Half Time Assessment of your Business
It is now January and that means half way through the financial year. How has your business been travelling for the first six months of the year? Now that we have come to the start of a new calendar it is a good time to look at this so that plans can be put in place for the remainder of the financial year. If you started the new financial year with a business plan, it’s a great time to sit down and look at how you did in comparison to your forecast. If you didn’t have a business plan it’s a great time to sit down and write one!! It’s never too late to forecast. If you have been keeping track of your expenses for the first half of the year it should be quite easy to forecast them for the next half. If you have staff, get them involved in the process. As they are on the front line so to speak, they may even have ideas on how to improve that you, being the owner, wouldn’t have even considered.
Following you will find a few things to consider when conducting your mid-year review:
- Look at the success stories so far for the year. Determine what has worked for you. Can this be refined and implemented so that success continues?
- Assess your business cycles. Most businesses have peaks and troughs. What time of the year are these for you? Plan accordingly to ensure that you are prepared to survive. For example, are you in the business of lawn maintenance, where summer is your busy period with cash flowing from all angles, but cashflow gets tight once winter hits? Plan for this downturn in business.
- Inspect your equipment and see if any repairs or maintenance needs to be done. Do any capital items need to be replaced or upgraded?
- Have you considered your salary? Many business owners overlook this point. Think about what you want to take home in the next six months and check your margins to make sure they support that goal.
- Incentivize your staff. If sales aren’t at the level you wanted, give your employees an incentive to get them on track before the end of the year. This will give them time to come up with ideas and plans on how to get to the target.
- Conduct a detailed review of your budget. Compare actual results for both revenue and expenses in detail to give you greater insight on anything which may have been overlooked in the budgeting process. The greater the detail, the better!
- Is your target market aware of the service or products you provide? Are they aware of the benefits you offer? Do you have an effective marketing plan? Look at what has worked and what hasn’t and if need be adjust your marketing plan to ensure that people know about you and what you offer.
When it comes to half time in a sporting match, the coach will assess the first half play, see what worked and if necessary, make changes to improve the second half of the game. So why not do this for your business? Right now is half time. Don’t wait until there is only 2 minutes left in the game!