Pitching to a group
Several of our customers and Bizeo partners have asked us about the best way to present Bizeo. Our customers want to use Bizeo to pitch data to a board, while our Bizeo partners want to pitch Bizeo data to their customers or potential customers.
One of the great things about Bizeo is that it works well on virtually any platform or device—old desktop PC, the latest Windows 8 PCs, an iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone or tablet (and even a Linux workstation, Windows 8 mobile or new BlackBerry).
However, if you’re using Bizeo to present to a group, there are a few small things you can do to make it easier.
Apart from plugging a projector into a laptop, which is the most obvious thing to do, you have a few great options for using mobile phones or tablets to present on large screens. How you do it will depend mainly on the type of platform you’re using.
Using an Apple device
If you’re using an Apple device, such as an iPhone or iPad, you can either:
- purchase a HDMI out adapter and plug into a large screen or projector that way
- spend $129 on an Apple TV device to wirelessly connect your Apple device to a large screen. This is possibly the best option, as it looks and works fantastically sitting at your desk with your iPad displaying wirelessly on a large screen.
Here’s a short video showing you how to do that:
Using an Android-based device
If you have an Android-based mobile phone or tablet, there are ways you can do much the same thing. First, you can get HDMI or Micro HDMI adapters for most Android devices and some have HDMI outlets built right in to them.
You don’t need to be too envious of your Apple-fan brethren either. Many Android devices, such as my Samsung Galaxy S3, support a feature called AllShare Casting. Like the Apple devices, you need to purchase an external system that supports it. In my case, I purchased a Samsung Blu-ray player that incorporates ScreenCast support for just over $100. Many new TVs have this facility built in and the process is similar to that required for Apple devices.
Bizeo works amazingly well on the small screens of mobile platforms. No other system makes it easier to track exactly what’s going on in your business, and even retrieve and view graphs of KPI data on a small screen. But sometimes you need to share and that’s where a big screen comes in handy.
Do you have other Bizeo tips and tricks that you can share with the community? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that using KPIs to drive real improvements in business outcomes is a passion of mine. Metrics have always been important to me.
However, in the last few years in particular, I’ve been investigating how various organisations use KPIs (and when they don’t). I’ve also studied the behaviours and cultures around KPI usage, and strategies for their implementation. And I’ve seen some ineffective strategies around.
Looking at the entire sales chain
Quite often, I’ve seen businesses use metrics to measure targets, such as profitability, stock return rates and staff retention, without considering the metrics that might drive those outcomes.
To me, this shows a lack of understanding about how to develop effective business strategies—strategies that have structure and forethought likely to produce the intended income as opposed to just a measure of the result.
For example, the process of measuring sales outcomes is quite well defined. Yes, everybody looks at sales revenue and net profit. However, we analyse the entire sales chain.
Savvy managers also look at metrics such as the number of leads generated, conversion rates, time to close etc. By using this well-defined business process, professionals have learned to measure the metrics that drive the outcome, not just the outcome itself.
Unfortunately, I don’t always see this type of methodology used elsewhere.
How metrics drive your stock returns
Let’s look at another example—stock returns. Anyone who sells merchandise knows there’s a high cost associated with returned stock. In some industries, a single returned item might cost the organisation the equivalent margin of 10 or more sales!
So let’s think about the types of metrics that might drive a particular stock return level.
- the wrong products are being shipped
- the addresses are incorrect
- the products have a higher-than-expected failure rate
- the products aren’t meeting the customer’s expectations.
Depending on the product, dozens of factors could be driving a high or low return rate. Yet many organisations don’t monitor these metrics effectively enough to determine the core causes or, just as importantly, help them drive change.
Another example is staff retention rates. However, I’ve saved this one for next week’s article, so keep an eye out for it.
What’s your strategy?
If you want to improve your organisation’s performance, you need to start developing a strategy to improve it and, of course, measure it. Because any strategy without metrics is usually ineffective.
Just a few things for you to think about…
Excited early adopters
Having produced a product that helps businesses measure and manage their KPIs, I’ve gained a lot of insight into how different businesses use KPIs. And I’ve seen some businesses get pretty excited once they start measuring them.
A few years ago, my other business, Direct Marketing Software, implemented an online fundraising system for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation (FNQHF). It was a completely automated system that enabled people to sign up and set themselves a fundraising challenge. Then they used social media, email and other techniques to sign up friends and colleagues who set their own challenges and/or offered financial support.
The day after the website went live, I arrived in Cairns to train their staff in the system. By the time I got there, they’d already signed up nearly 100 fundraisers and raised more than $6000. It had all been done automatically by the website, and the money had already been receipted, cleared and deposited in the bank account. Go team!
Additionally, by the time I got there, the staff had worked out how to to use the software’s reporting tools to see how many people had signed up and how much revenue had been raised.
Throughout the day, my training was regularly interrupted by operators surreptitiously logging into the system to check out how much money they’d raised now and then…now and then…and now!
With this enthusiasm for KPI monitoring, it made sense that the FNQHF became one of the first businesses to adopt Bizeo. They love that they can see their figures where they’re in the office, as well as on their mobile phone, tablet and home PC.
However, more recently, I’ve discovered another group of people who love having current stats available to them 24/7 – event managers.
Event registration – the all-important KPI
Events live or die by one just KPI – how many people have registered. In event management, most marketing, venue and staff costs are relatively fixed, so event registration is the one variable that uniquely determines an event’s success or failure.
Event managers want to track what happens to registrations after every email blast, piece of PR in the paper and blog post. It’s a fixation for them and rightly so!
Of course, you can often go into your event management software and run a report or access a dashboard somewhere. But these simple KPIs aren’t always readily available; you have to access the system, log in, navigate the menus and run the report.
What if you run lots of events simultaneously? Imagine keeping track of all those registrations!
Why event managers love Bizeo
Bizeo ensures that it’s very simple for you to track this all-important KPI – and access it from your smartphone 24/7. You can also set Bizeo to alert you when you achieve a certain attendance level (e.g. breakeven or maximum attendance level).
Finally, there’s another great advantage of Bizeo – while you’re fixating on that one KPI, Bizeo is quietly monitoring all the other KPIs around your business. It tracks every system and location, only interrupting your busy day if something isn’t right.
Every event manager I’ve shown it to loves the idea and many are already using it. You can still use Bizeo for free for an unlimited time, so you can just try it for your next event and let me know how you go.
P.S. If we don’t have a package available for your particular event management system, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
In my last blog post, I discussed how vital it is that businesspeople monitor their stress levels and I explained how I track such a qualitative indicator using a manual KPI.
As the concept of the ‘manual KPI’ is so important in Bizeo and is the key to monitoring what’s really going on in your business, I thought I’d spend more time on the concept.
What is a manual KPI?
Some KPIs can’t just be generated automatically from a database or other system. They need to be calculated or determined by a human. We refer to these as manual KPIs.
Different types of manual KPIs can include:
- a point-of-sale environment, where you want to track the length of queues at the checkout
- qualitative items, such as satisfaction or stress levels
- any KPI that requires human calculation or where the source data hasn’t been stored electronically (e.g. you can only know how much of your week you spent on a specific project if you kept detailed timesheets)
- figures derived from a computer system that can’t be, or hasn’t yet been, interfaced with Bizeo.
How to set up a manual KPI
When you set up a manual KPI in Bizeo, it will send a regular automated email to the person who will produce that KPI (which doesn’t have to be you). They click on the link in that email and a sheet opens up into which they enter the details. It’s that simple.
To set up a manual KPI in Bizeo:
1. Go to Edit Mode
2. Add a new task.
3. For Drone, select ‘Bizeo Cloud Drone’.
4. For Data Source, select ‘Manual KPI’.
5. For KPI, select ‘Manual KPI’.
6. Enter the email address of the person who’ll be entering the KPI.
7. Type the header and body of the email that they’ll receive.
8. Specify other parameters, including the checking period (i.e. how often you want to receive the email).
One final hint
Manual KPIs are great for personal KPIs as well. You can monitor things like your weight, times for your fitness objectives, the number of hours you spend at work each day, and even how satisfied you are with your own or your team’s performance.
The options are endless once you start thinking about it.
If you don’t have Bizeo yet, you can now get a get a free Bizeo subscription for an unlimited time and monitor up to 20 KPIs. I challenge you to come up with all 20! Let me know how you go.
Lessons from weight management
Years ago, I read that people who weigh themselves regularly have far more success in managing their weight than those who don’t. It’s as if the practice of being focused and aware of your current state gives you the information and impetus you need to meet your goals.
I’ve actually been recording my weight in Bizeo for some time, using a manual KPI, and I’d agree. Not only knowing my weight but seeing its trend over time has been really beneficial. It’s given me a greater understanding of my health as I get older.
Stressed out business owners
Recently, I decided to extend this experiment to measuring my stress levels.
The more business owners I speak to, the more I realise that stress is a massive problem in business. So often, we forget to look after ourselves, especially our stress levels. Many people can’t cope if they don’t receive a regular pay cheque, yet business owners face the daily uncertainties of business income and expenses to provide those steady pay cheques. We need to keep our heads when those around us panic about new challenges or uncertainties. And the personal crises of friends and family often end up on our shoulders as well.
Not to mention that the usual remedy for stress relief—taking a holiday—is one of the more stressful things you can do as a business owner (if you don’t have Bizeo!). You’re away from the office, your finger is off the pulse and things aren’t getting done without you there. And then there’s the enormous pile of work that ambushes you when you step back through the door.
To start measuring my stress levels, I developed a rough guide to what determined stress levels at various points on a scale from 1 to 10. Then I started using another daily KPI so that, when Bizeo sends me a daily email asking for my weight, it also asks for my current stress level.
At first, I thought this would be a gimmicky exercise. After all, I understand my stress levels very well after:
- spending nearly 26 years in business
- being the single parent of a teenage daughter
- facing (many times!) the various personal and business crises that challenge us all from time to time.
I didn’t think I’d learn anything new—but I did.
Advantages of stress management
I learned that, just as weighing yourself regularly keeps you focused on your weight, recording your stress levels and seeing their history has a similar effect on stress. While this, in itself, doesn’t reduce the stress, it does keep you focused on what you need to do to keep the KPI within a tolerable range. After all, this is the fundamental promise of Bizeo.
This focus also helps you see trends and adds that extra mental impetus to do something positive when your stress levels have been high for too long or are trending in the wrong direction.
I’d definitely recommend trying this for yourself.
Try Bizeo for free
Of course, you don’t need Bizeo for this—you could easily do it in Excel (though Excel won’t email you each day to remind you!).
However, if you’d like try it in Bizeo, you can get a free subscription that allows you to monitor up to 20 KPIs. (We’ve just removed the 30-day limit on the free version, so there’s no excuse not to try it!)
But no matter how you do it, please do take the time to do something for yourself. We need all our businesspeople to stay healthy and strong.
And, as always, please let me know how you go. You can comment below or leave a post on our Facebook page.