I first wrote this blog at the start of 2017, however if you are reading this at any point in time then hopefully the sentiment will still apply.
I work with lots of different sized businesses in Scotland. Sometimes on one-off projects, many on a more longer term basis. I am always keen to know how my clients are getting on against their targets. Quite often though businesses haven’t set any targets to work towards achieving. I think this makes it very difficult to understand problems and to celebrate success.
Often when we drill into numbers businesses are doing better than the owners thought actually they were. Quite often some of the hiccups and teething problems overtake the big picture and taint the view of their progress. It’s easy to do, you get up each day and tackle the issues that present themselves. That’s inevitable to a degree, but I do believe you have got to allow some time to monitor where you are and to ensure that you keep on track.
If you only do just one thing this year, then do set yourself a profit target. The figure that represents the total value, once the operational costs and costs of sale have been taken off. Look at what you have done historically, and then set a realistic, but stretching target. If you’re just starting up then this is difficult, especially as you will probably be putting so much money into set-up costs, maybe then you should set a different set of targets, with a target date that you plan to turn a profit.
Once you’ve set your target then you’ll know how you are doing, ideally breaking it down into quarters, allowing you to better track seasonal flows and to delve deeper into your trading to see what’s working, or not. Working with companies it can often become quickly apparent as to what is good, or bad business. Good business is profitable, easy to administer etc. bad business often comes with lots of hassle and not a great return. Junk that bad business as soon as you can!!
So good luck in 2017, set a realistic but challenging goal, track it through the year, smash it and then set a more challenging one for 2018!
On the video you can see some of the companies that I have worked with recently.
Thanks for reading, Paul
PS if I can ever help your business please get in touch, I specialise in marketing, offering photography, video, on-line etc. Call me on 01360 661029.