March just ended. And if you’re like most contractors, whose fiscal year matches the calendar year, so ends the first quarter.
How are you doing? Have you looked? You ought to be doing this AT LEAST monthly, but the end of the first quarter is a good time to check whether you’re moving forward the way you planned. (Many successful companies close their books by the 10th of each month.)
Tracking against your operating plan is a great way to help you understand not just your current financial picture (and that’s important!) but also to help you understand your business itself.
You should be looking at your important metrics and key performance indicators and weighing your performance against your goals and benchmarks.
How are leads? Sales?
Are you generating the revenue you need to?
How does the revenue per person-hour look? (Or perhaps better, margin per person-day?)
How are margins looking?
How is cash? Receivables?
Are overhead expenses tracking with your expectations?
Are employees getting the training they need to stay strong and improve?
Do you have enough rope to safely rappel down the next cliff?
Taking a good look at what you’ve done so far, and where you’re at now will help you determine where you need to focus your attention, and where your team needs some support. This gives you a chance to make corrections, adjust, or seek help. EVERY company needs to do just that, make corrections, adjust, or seek help. The smart ones are do it continuously to ensure that they’ve got the best chance possible to make 2016 as good as it can be, and make 2017 even better. Others, well I guess they’re waiting for December to see how they did this year.
Stay ahead. Check how you’re doing now.