Monday, September 28, 2015

Tracking your business

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     to help you better manage your small business

     Keeping track of the health of your business is crucial to success. No two business owners do it the same way.

     Today's technology offers new opportunities to track the health of your business. But older methods also work. Whatever method you use, don't get lost in the weeds of too much data.

     Example: Dexter runs an automated computer service. His computer setup is connected to his clients' computer operations. His machines are always monitoring and automatically repairing problems that arise at the client's operation. Every morning Dexter reviews the previous 24-hour activity--interrupt time and amount billed automatically to each client. This has become for Dexter a quick way to track the financial health of his own operation. If billable time declines, he can quickly spot it and take appropriate action. This also helps him monitor longer term trends.

     Example: Myra runs her women's clothing shop the old fashioned way. She accepts credit and debit cards, ApplePay, PayPal and cash. At month's end, she turns everything over to her accountant who furnishes a report a week or two later. When sales decline, Myra is not aware of the seriousness for some time. The results of her special sales and promotional activities are not timely. She has decided to move to an automated system to better track business activity, keeping her accountant for taxes.

     Example: Marco runs a printing operation. He has a mix of both small and large businesses. When jobs are completed, invoices are prepared and sent to clients. His office person prepares these invoices and receives payments that arrive both electronically and in the mail. Every Monday morning, the office person prepares a special report for Marco. It shows all payments received the preceding week and all invoices still outstanding. Payments received and invoices outstanding are shown as actual dollar amounts. Marco tracks his business by plotting these figures on a chart--giving him a long term glimpse as to whether the business is steady or increasing or declining. Older outstanding invoices prod Marco to call the client for payment. 

     No two business owners will track the health of their business in the same way. Technology offers many alternatives, but no less effective are older methods. 

     Tracking your business must be done. It can be your guide to future growth and expansion.

     Every business person tracks the business. Choose a method that you are comfortable with. Base it in actual numbers you can use.

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