As you come to the close of a business quarter, small business owners and managers must make the time to evaluate how well the quarter has gone to begin the next business quarter with confidence. This evaluation is a valuable opportunity to make amendments to your annual plan to make it possible to meet your expected progress.
It is easy to be excited as you begin a new year and know that your plans for the first quarter are sure to keep your business on target for success in the three remaining business quarters of the year. However, if you do not take the time to analyze each business quarter and you enter the next quarter overconfident in your team’s abilities, it is very likely that you will make the mistake of undercutting the potential success of your business as the remaining quarters march on. Don’t dread your quarterly evaluations; embrace them.
Some metrics are not always easy to measure. This Harvard Business Review article offers some information about these difficult-to-measure metrics and how to approach them. By using the data collected from your first quarter to evaluate realistically just how well the confidence you have had in your departments are serving your business, you will have the opportunity now to improve if improvements are required. With this, should you find that the results are not as pleasing as you had expected, then this is the time to improve and adapt. The worst thing you can do is assume that it will get better and you will have the ability to catch up in the next quarter. Whatever ground you have lost in the first business quarter will require a plan if you wish to regain lost ground throughout the remainder of the year.
• What metrics and goals failed to meet your expectations in the business quarter and why?
• What sort of plan will you implement to improve your next business quarter?
• Decide how committed you are to improving your next quarter and act immediately.
Should you find after evaluating your previous business quarter that your success is not meeting your expectations, do not be discouraged. Once you have had the opportunity to identify the metrics and objectives that are sub-par, it is imperative to make any necessary corrections so that all aspects of the business may proceed in a more positive direction.
It is important to remember that as an owner, you are not in the business alone. Encourage your employees and your management to assist you with suggestions about the much-needed improvements to implement. Examine the possibilities of any recommendations and any new methods that could help the company reach its next business quarter goals.
Whether you find you only need to tweak a few small issues, or it appears that you need to make significant changes, devise a specific plan. With your plan in place, take the following steps:
• Communicate the changes to your entire staff.
• Inform your staff about the implementation of the new plans.
• Be sure that you emphasize the importance of employee commitment to the business’ goals.
• Set firm deadlines for any new and any continuing objectives.
• Avoid departmental issues by holding weekly meetings, not only to keep you abreast of how well the implementations are benefitting the business but to keep your staff involved and aware of progress (partially due to their efforts).
Your employees want to know that their contributions to your business are making a difference. If you desire to maximize your company’s potential in the next business quarter, it will be crucial that you heavily involve your staff in making the positive changes you would like to see. Employee engagement is likely to create an incredible improvement to your company culture.
By allowing each employee, individually, to take part in your company as a stakeholder in each quarter’s measurable and unique successes, you will dramatically increase departmental performance. Therefore, you create the overall success in making your small business experience the growth you desire, not only in the following quarter but for the rest of the year and beyond.
Each quarter is your opportunity to create a fresh beginning, and will undoubtedly offer your company, your employees, and most importantly, your customers or clients the chance to reap the benefits of the positive new achievements your business will experience.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: