How often and accurately do you measure your business operating progress? Is every reporting period important enough to take the time and effort to measure properly? Or do you wait until the last period hoping something will happen to make your annual goals so you will make it over the first down marker–or over the goal line.
I often become amused while watching football as for three downs the football is spotted without too much concern, but then on a crucial series it becomes 4th and ….., so we measure. Arg……it’s short by an inch or less, so you have to punt or do something desperate by going for it and failing. You might ask if that half-inch was lost in the previous spottings. Maybe so.
Using this analogy, are you taking care to properly measure your results along the way, so you you don’t put yourself in a “4th and desperate” situation? Is your business important enough to you that measuring periods 1 thru 3 properly could lead to successful results at the end of the 4th period—or do you not measure and tale the risks of not having options.
What’s your style? You might be one that is on top of your game. If not, then put some disciplines in place now while the game(year) is early. Be smart–become familiar with where you are on the field.
If you own a business, and do not have a CFO, consider hiring a part-time or what I refer to as a “fractional CFO”. A fractional CFO can bring value when it comes to strategic planning and can either assist in financial statement or provide oversight in the preparation. Additionally, a CFO understands how all aspects of a business should be performing together, and what impact each has on the financial performance of company. A CFO can assist the business by guiding the measurement process. Think of the fractional CFO as one of the coaches along the side lines helping you make crucial decisions.