You have the opportunity to regrip the reins. As a business owner, you must take control of your business. Owning and managing a business is not a democracy—it’s more like a dictatorship. When you aren’t ruling over your business, chaos will reign, and you will have upset employees and customers. “Success begins with great leadership,” explains McBean. “That means you and your appointed leaders—managers, department heads, and team leaders—must operate and stick to the processes you put in place every day, all day. If employees aren’t following your processes, you must get them on board. But if they won’t, the employee has made a decision for you—unfortunately, you will have to let them go.”
Nothing good comes from waiting to look at your numbers. Are your sales up or down compared to last year and what you had forecasted for this year? Why or why not? Is your overall local market economy doing better than last year? If it is up, what products or services can attract this added disposable income in your market? If it is down, what do you need to do to protect your business? Is your industry up nationally and regionally? Sure, sitting on a beach somewhere will be a lot more fun than running these numbers, but when you’ve owned up to them, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing where your business stands and what you need to do to get it (or keep it) on track.
“One important thing to note: Most business owners look at sales revenues, expenses, and bottom-line net profit,” says McBean. “But don’t forget the importance of gross profit and the products and services that generate it. In reality, gross profit is what creates your net profit and provides meaningful measurement of sales and expenses. It is a factor that every business owner should be studying in detail.”
It’s a great time to go after new opportunities. New opportunities are always presenting themselves. By running your business through a summer check-up, you’ll be able to reevaluate the products and services that could add value to your current customers while attracting new ones, and as a result increase profits for your business. “When you’re thinking about going after new opportunities, ask yourself a few important questions,” says McBean. “In what areas can you gain market share because your competitor is struggling? Have you attacked the customer base and gross profits of your competitors? And so on. By going after new opportunities now, you can take a bigger piece of the business pie in the coming months and enter next year in a stronger position both from sales and from the profits they generate.”