Greg Smith: Time for a mid-year business check up – Ontario Argus Observer

It’s hard to believe we are halfway through 2021, but August is staring right at us. The end of the year will be upon us before we know it, and this is an important time to review exactly how our business is doing.

For some reason, this is a task which many business owners want to avoid. Some find it overwhelming, others say they don’t have the time, and frankly, some just simply don’t want to know. By taking time, we are creating for ourselves an opportunity to make any necessary adjustments which will lessen stress.

Probably the most difficult hurdle is simply making the commitment to allocate the necessary time and find an offsite location where we won’t be interrupted. Starting the process by reflecting about our business will provide insight on which actions need to be taken; there may be some which require an immediate “righting of the ship,” but others may just involve taking a step in the desired direction to help achieve a goal.

Asking ourselves simple questions such as: Are we satisfied with the number of hours we are working? What percentage of our clients do we consider ideal customers? Do we have sufficient revenue? Are we on track with our tax payments? What is the morale of our employees? What feedback are we receiving from our customers?

At the crux of it all is the question: Are we profitable? Cash flow is the life blood of our businesses. Many owners often rely on their accountant to tell them where they stand, and some utilize software programs like QuickBooks. Regardless, we need to have the tough conversations so we can be prepared and proactive in making any necessary changes. The truth is the consequences will occur whether they are addressed or not. Having some control of those issues depends on what we do ahead of time and can make all the difference in the outcome.

Understanding the morale of your employees and the reasons behind it is really important. Again, some things are out of our control, but there is much we can do to facilitate a good vibe at work. Letting it be known that we value their work and the commitment they show to our companies. We often talk about needing more employees or about the ones who create difficulty, but it’s more important than ever that we reward those who are faithful and put forth their best effort.

In closing, it’s very important that we monitor the pulse of our companies often. Mid-year is a great time to take a deep dive into the inner workings of our businesses and do everything we can to ensure profitability, that we are living up to our mission vision, marketing efforts are reaching as many ideal customers as possible, and that we find satisfaction in what we do.

Surprise your accountant at the close of this year! Have your financial ducks in a row and set new goals to achieve. More importantly, surprise yourself!

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