Lessons in building business dashboards

In business, I have learnt the incredible value of building dashboards that eliminate unnecessary data (ruthlessly) and focus only on imperative and useful stats that help you make informed decisions quickly.  In my average week, I refer to two central dashboards. One the shows the health of my business and the other that track my key priorities (which change every few months). The help me progress my business, weather the storms and build a company I’m proud of.  My critical lessons in creating these have been: 1) It should not be hard or timeconsuming to find and update the stats – otherwise, it will fail in a matter of weeks 2) The whole team should agree to the outputs you measure – this helps create buy-in and track accountability. 3) Track what you need to track – never track everything you can (this will drive you insane) 4) If it can’t help you make a decision – get rid of it. So imagine how happy I am to see how we have been able to do this for our clients in our new digital dashboards. None of the clutter, nothing siloed, and meaningful data stories that help them make decisions. Today I got to see the digital dash for Digitlab, yes, we finally got round to creating one for ourselves. Such a great tool. Proud of the team who put this together. 

Ten Years as an Entrepreneur

Ten years ago, I was retrenched from a marketing and sales position. My story is the same as many other people. Sometimes losing a job can point towards a better life and opportunities you never thought possible.  After my retrenchment, I didn’t have an epiphany about starting a business. I simply said, “I’ll work for myself until I get a job.” That job never came, and ten years later, I find myself unemployable. I’m an entrepreneur, author and international conference speaker.  In ten years, I’ve presented in over 14 countries, started six business (three remain), made money, lost money, learnt a lot and ultimately realised that entrepreneurship is not for the weak. The toughest decisions I’ve made happened in the last ten years. The biggest highlights have also occurred during my time as an entrepreneur.  I love being an entrepreneur, and it’s not because of the ‘own boss’ dream that is often touted as the best part of starting a business.  It’s because entrepreneurship does three incredible things, and I get to be a part of that.  Entrepreneurship creates self-worth I never realised the value in what I could do until I saw people willing to spend money on me to do those things. People don’t part with money easily and watching them spend it on me was humbling and inspiring. It pushed me to deliver well and create value for my clients. The more I did this, the more I believed in myself and what I had to bring...

Mike Saunders Recognised on Top Digital Marketing Experts List

With many digital marketing agencies and experts on the scene, receiving international recognition deserves to be celebrated. Inbassador, an Austrian-based brand ambassador solution provider, recently recognized DigitLab’s CEO, Mike Saunders, on a list of Top Global Digital Marketing Experts & Influencers in 2019 You Should be Following. They handpicked thirty digital thought leaders from around the world, with Mike being one of two South Africans being highlighted. Talking with Inbassador’s Head of Content, Melissa Chetty, Mike shared his thoughts and predictions for the future of digital marketing. “Businesses are realising that one digital solution doesn’t fit perfectly and will embrace the API business model,” said Mike, looking at trends to continue into 2020. “Influence is incredibly important, and brands should be looking to nurture long term brand trust instead of buying short term social media influence.” Being recognised as a role model for young digital marketers, Mike also had these words as advice for those aspiring to get into the field: “Let your first step be to critically assess the problem your clients face. Solve their problem first, then implement the digital solution. Too many businesses fail because they implement technology first without considering the solution to their problem correctly. DigitLab is incredibly proud of its CEO for being publicly recognised for his contribution to digital marketing. Be sure to check out the rest of the list of experts and influencers here: https://inbassador.io/digital-marketing-experts/

EasyBiz Technologies Partners with DigitLab

We are proud to announce that EasyBiz Technologies has partnered with digital agency DigitLab. EasyBiz, an authorised Intuit QuickBooks local partner in Southern Africa, offers online accounting software targeted at small to medium businesses. By partnering with entrepreneurs, who often have limited time and experience with managing the finances of their company, EasyBiz creates partnerships reaching past supplier and consumers, by offering business tools and localised support. “In a market filled with established competitors, EasyBiz needed to try a different approach to gain visibility. Drawing on our expertise in Search Engine Optimisation and social marketing, our team relished the challenge that partnering with EasyBiz presented. We look forward to the months ahead as the strategy we’ve prepared rolls out,” said DigitLab CEO, Mike Saunders. “We’re wanting to engage with real, South African businesspeople who would benefit from the use of our products,” said EasyBiz, Kim Immelmann “Across South Africa, there are so many people exploring self-employment, but a large percentage don’t make it very far for a number of reasons – mismanaged finances being one of them. We started as a small business too, so we build our services around what we think entrepreneurs need and structure our product offerings accordingly.” Speaking of their recent partnership with DigitLab, they said, “It was important for us to utilise a digital agency that can target people who would be looking for the kinds of things we offer. Just like small business owners; you want the best results for as small an investment...

DigitLab Academy partners with Damelin Online to further digital education in Africa

Mike Saunders, DigitLab Academy founder, has a passion for education, particularly teaching people how to make the most of technology to improve their life and business. To this end, through the The DigitLab Academy, Mike has partnered with Damelin Online to bring this material to people in an online training environment. “At Damelin Online we found a partner who can help us influence the education industry into Africa and beyond,” says Mike Saunders. New course: Online Personal Branding The course is for anyone who wants to unlock the power in their network by leveraging the online world. If you have a sale to make, a business to build, a promotion to get, a message to share or a movement to start, this book will help you amplify and accelerate the work you do. Your personal brand is one of the most valuable assets you can control. First impressions are everything and your social media accounts are where people will be confronted by who you are. Like it or not, your personal online presence is now a vital part of your CV. This seven-week course, based on Renowned by Mike Saunders, is all you need to get your online brand putting your best forward and making those first impressions count. The course will cover everything from finding your online voice to which social media platforms are best suited for your needs and goals. This is a modular online course hosted by Damelin Online and will teach you to: Identify your personal brand narrative...

Announcing My Latest Book: Renowned

Mike Saunders, entrepreneur, author, CEO and International Speaker, has released his second book – Renowned, A guide to building a powerful personal brand online. In his book Mike recalls the story behind the book. ‘In February 2010, I received a surprising phone call from a potential client. It was the shortest sales call of my life, made particularly unusual, because I barely said anything. The woman on the other side of the phone simply said: “I have read your blog posts, listened to your podcasts, and I know you are right for the job. How much do you charge, and can I book you for next month?” I ended the call, happy for another consulting engagement, and thinking that the whole thing must have been a bit of a fluke. A few months later, I received another surprising phone call. This time, from the Presidency of South Africa. They said they had done their research and decided that I was the most knowledgeable expert in the field they needed assistance with, and would like to book some time with me. Later that year, after starting my digital agency, DigitLab, I received the third surprising phone call. It was from a bigger digital agency. They told me they’d seen my work, been impressed by it, and wanted me to consider opening their Durban office. I ended up turning down that opportunity simply because I realised how much I love working for myself and didn’t want to report to anyone else in...

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