Here’s what business reports and football have in common
The 2013 football season has drawn to a close – and what an eventful finale! Sir Alex Ferguson (more importantly Jamie Carragher) retiring, Mancini sacked and Wigan Athletic winning the FA Cup and then getting relegated all in the space of just over a week!
Yes I’m a big football fan and I just love how there’s always something to discuss and mull over. It really is a beautiful game.
But it’s not just the game I appreciate. It’s also the behind the scenes tactics. And as a fan of numbers, I’m always fascinated by the match stats and after game analysis – almost as much as what happens on the field.
There’s more in common than you realise between league tables and business reports
You can always tell an obsessed fan because of their passion for the stats. And as such they have a stronger understanding of the mechanics of the game than an occasional observer.
And it’s the same with business. If you don’t know your numbers, how can you really know how your business is performing? What’s more, how will you know what marketing works, which customers to focus on, what activity to stop etc?
In short, you can’t. Instead you’ll be operating blind and relying on guesswork and gut instinct. And whilst this approach will help you move forward to a point, your progress (and your potential profit) will be significantly limited.
Robust business reports are too important to procrastinate over
There would be uproar if a top-flight manager threw a team together and took potluck. Instead they put considerable thought into every decision – and they base it on the numbers.
What’s more, the football stats are used to measure success and performance. The wins, draws, losses and goal difference decides:
- Who lifts the trophy
- Who plays in Europe
- Whether teams performed better or worse than last season
- Who avoids relegation
And because this measurement system is so simple, even someone who isn’t football obsessed (if there are really people like that) can get a grasp on a team’s performance.
Business reports give your performance visibility and clarity
And you should embrace this practice for your business too.
But instead of measuring wins, draws, losses, goal difference, red and yellow cards, fouls etc. you need to pick your own KPIs.
As the most basic level you want to know your monthly sales, expenses and profits.
But, beyond that, there’s all manner of number crunching you can do. You need to pick the metrics that will help you determine what is and isn’t working so you can take informed decisions that increase sales, attract more leads and boost your conversion.
To give you some ideas, in my business I want to know:
1. My average customer value: So I know how much I can spend to secure a new customer.
2. The number of sales I need to break-even: It gives me a base target I need to reach each month.
3. Conversion rates on my PPC campaigns: I want to know what is and isn’t working so I can tweak where appropriate to maximise the return on my investment.
4. How much profit individual products attract: This applies more to Fings and drives decisions as to which products I invest my marketing budget in.
5. How much each hour must be worth to generate my target income: This number forces me to question everything I do and to ensure I’m making the most valuable use of my time.
And there’s another biggie which is super-relevant for service-based businesses. You also want to know how much time you spend on projects. That way you can ascertain whether a job has paid – or not.
SpinLessPlates can help…
I know a lot of business owners get caught up in the day-to-day drudge of running a business – they just never get the time for in-depth number crunching.
What’s more, if you’re not a business spreadsheet whizz it can be a pretty painful experience. After all, if you’re using Excel for business, you’ve probably discovered it isn’t the easiest tool for analytical work. And to create a business spreadsheet that enables you to crunch the numbers can take time and effort (and I’m sure you’ve got better things to do).
So if you’re looking for an easier solution, check out SpinLessPlates. It’s a complete business information system designed specifically for a B2B micro businesses like yours.
SpinLessPlates has the capability to make understanding your business numbers a breeze. With SpinLessPlates, you can generate in excess of 60 analytical reports at the touch of a button. Simply choose the report you want, enter the appropriate dates and hit “run report” and…
Ta da!! In seconds you’ll have the figures you need to assess:
- The number of quotes, sales, invoices you’ve created
- The value of outstanding invoices
- Time spent by project
- Sales by customer
Here’s a screenshot to show you a business report example.
These are numbers worth talking about
With the football season closed I know I’ll miss the post-match analysis on Twitter.
Oh well, I guess I can always replace it with chats about business maths.
P.S: If you’re ready to discover how SpinLessPlates is primed to transform how you manage your small business management, click here and enter promo code rep0513 to get 100% access to Spinlessplates for 3 months for £1.
Hi, I'm Paul.
Husband of Michele, daddy to Isabella and Jemima, owner of over excitable dog Ben.
I developed SpinLessPlates to be the easiest to use, most time saving B2B micro business management software in the world. If you'd like to save tonnes of time managing your B2B business, simply click here to find out more.