sales

In this episode Lisa’s tells us a story about a company that in one phone call found that it was going to lose half its sales.

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Show Notes

In this episode Lisa Roberts uses a real life experience to illustrate the problem that some companies can face.  She refers to it as “sales risk” and that is when a company hasn’t taken the steps to develop their market or a plan to avoid becoming too dependent on a few customers or too narrow of a market segment.

Lisa explains what happened when her company suddenly lost half of its revenue and why it found itself in that predicament. She explain the types of things that you should watch out for in your own business to identify looming problems and risk factors as well as explain ways you can avoid this in your own business.

Key Points

*A big disruption in your business, like losing a big portion of your sales all at once, will likely change the trajectory of your company.

*Having too much concentration or dependence on a few customers are risks not only your sales but in some cases a risk to your core operations.

*Entrepreneurs need to make sure they have strategies to develop their market and a plan to market their products consistently to add to prospects to the mix.

*Businesses need to take steps recognize customer and market dependencies by having a clear understanding of their sales mix.

*Other risk factors to your sales are things like industry changes, disruptive products and services, competition and also your own company’s ability to address and change with your market.

*Lisa explains in simple terms and examples ways industry changes occur due to changing industry landscape and disruptive products.

*She talks about ways entrepreneurs can take steps to guard against your sales being at risk through monitoring, marketing, innovation, packaging and delivery methods.

*Winnie and Lisa share examples of how not listening to your customer and market and where things are going can hurt your sales and put additional risk on your company’s sales.

Resources and Links

For further reading check out some of Lisa’s posts on the Business Rx Blog:

Are Your Business Sales at Risk?

How Secure is Your Customer Base?

 

Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links.  Lisa Roberts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

Creating a good plan and budget for your company starts with knowing – or at least forecasting – the amount of sales you expect for the upcoming year.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

Entrepreneurs need to do a healthy dose of planning in order to anticipate their resource needs during the year.

Creating a good plan and budget for your company starts with knowing – or at least estimating – the amount of business you expect for the upcoming year.

The best place to begin to gain that knowledge is to create a sales forecast.  In today’s episode, we are covering the Planning part of Lisa’s 5 P’s.  Lisa is going to help us understand sales forecasts and some forecasting methods. She’ll also discuss how to begin planning and putting together a sales forecast. She also talks about some factors you need to consider as you estimate your sales for the upcoming period.

Key Points

*The level of sales drives the other areas of your business such as staffing, manufacturing, inventory and facility needs. The ability to develop budgets for those needs relies on estimating the amount of sales you will bring into your business.

*While it’s difficult to be 100% accurate in a sales forecast, the more you learn about your business, market and customers the better you will be able to forecast over time.

*Methods of forecasting can vary from industry to industry and business to business.

*Newer businesses with less history need to rely on other factors to develop a forecast including things like the market, competition, industry and economic trends as well as their own efforts for marketing and promotion.

*Sales forecasts can be affected by a number of factors including human factors. Personalities can play a role especially if your forecasts rely more on your sales people than on trends and other market information.

*Entrepreneurs need to be aware of how the sales forecasts and human factors relate to quota establishment and performance.

*The key people involved in developing your forecast are sales, marketing, your customers as well as someone who can review and analyze the information and provide some independent analysis based on all the inputs.

*Your business model and your sales process or funnel plays a big role in developing your sales forecast.

*Building a sales forecast requires you to define what the steps in your sales process means in terms of sales success probability.

*Entrepreneurs need to be wary of other factors affecting the forecast including things like the economy, industry predictions, regulatory factors, customers and repeat sales as well as prospects and sales person past forecast performance.

*Lisa also talks about tools that can aid in forecast preparations but cautions on how the tools are only as effective as the commitment of the sales team to the sales process and the related information as well as to the flexibility of the tool itself.

Resources and Links

Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links.  Lisa Roberts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Sales Forecast Template Explainer Video to get a link to the video, follow this link to sign up to our newsletter, Prescription For Success!

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Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

Years ago, a company I worked for saw tremendous sales growth in a pretty short period of time. It was an exciting time for all of us. But it got a pretty crazy too!

When your company starts to see exploding sales, you really have to be ready in order to deliver. Your company will experience times during rapid growth that you’ll have setbacks and make mistakes.

Being ready to deliver also meant for us that we needed to be ready to correct problems quickly to manage growth and also try to maintain our momentum. We needed to make sure we were looking for those signs that our business was becoming overwhelmed by our own success.

Here are 20 signs that sales growth may be about to overwhelm your business. Have you seen any of these in your own company?

20 Signs Sales Growth is Overwhelming Your Business

  1. Your staff is rushing to complete and fill orders.
  2. At the end to the production process, products have problems and must be reworked to get them right.
  3. A product that is complete doesn’t work properly and must be scrapped or redone.
  4. You receive orders from customers but your back-office has questions about them because they have incomplete or incorrect information.
  5. You experience inventory shortages and cannot complete orders on time.
  6. Your company has deliveries to customers that are incorrect or incomplete.
  7. Your beginning to miss promised delivery dates and not meeting customer promises.
  8. You have a sudden drop in the quality of the product or service you sell.
  9. You have a spike in customer calls and/or complaints.
  10. The number of returns from customers is on the rise.
  11. The number of customer callbacks (calls after service is completed) is increasing.
  12. Sales from existing customers are decreasing without a corresponding decrease in the customer’s own business.
  13. Your staff is showing signs of fatigue, stress and frustration.
  14. Your company’s absentee rate is rising with no apparent reason.
  15. Costs for production are increasing due to production errors and reworks.
  16. Your cycle time for fulfilling of orders is increasing due to errors in processing.
  17. Overtime for employees is becoming the norm rather than the exception.
  18. Costs for inventory are increasing due to fees for expediting purchases.
  19. You are starting to miss sales opportunities because you cannot meet customer’s demand and timeframe.
  20. Long- time customers are threatening to find alternate suppliers.

If you want to hear more on this topic, listen to the Healthy Business Healthy Profits podcast about managing sales and maintaining your brand promise here.

Want to get tips and information on managing and leading a growing business? Then sign up to get my newsletter here.

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Sales growth can end up being a trap that entrepreneurs can fall into.  High growth and large increases in sales can put a ton of stress on a company that isn’t ready for it.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

Growing sales can end up being a trap that entrepreneurs can fall into.  High growth and large increases in sales can put a ton of stress on a company that isn’t ready for it.  In this episode we cover the symptoms of the sales growth trap and what an entrepreneur can do to avoid falling into this trap.

Key Points

*If your company isn’t ready for growing sales, problems can quickly surface.

*Growing sales numbers can end up as a trap for a company that isn’t properly staffed and equipped can end up too stressed in periods of high growth.

*Readiness to handle increased sales volume is important to avoid things like product or service reworks, redo, shortages, missed deliveries, subpar quality and other errors.

*Internal problems that end up at the customer site can lead to issues that affect customer loyalty and also adversely affect your brand promise, eventually leading to problems with future sales growth.

*Increases in customer complaints, repairs as well as declines in existing customer sales are indications that something is wrong in your business.

*Employees may also show signs of stress of the sales trap when they seem overworked, sick call outs increase or overtime numbers increase and become the norm rather than the exception.

*Costs related to problems with managing sales growth can set a company back and have a negative impact with both costs increases and also the potential for future missed sales opportunities.

*Sales forecasting, attention to the back office role in the sales process as well as monitoring resource planning, quality as well as customer, production and productivity statistics all help to avoid problems that result from the sales trap.

*Sales as a business process includes not only the prospect opportunity qualification but also qualification of the sale itself which includes the ability to pay.

Resources and Links

Check out this blog post – 20 Signs Sales Growth is Overwhelming Your Business and make sure your watching for these in your business!

Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links.  Lisa Roberts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Sign Up to Get Updates

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

As an entrepreneur, focusing on your sales numbers is a good thing. However, focusing only on sales and not paying attention to the other key numbers in your business can hurt you in the long run.

You can listen to this episode by hitting the play button above.

To download the episode, right click on this link and choose Save Target As. Go to the folder where you want to save the recording and click Save or Enter.

You can make it easier to get the episodes, by subscribing to the show on iTunes here. Subscribing to the show gives you all the episodes and downloads them automatically to your preferred device so that you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave a great rating and review while you are there.

Show Notes

Business owners like to focus on sales and revenue growth as a measure of how good their business is doing. It feels good to tell someone that you reached X dollars of sales or that your sales are up 25% over last year. However, too much focus on sales can hurt you if you are not paying attention to other numbers in your business. Focusing only on sales and revenue growth can lead to problems for your business in the long-run.

Key Points

*It’s important to grow sales but it is also to pay attention to things like sales mix and cost structure.

*Pay attention to sales mix so that your sales are not overly concentrated in one particular area or segment.

*Sales quality is explored and we define the types of things that help make a quality sale

*Unprofitable sales can hurt your business.

*Entrepreneurs need to understand their cost structure and define pricing and discount policies to avoid unprofitable sales

*A business’ cost structure includes both direct and indirect costs and each need to be considered when pricing products and services in order to achieve the profit margins that you are driving toward.

*We look at how to measure yourself against your own performance and your industry segment and benchmark things like margins and profitability.

Terms Used in The Episode

Sales Mix
Quality Sale
Unprofitable Sales
Gross Margins
Cost Structure

Resources and Links

Below are some links where you might find business comparisons (note: some of these resources are free others are paid):
BizStats – free business statistics and financial information
Industry information from Yahoo! Finance
Bplans – industry reports
Market Research.com Industry reports
IBISWorld Industry Research Reports
Hoovers Industry Directory
Report Linker Industry Insights

 

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Lisa Roberts is a business operations specialist who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here .

I’m a bit of a business junkie. I love shows like Restaurant Impossible, Bar Rescue and Shark Tank and I even liked watching Tabatha Salon Takeover when that was on TV. One show I’ve have been watching is called The Profit. It’s about a businessperson who goes into businesses, fixes them and invests in them at the same time. One episode is a great reminder that not managing cashflow can get you in real trouble.

 

Managing Receivables for CashFlow

The company featured in the episode seemed very successful by outward appearances. It was a 75-year family business, run by the second generation and making over $50 million in sales. Sounds great, but they are losing about $400,000 per year and have a lot of debt. They face some real problems both operationally and financially. However, the one problem I want to concentrate on here is their uncollected receivables. In this case, there were $4 million in receivables but at least $1 million were extremely old and hard, if not impossible, to collect.

The episode struck me because I saw the same thing several years ago with a tile distribution company that was being run poorly and they too let their receivables get totally out of control. Management didn’t take our advice and unfortunately about a year later went out of business also bringing other businesses down with it.

A Prescription for Managing Receivables

Here are some tips that you can use to avoid having your sales tied up in uncollectible accounts and avoid the same fate as the tile company.

Extending Credit

A business that extends credit to its customers’ should have a credit policy that it follows to minimized credit risk. We don’t often think about it as credit but even accepting a check is a form of credit risk because checks can bounce. Accepting credit cards is one of the least risky ways to accept payment. However, sometimes industry norm requires you to extend credit “on-account”. If that is you, then running credit checks, getting credit references and setting the right amount of credit to extend (credit limits) will help you to minimize the risk you face by extending credit in the first place.

Accounts Receivable Review

Most accounting packages provide an Accounts Receivable (A/R) Aging Report that shows a list of your receivables and the age of the account. Review this report regularly to highlight accounts that have or are about to become past due. The past due accounts need to be followed up and called on to get customers to pay. In the show The Profit, some accounts got so old that the customer had actually gone out of business. The sooner you pursue the money the easier it will be to collect. The old idiom, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, is true in collecting receivables so stay on top of outstanding accounts.

Collection Practices

Your business should have policies and practices about handling overdue accounts and methods for securing payment. Getting customers to pay, commit to paying on a certain date and what next steps you will take if the amount remains unpaid, such as using a lawyer or collection agency, should be part of your policies and practices.

Accepting New Orders

Ironically, some companies will sell new products and services to customers who are far behind in their payments. I understand that there are times when you will decide to sell more on-account to a customer with an outstanding balance but there must be good business reasons behind it. By good business reasons, I don’t mean that you decide to take new orders just to pump up your sales because remember sales don’t equal cash. Good business reasons means decisions based on sound business practices. This is where your credit limits, collections policy and collections practices come into play and help guide you in making the best credit decisions.

Don’t Forget that Sales Don’t Always Equal Cash

Be careful not to be one of those businesses that pays so much attention to sales and forgets that a sale means absolutely nothing until the cash is in your bank. Managing receivables is a big part of managing cashflow. Good cashflow means turning receivables into cash quickly, so that you can pay your bills and yourself.

“Our largest customer just told us that they’re going in a different direction and don’t need us anymore!” – VP of Sales

I’ll never forget the look on that executive’s face. Shock, disbelief and fear; deep fear.

Almost 50% of our sales were going away.  A customer that paid us for our services, month in and month out for about 15 years was gone, just like that.

And with that, a few years of struggle began for the company that I had just started working for less than two years before. Replacing that amount of sales was going to take a while.

How can companies avoid this? Is there a way to, at least, reduce the risk of it happening to your business? What things should you look for in your business to make sure the same fate doesn’t happen to you?

Five Reasons Your Sales Numbers Are At Riskwarning-838655_1280-300x259[1]

Dependent on a Few Customers

This is what happened to my company. We were moving happily along with this large international customer providing them technical services for 15 years.  During our business relationship, we worked hard and gave them very good service.  Since they were by far the biggest customer, they got a lot of our attention.  Sure, it was great to have a customer like that; the sales came in like clockwork.  The problem was that we didn’t do a very good job managing our sales and marketing to be less dependent on a few customers. Because we hadn’t grown enough, the loss of that customer was a huge problem.  When we got the news, it was like a death in the family.

Industry / Economic Changes

I think we all understand how the economy can affect sales because we’ve been living (and struggling) through it the last several years. Industry changes can be a little different depending on your own industry. For example, in construction, the industry shifted when the traditional single family home gave way to the even larger houses a few years ago. Now, something called “tiny houses” is gaining traction in some regions. For restaurants trends like “fast-casual”, mobile ordering and even rising food costs are changing the landscape for the industry. Technology has affected many industries especially in media where digital music, streaming movies, and online media are doing a number on the music, Movie Theater and newspaper industries. Industry and economics can put your sales at risk if you don’t keep up and adapt to the changes.

Commoditization

Commoditization puts sales at risk too. Many products became commodities over the years and some have even become “un-commoditized”. A commodity is a product or service that is mass-produced, with relatively little variation and is widely available. Since it’s widely available with little variation, consumers will be more price sensitive. Think sugar. You typically don’t care about the brand, you just need sugar to make cookies or sweeten your coffee.  Coffee was another example until Starbucks®, gourmet coffee and K-Cups came along.  Now, stroll down the coffee aisle in any grocery store, there are multiple flavors, strengths and brewing methods to choose from.  When I started drinking coffee in college there wasn’t much choice – coffee was coffee!

Competition

Competition puts additional risk on your sales. There is always someone out there who will compete either directly or indirectly with your business. Direct competition competes on product or service, price and convenience. Direct competition tends to have similar overall business goals.  Examples in the restaurant business might be McDonalds® vs. Wendy’s®. Indirect competition will compete with similar products or services but may differ in its business goal. Indirect for the restaurant industry might be McDonalds® vs. TGI Fridays®; you can get a hamburger at both but they have different business goals as well as variations in the products they offer.  Replacement competition offer similar products and have similar business goals but may be different in the way they reach that goal. One example that has changed an industry is the digital camera; this replacement competition has all but put the film and film camera industries out of business.  Knowing who your main competitors are and what their strengths, weaknesses and goals are will benefit you when trying to ward off the competition.

Your Own Company

The last reason your sales could be at risk may be what you’re doing or not doing. It is easy when you’ve been in business awhile to forget what got you here and what differentiates you from other businesses offering the same product or service. Customers change and what they value can change too.   If you’re losing sales, it may be that you need to look inward to make sure what you offer still provides your customers the quality, value and good service that got you customers in the first place.  Letting any of these slip can create an opportunity for customers to look for competitors to fill their needs. Listening to your customers and prospects can also help you make improvements so that you stay competitive and on top of your game.

Now that we’ve identified some of the reasons that your sales are at risk, let’s look at some things you can do to combat these in your own business.  Here are some things that you can consider:

  • Grow and expand

In the company that I worked for they didn’t try to expand until after they lost their biggest customer.  For us, we relied too much on one customer, so we increased our sales efforts to capture more customers and generate more sales.  We also created a new product that added brand new sales and reduced our reliance on one customer. Expanding can include increasing your geographic region, offering products in a new previously untapped market, or focusing on growing a specific segment.  As a result of our lost customer we also implemented a sales management tool that helped us focus more on where our sales were coming from, showed us how concentrated they were among our customer base and also helped us better forecast future sales. Growing and expanding your customer base can not only increase your sales, but also make you less reliant on one or even a few customers.

  • Innovate

I mentioned that we offered a new product, but it was already technology that we had in-house. Our innovation involved an effort by product management to get the technology ready for sale to complement our existing customer base. Creating a new product or even a new service that complements your current product or customer base is a way to grab a tighter hold and ward off competition. Another way to innovate is to find a new way to deliver your products or services.  We see that in the music industry with things like iTunes®. Amazon® revolutionized retail with its easy order and delivery model and locally I see it with restaurants grabbing sales by delivering food to the beach.  Another way to transform and innovate is how you engage customers to aid in obtaining feedback and improving your products and services.  Customers can provide a wealth of feedback that was very difficult and expensive to collect before social media and the internet.

  • Package

Packaging is another way to stand out from the crowd. Bundling your product or service with something else can set you apart from the competition. Packaging your products with a warranty, service contract or some other offer can help differentiate you. Cable companies and wireless carriers offer bundles at lower prices to capture more customers and make their product “sticky”, as customers rely on them for more and more services. Some restaurants have bundled too – think value meals and free refills.  Computers have been bundling software for years and airlines and hotels have also teamed up. Even my auto insurance company bundles a roadside assistance in with my policy, which allowed me to cancel my stand-alone roadside plan.

Keep Your Risk Low

It was almost 20 years ago that we lost that customer and I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was a  difficult time but we managed to bounce back and grow even larger. Business has many risks and one of those risks could be lost sales. Part of your business management plan should be to keep an eye the risk factors that exist in your business.  Listen to the market, the industry and don’t forget your customers too.  Take steps to manage your risks to keep your sales levels where you want them.

How’s business?

This is a question business owners get all the time. To be able to answer that question, a good objective review of your business results will help you to answer. This post will give business owners some good practices to put in place to help them stay on track toward their goals, effectively analyze and measure performance and find opportunities for improved business results.

Many entrepreneurs I’ve met are working so much in their business that they never stop to take a hard objective look at it. So many of them work in their business and not on their business that, at times, they fail to see something coming that may disrupt and challenge their business’ very existence.

Here are some good practices that you can do each month or quarter in your business to help you to stay on track toward success.

# 1 Financial Results for the Period

To understand how well your business is really doing, you cannot just look at sales. The biggest part of you business results are in the financial statements. Many business owners, especially in the beginning, make the mistake of thinking that if sales are growing then everything else will be okay. This is not always true since sales have to be profitable and create sufficient cash flow to meet the needs of the business. If you are waiting for your accountant to produce your financial results several months later, you may be missing opportunities to take proactive steps in your business to find cost savings, reduce taxes or identify unhealthy trends in your business.

#2 Comparison to Prior Periods

A good way to determine how effectively your business is performing over time is to review your results with prior periods. This will help you to identify areas where you have improved and also areas where you have declined such as the sales of a particular product or service line. It can also help to reveal problem areas in costs and expenses. Once identified, these areas can be investigated and you can begin to look for ways to find savings.

#3 Comparison against Budget

You did do a budget for your business right? Some businesses don’t believe in using budgets. If you are one of them, congratulations, you must have an endless supply of cash. Of course, most businesses do not. Budgets don’t have to be difficult if you understand your results. They can be easy if you have been in business for a while since you already have a baseline to build from. A comparison of your results against your budget can identify areas where you haven’t been as efficient or effective as you had planned and can quickly provide you with the information to take action. It can reveal unplanned trends like we have seen with fuel prices over the last several years. It can also help you reset your priorities if results or circumstances change.

#4 Sales Forecast Reviews

At regular intervals, monthly or quarterly, it’s a good idea to take a look at how you are performing against the forecast plan that you set at the beginning of the year. Are you sales coming in as expected? Are there areas where you can increase your efforts with existing customers to increase sales? Are you increasing your opportunities with new prospects with your marketing and sales efforts? Companies often must plan investments in labor, promotions and products based on how well they believe they will perform in the future. A good business will review results against forecast so that they can make changes to their approach if things are not going as planned.

#5 What’s working and what’s not

Most growing businesses have new projects going on all the time. It may be a new product offering, a hiring push, a marketing effort, a new large customer or an effort to improve efficiency in a certain area. Projects like these need to be reviewed as they proceed to make sure they are working as planned. It is a good idea to step back from time to time during these efforts to determine results so far, what is working and what is not so you can make changes or pivot before too much time and cost is spent.

#6 The Challenges You’re Facing.

Companies face challenges that disrupt the flow of business and sometimes threaten profitability, operational efficiency, employee morale or a host of other things. Just as we recommended above in reviewing projects, strategies and financial information, it can be helpful to analyze the challenges that your business is facing. Many of the internal challenges that companies face can be broken down into three categories and they are people, processes, and systems. Other factors are external, but can affect your business as well. These can be factors like political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal. Periodically, it is a good idea to review any internal or external factors that could affect your business and take action to address those before they become a problem.

Get into the habit of reviewing your business results on a regular basis. Take time to objectively review your results, determine if you are on track and ensure that you are managing the business priorities to pave the way to success.