There comes a time in the growth of every successful business where the owner or CEO starts to feel that their basic bookkeeping simply isn't enough. If they're lucky, their books are clean and the integrity of their financial data is secure. (We'll let you figure out what their books look like if they haven't been so lucky.) Yet, in the growth process, owners find themselves wanting more from their data. Books closed on time isn't enough--they need insights and reporting to help guide their business through the next stages.
If a small voice in your head has you saying "Yes, this is ME!", then congratulations--you have likely been very successful to date. But now you know you need more support to drive your business forward. Considering pricing adjustments? How about expansion? Do you know for sure what your profit margins and cash flow projections really look like? And unfortunately for some--is there any chance you might be a tad bit under water? If you have any of these questions or concerns--or more, then you may be ready for outsourced controller services. To be certain, let's look at some questions:
1. Do you know your exact profit margins on every product or service?
Maybe when you were just starting out, it was easy to figure this out. With limited offerings, minimal overhead and a small staff, you can figure out your costs of production vs. revenue to get a close estimation of profit margins. But this number can get away from you quickly as you grow--which means the information you're basing future business decisions on is less than clear. Especially if you have expanded offerings or have a larger staff with varied costs and rates, you need to be sure you're really making what you think you are.
2. How much cash will you have in six months from now? Or even in three months?
Did you know that most small business owners cannot answer this question confidently? While unlikely to admit it, the fact is projecting cash flow and having certainty over your projections is a huge obstacle for many growing businesses.
3. Can you afford to add more staff? Do you need to?
Behind every employee is a cost and a projected addition to the bottom line. Do you think another sales person will improve revenue? Maybe--but what does that mean to the rest of the company's ability to meet demand? Single decisions can have extensive ramifications--ones that can make or break your business.
4. Is it better to lease or buy? Rent or own?
Your business data can also tell you the answers to big picture questions, from whether you can buy new equipment to what kind of financing arrangement makes sense for your warehousing. Picture all the decisionmakers sitting around the table weighing in on your next facility. Now make sure your data has a seat at the table.
5. Can you see your whole company on one page?
Yes, your data is all there--somewhere that is. A reliable dashboard, daily flash report, and custom reporting can help make sure your company snapshot is always within reach. After all, spending time hunting for numbers and lining up data isn't going to help anyone.
Did you find yourself wondering whether you know the answers? You might want to consider adding controller services to your business management team.