Taking Stock of the First Quarter

By February 9, 2017Blog

For business owners, October is a very important milestone, as it marks the end of the first quarter and the beginning of quarter two. Why is this important?

When you are finalising your accounts for the September Business Activity Statement, you have the opportunity to assess how your business is doing thus far and analyse what areas you need to improve. Essentially, the first quarter sets the pace for the year in hitting annual goals and metrics.

As such, here are 3 question you should be asking yourself after the first quarter, to help you successfully transition into the second quarter.

  1. What goals and metrics were met in the first quarter?
    The first quarter provides the building blocks for which to base the rest of the year. This is because you are forced to assess each quarter individually, and thus, creating the short-term objectives that will feed into your overall strategy for your business.

Common metrics that business owners should be aware of include sales revenue, gross and profit margins, overhead costs and monthly profits or losses. Your business’s goals should be based on your industry and size to meet these metrics.

Evaluate your goals and determine which were met or surpassed. Commend your team for their work on meeting or surpassing these goals. For some objectives that were met easily, consider being more ambitious with it in the second quarter.

  1. What goals and metrics weren’t met in Q1?
    If you started the financial year off with new projects to reach new goals, it is perfectly normal to fall short of high expectations presented in the first quarter. But definitely don’t let that discourage you from taking an objective look at your business!

Identify which goals and metrics weren’t met in the first quarter, what specific factors led to that, and then find ways to fix the problems within your business. Possible reasons could be that the goals were unrealistically high, or there was a lack of communication, or maybe an unexpected incident occurred that set the business back. It is important to encourage managers and employees to offer suggestions for improvements and new methods to reach your business’s goals.

  1. How will you make Q2 better?
    Once you’ve devised specific tactics to improve in the second quarter, gather all business stakeholders to commit and adhere to the updated plan. Then communicate the plan to the entire staff. It is important to keep everyone involved in the progress and to be notified of potential issues and changes. Getting the whole team involved on the journey to make Q2 better, when done correctly, can help boost employee engagement and be a huge addition to your company culture.

And finally…
At Advivo, we are strong believers in tracking and monitoring a business’s progress. That is why we offer our clients an ongoing program supported by regular meetings (minimum quarterly) where we review and analyse the business’s performance using the Business Pusle Report™ and Future Fitness 3-Way Report™.

If you have concerns or questions about your performance in the first quarter, we encourage you to contact us for any assistance! Contact us now.