer for you… the first reason is maybe you don’t understand the numbers you can already see, and you think that the new thing will help it click better for you.
[00:01:26] Perhaps you have a bookkeeper or accountant who’s sending you a Profit and Loss or Income Statement each month, and you look at it, and you have no idea what any of those numbers mean. And so maybe a piece of software will explain it or display it in a different way that will help it click better.
[00:01:46] I’ve heard people feel very tempted by the idea of graphs and charts to visually show what the numbers mean. So it doesn’t necessarily solve all clarity problems just by throwing a graph or a chart.
[00:02:01] The second reason why you might be unhelpfully tempted by a new thing when you don’t actually need it is that you don’t know which are the important numbers.
[00:02:13] You might kind of have an idea about what the numbers mean, but you don’t know which of the important ones you need to focus on. And maybe you think the new thing will give you that clarity and highlight the important numbers for you.
[00:02:25] A client I worked with hired me for a short-term engagement to help him develop a new report because he had a lot of different reports, and he wanted one overall dashboard because he didn’t know what to do. Which of the reports were important, which of the numbers were important, and whether their numbers were good or bad? He had no idea.
[00:02:47] So, hired me to help him with that. And the end result wasn’t necessarily a new report. The main thing that he needed to do was to set goals. Top-down goals like this is the amount of revenue or amount of growth that we want to aim for, and therefore this is the marketing goals we have. These are the product manufacturing goals that we have, and fulfillment goals and all that.
[00:03:12] By setting the goals top down like that, it then is more clear which of the numbers are more important. You go for the higher level ones, or like which numbers are holding those bigger numbers back. So it’s not necessarily a new dashboard or a new piece of software that will give the clarity on which numbers are important.
[00:03:35] The third reason is maybe you’re uncomfortable with numbers. That’s a good portion of the people who come to me, actually. They are fairly uncomfortable about the numbers. And they either don’t want to be, although they wanna make sure somebody is helping them keep an eye on the numbers. So no judgment if that’s you.
[00:03:52] If you feel uncomfortable with the numbers and potentially if you’re busy setting up a new dashboard or setting up a new piece of software, or you’re waiting for someone else to finish doing that for you, that means you can put off looking at the numbers or thinking about the numbers a little longer.
[00:04:11] Sometimes, creating new dashboards or signing up for a new piece of software is a sophisticated form of procrastination. Not just to do with your numbers, it can be a way to procrastinate many things.
[00:04:27] This is one of the things that was from my personal experience. I thought the solution to my marketing or sales problems was, you know, signing up for a new piece of software that would help me track the numbers better but didn’t actually help me improve them.
[00:04:46] But while I was busy learning about and setting up that new software, I was avoiding or procrastinating fixing the thing that needed to be fixed… which was to do a podcast, or presentations, or content, or get out there somehow and get in front of people.
[00:05:02] This is a few years ago.
[00:05:05] So maybe you’re doing the same thing, some sophisticated procrastination.
[00:05:11] The fourth and final of these main reasons why you might be unhelpfully tempted is that you’re actively avoiding the numbers. Like you really don’t want to see something or you’re worried that you’ll see something.
[00:05:26] And so, you’re putting it off by setting up something new or you are hoping the new thing won’t show you the thing you don’t wanna see. Or you think by changing the way the numbers are displayed it won’t tell you the story you’re worried that the numbers are gonna tell you.
[00:05:48] And again, no judgment on this one.
[00:05:51] Sometimes, there are things we are not ready to see. Or we don’t feel confident seeing, or maybe just need somebody there to hold our hand or reassure us that it’s gonna be fine.
[00:06:05] That’s totally fine. No judgment. But maybe don’t waste your time on creating a new dashboard or signing up for a new piece of software if that’s not actually gonna help fix the actual problem, which is that you are like really worried about what’s going on in your numbers and you kind of don’t wanna see it.
[00:06:27] So that’s the four reasons…
- You don’t understand the numbers you can already see and think the new thing will help it click better.
- You don’t know which are the important numbers and hope the new thing highlights the important ones for you.
- You could be uncomfortable with numbers and procrastinating in a very sophisticated way.
- You might be actively avoiding the numbers.
[00:06:48] These are the four most common reasons that I’ve seen that people get tempted by a new dashboard, new software, or new type of report.
[00:06:57] And if you notice these things… if you ever get tempted by a new dashboard, new software, new type of report… then check it’s not because of one of these unhelpful reasons.
[00:07:09] Like I said, it might actually be the right answer. I’ll often recommend new things to clients when it’s the right move. We just want to check that you’re not interested for the wrong reasons and that you don’t waste your time, waste your money creating something that isn’t actually necessary.
[00:07:27] That’s it for this episode. Just a quick one. I hope it was helpful. Thanks for listening.
[00:07:32] Thanks for listening. If this was helpful, please subscribe, follow, rate, like, share, comment… all the things.
[00:07:40] Show notes are at www.profitscollective.com/podcast or www.businessnumberspodcast.com.[00:07:47] If you want some help with growth, profits, and clarity around your numbers, go to www.profitscollective.com for more resources or to book a quick chat about working together.