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  • By Lauri Paxton
  • 16 Mar, 2016
As the first quarter wraps up for the 2016, it is time to go back and evaluate your results. Regular reviews allow you to adjust your growth strategy and shift resources where necessary. Questions like, “ Do you like what you see? ”, or “ Where did we fall short? ” are questions to ask senior staff or business advisors as you begin your review process.
Many small businesses think of a quarterly business review as a skim through of just looking at the overall numbers to see if they are making a profit. While that is important, it is just as important to dig deeper into those financials so that you don’t miss out on opportunities to make the most out of the 2nd quarter. Perhaps margins on a given product line are higher than another. By regularly looking at the numbers, you might shift more marketing dollars and personnel resources to market the more profitable product.
When evaluating your quarter, remember that every company has their own strategy for completing their evaluation. There are a few things you can do to help you reach and exceed those goals:
  1. Don’t just glance at what you actually did versus what you planned.While this is often the easiest and best place to start don’t stop with those actions. By taking the time to dig deeper and see where you exceeded or fell short in your financial budget, you make adjusting that budget easier as you move forward. Determine if the state of your financials were the result of external or internal factors. For example, if your A/R is 90 plus days out, there may be issues within your accounting department that affect billing and ultimately your bottom line. Perhaps you are a weather driven business and the mild winter plays a factor in your snow plowing piece of your business.
  2. Review the outcome of your goals.Did you meet your goals or did you fall short? What type of goals did you set – financial or outcome based? Were sales growth goals realistic? Did you invest the proper amount of resources to make your set goals happen?
  3. Evaluate details outside of the physical revenue that was produced.Other factors such as: did you hire new employees, expand your business, put up new office space, offer new products or services, should all be taken into consideration when launching a product line. Planning for growth is a challenging thing. But understanding where the tipping point to planning for and adding employees is important.
By taking the time to do this you can easily adjust your yearly budget, keep realistic goals and adjust accordingly to grow your business.
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