It’s March already, though with the crazy weather we’ve had the past few weeks, I’m never quite sure whether it’s winter or summer or spring or winter. We’ve had them all lately and frankly, it’s pretty weird. But the calendar indicates it’s March, so March it is. End of the first quarter. If the quarter has been less than you’d like, maybe it’s time for a re-set.
I took my dog to my favorite conservation land a few days ago for an adventure. We both love it. While we were there, we happened upon a couple swans in the pond. One up and observing the world and the other with its head under water and butt in the air. It made me think of business owners (go figure). Are you a business owner with your head up and observing what’s going on all around you? Or do you have your head under water unwilling to really look at where your company is at?
Are you ready for the next three quarters because you’ve got a plan that you’re working? Or are you in the ‘I hope it works out’ mode. Maybe you’re thinking things could be going better and you could be more profitable, but just can’t figure out how to get there.
I can tell you from firsthand experience that trying to navigate with your head under water is akin to driving blind. You hope the road stays straight and everyone stays out of your way and nothing falls off a truck in front of you that you can run into. The probability of long term success is pretty slim. It’s the same with running your business.
So tell me, how frequently do you check your business ‘dashboard’? You know — the key financial indicators that tell you how things are going. Crazy stuff like monthly revenue and profit, sales vs. forecast, the accounts receivable and accounts payable aging reports.
Not using a good business dashboard to help you navigate is like being a swan with your head in the water trying to get across the pond.
So what’s in a good dashboard?
Good question. Here are a few generic items that apply to every business. Others can always be added depending on the nature of your business. Remember, the purpose of putting anything on the dashboard is to give you valuable actionable information. At a minimum, I would be looking at the following dashboard on a monthly basis. More often depending on your business.
- Sales vs. Forecast
- Accounts Receivable aging summary
- Accounts Payable aging summary
- Cash on hand
- Cash forecast
- Current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities)
These are just a few. There are many more financial metrics that may apply to your situation, as well as other important metrics, like for instance, Google analytics.
Are you ready to get your head out of the water and see where you’re going for the rest of this year? Then you and I need to have a chat. Click here to schedule a complementary Profit Leaks Strategy Session.