As you are gathering last year’s financial information for taxes – it is a great time to review the results and make resolutions for the upcoming year. It doesn’t matter if you are focused on growth, profitability, or reorganizing the following checklist will provide options to consider.
I promise to value my customers more.
- List the top 10 customers in sales and in gross margin. Upgrade that list. Is your company dependent on one customer or one industry? Are you missing an opportunity or industry? Where are their futures going? Are you going with them?
- Identify the three reasons they buy from you and focus on that.
- Describe your current ideal customer and find 5 more. Focus on getting the best.
I promise to coach and mentor my staff to become more productive.
- Review your staff year-end wages. Does the value match the amount paid?
- Measure sales dollars per employee and develop a plan to increase it by 10%.
- Evaluate the staff’s morale. Happy employees deliver better results. How can you improve the situation?
I promise to work smarter not harder.
- Evaluate the technology in your business. Use it to improve your service or customer experience.
- Review the training budget. What knowledge does the company need to invest in to stay competitive?
- We are moving to a culture of immediate gratification. How can you deliver results faster?
I resolve to increase working cash.
- Plan your cash needs. Start with last year’s results. Break it down by month. Draft a cash flow statement and note when the cash needs occur. How can you improve the results?
- Speed up collections. Review customer sales terms and your process. Are you invoicing at the time of greatest value? Can you train your customers to pay on time? Clearly state your due date. Consider giving a discount or a free item for payment up front.
- Calculate the percent of gross sales that goes to the bottom line and create a plan to increase it by 10%. To improve it – sell more, increase prices or decrease costs. Find the easiest way for you.
- Measure how many times the inventory sold this year and plan to increase it by 10%.
- Calculate how much gross margin each item or service contributed to the business. Eliminate the lower items or raise prices.
Best wishes to a great year!
Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA