It’s almost Labor Day – that inevitable divide between summer and fall.
Children are starting school, refocusing on friends and homework, while parents get back into the groove at work.
In 118 short days it will be 2017. Are you on track with your plan for 2016?
Here are some steps you can take to prevent year-end surprises.
Review revenue by customer: Are there any surprises? If sales were lower than expected give the buyer a personal call to see what changed. What do they think is going to happen next year?
Review profitability by customer: Not all sales are good sales. Focus on those customers who provide the most to your bottom line. Start weaning yourself away from the ones who are break-even and show negative profits
Evaluate expenses: Print your balance sheet for the entire year. Look for accounts that show a great deal of fluctuation or ones that are 10% over or under budget. Why?
Look at the checkbook: Confirm all bank reconciliations are up to date. Ask for the “Unmatched report” to insure each entry is matched to the correct account.
Consider possible tax ramifications: Check with your accountant. What actions could you take now to prepare for a more comfortable year end?
Check your gut: As you accumulate knowledge, you begin to recognize patterns which your brain organizes in clusters. If something doesn’t seem quite right, dig deeper and ask questions. Your intuition may not always be right, but it can be a useful tool in decision making.
Find responsible confidants to hold you accountable: It’s hard to see the big picture when you’re fully engrossed in day to day operations. Hire a coach or join an Executive Roundtable. You’ll get unbiased, confidential feedback and support to encourage you to work ON the business not just IN the business.
Start now. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, then New Year’s! A little preparation will prevent unpleasant surprises when the new year arrives!