When you own a business it’s all too easy to be caught up in the day-to-day running of the business. You find yourself working in the business, not on the business.
It is tempting to stay in the comfort zone of the day-to-day rather than face the reality of the business by researching your reports.
But the only way you can truly know how your business is going is by checking your back-of-house reports to find your Key Performance Indicators. Knowing your numbers and understanding the data in your reports helps you to be a better manager — and run a better business.
Get into the habit of printing and analysing your daily, weekly and monthly reports to improve your business performance. It only takes a short time each morning, and it increases your chances of meeting your targets and budgets exponentially.
To help you out on which reports to run, let me suggest my top 10.
1. Analyse Sales report
You should run this report daily; it keeps you on your toes and details your sales history.
You have sales budgets, and it is important that you meet them. This report shows you the productivity of your sales team. It also tells you who your most important customers are — the ones who spend the most money.
Learn who these customers are to be sure you are giving them excellent customer service.
2. Sales Customer Detail report
This report shows you which customer is ordering what. This enables you to better know your customer and offer them superb customer service by suggesting other items they might like to purchase from you.
This report also enables you to set your production or ordering schedule. If you are selling items, then your stock levels need to be replenished.
3. Sales Register
This report should be done each morning to track where you are on outstanding quotes, sales in progress and finalised sales.
Your sales people value leadership, and this report allows you to have a conversation with each salesperson every morning to set their daily task list.
4. Aged Receivables Summary
Use this report to monitor your cash flow — the cash you have on hand to pay bills and run your business.
I’m sure you have terms on your invoices, and it’s important that your clients or customers don’t abuse their privileges. Each time a customer takes longer to pay their account, the more it costs you.
Make it a habit to print this report every week and ring each customer whose account is outside your terms of trade. The squeaky wheel gets the grease — make sure you are that squeaky wheel.
5. Cash Flow Analysis report
This report is gold for the business owner. It will show you what cash will be coming into and out of your account over a set period of time.
If this report shows a negative, it will give you all the more reason to use the aged receivables report from above to identify those customers outside trading terms and ring them to get their money in.
6. To-Do List Receivables report
This report should be run daily. It will tell you whose account is due when.
It’s a great opportunity to ring a client when their account is due to firstly offer further sales assistance and potentially sell more product. You can also mention that their account is due.
This is a great initiative to not only build sales but also to offer superior customer service.
7. Bank Register report
Run this report daily to check to your bank statement.
It helps to identify that your sales from the day before have in fact been banked and that the right amount has been banked. The number of times I have seen money disappear from when it leaves your office until it hits the bank is mind-boggling.Finding an error the next day is always easier than trying to find it next week or next month.
8. Undeposited Funds report
This report helps you keep an eye on transactions that have been paid by the customer and receipted in your system but are yet to hit the bank.
It gives you an idea of how much cash is sitting in your store and whether it is over your insurance levels. It will also show you how much money you have waiting to be settled from credit card transactions.
9. Profit & Loss report
This is a monthly report that is essential for any businessperson to use. It shows you how much profit you have made.
Diving deep into this report will show you where your sales and expenses are coming from. Paying close attention to small improvements on every line of this report will lead to greater profitability.
10. Profit & Loss Report to Budget
This report compares your actual figures to those you budgeted for previously in the year.
It will show you if you are on track to reach the goals you set yourself and your business when you prepared your budgets. It helps you to run a tight ship.
Having a software system is a given in business. Using it effectively is the difference between a good businessperson and a successful businessperson.