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Mark Greer. BUSINESS PLANNING

Cash is the life blood of any business. In fact, even profitable businesses can and do fail because of poor cashflow. What’s important is that you understand your key cashflow drivers. Improving cashflow is often all about changing your business processes. Processes such as how you order stock and pay for it, how you bill […]

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Winning the Business Success Trifecta

The 3 most essential tools for business success (‘the trifecta’) are:

  1. The annual plan
  2. The annual forecast
  3. On-going Reporting and Accountability

Refer to our previous blogs The Power of the Annual Plan and What’s in the Forecast? For numbers 1 and 2.

So what does on-going reporting and accountability look like?

If you’re following best practise, you’ll already have an annual plan and an annual forecast.  Both of these reports are meaningless unless there is a regular and systemised process to report on how you’re tracking to your plan and forecast.  The reporting needs to be a combination of financial and non-financial information.  There needs to be reporting for the business as a whole and for individual team members.

For the business as a whole use a cloud based, real time reporting system to capture how you’re tracking (actual results vs forecasted results).  Financial information will be things like sales by product or region, average dollar sale or frequency, margins, costs and profit.  Non-financial information might be things like the number of networking events attended or team training sessions run.  You should have set your 5 most important key performance indicators (KPIs) during your planning and forecasting process.  Produce a regular one page report for the business – monthly as a minimum.

Reporting for your team should be based on each team member’s 5 most important KPIs – these KPIs should be recorded in their job description so it is clear what your agreed definition of a great day’s work is for them.  Use a simple one page template to check in on what was agreed to be done and what has been done, what the new actions are and what support is needed.  Share the report in advance of the meeting and then have a 10 to 15 minute meeting to check in and agree the way forward.

Business and team reporting is only valuable if there are regular check in meetings.  Liken these meetings to the regular timeouts a coach calls in a basketball game to improve performance.

Your accountant is ideally positioned to help you with reporting and hold you to account.  You can then use the same processes you use with your Accountant to improve the results for your team.

Talk to us about how you can achieve the Business Success Trifecta – a better plan, a clear forecast and ongoing reporting and accountability – from experienced Chartered Accountants.

Accountability breeds response-ability – Stephen Covey

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