Reflecting back is a great way to move forward. Where are you against your 2019 plan? Ahead, behind, or “on” target? What should you start doing? Stop doing?
Do you know how well your business is progressing as we hit the mid-point of 2019? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. These helpful steps to conduct a Mid-Year Business Review from B2B CFO® will help you start the process so you can stay on course, or course correct in any area of your business.
Start by a comparison of your YTD financial performance compared with the Budget or 2019 Business Plan.
o Update your list of strategic initiatives — those items you planned to do to improve your customer/ client experience, strengthen your team and/or support structure, and market and grow your business
o Review your customer/client feedback — what has been learned from surveys, client advisory board discussions, etc.
o Assess your employee situation and hiring plans.
Assessing these core areas of your business can be key to uncovering gaps or allow you to change course mid-year.
o Are your initial goals still relevant?
o What have you accomplished so far?
o Any milestones missed? Why?
o Any new priorities requiring new goals?
o Are you developing new business opportunities?
o Have you entered into new business segments?
The next step in the mid-year business review is looking at the numbers. This is actually a multi-fold step because there are several things to access:
o What was your gross profit and gross margin %, your expense and cost structure, and your profitability by segment compared to targets set at the beginning of the year?
o How was cash flow?
o Is your working capital management optimal, and is your line of credit still adequate?
o What are your most profitable services and product offerings vs. what they are actually costing you (including allocated costs)?
o Are there any areas to cut expenses, such as services you don’t need to use any more?
o Is there an opportunity to make money with a new project or idea?
o Are your financial reports current, reliable, and useful to you in operating your business?
Review your sales to check whether you need to shift your strategy, drop items or sales methods or increase marketing. The salespeople should review their accounts and compare YTD performance this year vs last and compared to targets established at the beginning of the year.
o Are sales goals on target against goals set in January?
o What products/services are not performing up to goal?
o Are you gaining or losing market share?
o What products/services are exceeding goals, and why?
o If sales are up, did you expect an increase? If not, can you figure out why they are up? Perhaps the customer base is growing, and the company needs to increase production to meet the new demand.
o If sales are down, was it expected? If not, drill down on the answers. Did your customers start using a competitor’s products or services, and the business is lost?
o How are your sales and profit margin by item?
o How is your return rate performing?
By seeing if you’re on track to meet annual goals at midyear, it gives you the remainder of the year to modify strategy, shift focus, and work to achieve those goals. Or, potentially, you may need to modify the original sales plans and goals to adjust to changes in the market.
Customer Experience Goals:
Most companies get 80% of their business from 20% of their customers. If your key customers are unhappy, it’s time to course-correct.
o Is your customer portfolio balanced?
o Do you have enough long-term customers/clients?
o Are there any collaborations you’d rather end?
o Are your social media platforms receiving positive customer feedback?
o Are you monitoring your customer ratings and reviews?
o Are you measuring your repeat business?
o How do you compare against the competition to get new customers?
Most businesses agree that employees are their number one asset. So monitoring employee engagement, turnover and morale is critical.
o Is employee turnover too high?
o Are you losing more people, especially key players?
o Are your compensation policies in line with your competitors?
o How many new hires have you had since January? Are they performing up to standards?
o Do you have an adequate organization chart, effective and fair job descriptions, a useful employee policy guide, attractive compensation and benefits, and high retention rates?
o Do you have effective recruiting, retention and termination processes?
Carve out at least four hours over the next couple of weeks to conduct your mid-year assessment. When you take the time to assess your business, you’re sure to uncover insights, opportunities or signs of items that need immediate attention.
If you are interested in enlisting the help of a business advisor like a B2B CFO® Partner with the expertise to uncover valuable insights that will drive positive change in your business — and ensure the rest of your goals are on track for the remainder of the year, please contact me by telephone at 972-689-1981 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.