Actually Watching Your Business Grow

Actually Watching Your Business Grow

Cold hard facts are what we yearn for in business. We’re never over the finishing line until we have seen with our own eyes that we are in fact meeting the expectations that we set out.

However, how do we do this if not for cold hard facts? That’s where statistics, research, reports and financial lessons all come into play. How do you know your business is growing unless you have your financial quarter report right in front of you? Inside the report will be tangible evidence, facts, percentages and statistics that make up the facts. It’s a tremendously simple thing to understand but very complex to nail down correctly. For different parts of your business, you will have different kinds of facts that matter. Marketing will be about lead generation, how many you have, how quickly you gained them, what kind of growth are you seeing in these leads regarding gender, ages, wealth classes etc. Everything you need to prove your business is growing, must be found in such detailed reports.

Not just a bunch of numbers

There’s a great disconnect that occurs when business leaders rely too heavily on what is in front of them. Someone puts down a sales report on your desk. Should you believe what’s written in it? What kind of mad distrusting business would you be running if you didn’t? There is room for doubt; up to a point. You need to go down to the manufacturing facility, see how many products are being rolled off and if the sales figures meet the demand. In-person and visual confirmation, together with statistics make for a far more concrete argument that you are making the sales, the report says you are. Why is this kind of thing important? Two reasons spring immediately to mind.

Firstly, a business leader must never cocoon themselves from the realities of their business. Don’t believe everything you read as they say, so why should your business growth reports be any differently treated? You need to see for yourself the products coming off the line, being loaded and delivered to distributors. You need to work closely with your distributors to see how they are doing with your product, on the ground. Secondly, your employees see you in-person. They can talk to you, shake your hand and see you ‘making the rounds’ as it were to check on the business with your own two eyes.

Revenue to profit growth

Perhaps the best indication for growth is the bottom line. The bottom line is the revenue and profit growth differential. If your profit is not growing and or consistent, your revenue will begin to shrink. Revenue is the accumulated wealth of the business overall. It’s kind of what the entire business is worth in cold hard cash. Profits however are monthly or rather quarterly. Profit margins are the dividend you make from the sales for the year. If it took £200 to make a product, but you were only able to sell the product for £150, you have made a £50 loss. This means you didn’t break even and you didn’t make a profit either. To balance this loss, you will be taking a bite out of your revenue to keep the business going. Overall, you will therefore see negative growth.

Writing accurate business sales performance reports can really put into perspective if you are doing well or not. Annual reports are the time and the place to do this. A general information statement will be made at the start so your shareholders and employees can digest what the gist of the performance was. The operating and financial highlights will be the most important segment of the report as in here is where you sum up the costs of doing business and consequently the profits made. Following this will be the financial statements, which will have your balance sheet, income statement and the cash flow statement. To end this annual report, you will include management’s discussions and analysis. This is your reaction to the report, stating what you expected, what occuring and what you will do in future.

Easy to digest

Your a business owner so you wear many different hats. That doesn’t mean each hat fits you. You might not be able to easily digest the sales, financial and annual performance reports. To make it easier there is a presentation software that lets you build your own template. These templates can be for anything. Of course there are templates such as bar charts, pie charts, compare columns, donut charts and things like photo grids, images etc. However if you want to be able to track your growth chronologically, just to make it simpler you can make a timeline template. You can sum up year 1, 2, 3 and 4 all on the same page. Highlighting the key aspects as to why that year was successful or not, and what kinds of growth you saw.

It’s also great for different industries too. For example, if you are an automobile manufacturer and you want to be able to show how many people from Japan have bought your vehicles as opposed to Italy, you can make templates that use geographical graphics and have the units of measurements inside the graphics. You also have A.I. being implemented into the design so it can study the kinds of information you’re inputting and give you different options for visuals that might best suit them. This makes information about your business very easy to get to grips with. You can see what areas you’re falling short in and where you’re making improvements.

It’s a question that hardly ever gets asked because it will cause many business owners to second guess the people that work for them. Not that there would be an issue of trust but it would be careless to just go off the written words of a report. This is why you need to be on the ground and inspecting your business at employee level. Formulating reports with accurate and honest information that is easily digestable is also something you must aim for to get the best indications that your business is growing.

About author

Poppy loves personal finance almost as much as she loves her two cats, Tif and Taz.
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