Corporate America uses endless reports every week. There are trends to analyze, meetings to hold and plans to make. Are reports useful for small business owners, too, or are they mainly a waste of time? The answer may surprise you.
Navigate through the article:
Why Your Small Business Needs Reports
Some reports are always necessary for tax, accounting or financial purposes. These areas apply to companies of every size. For example, if you want to qualify for a small business loan, you generally need to provide several years’ worth of records, especially balance statements.
Reports aren’t just for meeting requirements, however. They can also help you plan for goals. Those same reports you need for SBA financing can make it easier to meet other loan requirements. You can take good care of your cash flow and credit rating along the way.
How Reports Benefit Music Stores
There are many different types of reports you can generate for your business, but they all have the same objective: to help you track your company’s financial health in real-time. This ability can provide many benefits.
It can be tempting as a small business owner to rely on your gut when it comes to decision-making, but this management style can end up hurting you in the long run. Even the best entrepreneurs can make mistakes when they don’t have all the information available.
Put simply, you need data to make decisions that deliver real value for your company. That way, you invest in things that provide the greatest return.
Up-to-date info helps you decide where your funds are best used. You can check things such as past trends, customer habits, current expenses and upcoming needs. Point-of-sale software such as Music Shop 360 can put all of this information at your fingertips in seconds.
How can you tell if your business is growing? How can you see if your marketing plans are working or if there are great opportunities in front of you? Keeping tabs on specific business reports is key.
When you can see your company’s past performance, you have something to compare your current sales against. You can also set reachable, specific goals and track them.
Goals are just as important for small business owners as a finish line is for marathon runners. Having something concrete to aim for can motivate you to do greater things. It keeps your music store focused on the future and continually improving.
It’s better to notice issues when they’re still small. That way, you can take corrective action without disrupting your business operations.
As an example, what if you notice that your sales and inventory needs aren’t lining up correctly? If you do nothing, you may end up with working capital issues and problems with your suppliers. By catching this trend quickly, you can try minor adjustments, such as minimizing excess inventory, putting products on sale or checking your profit margins.
Which Reports To Keep Track Of
Keeping an eye on data doesn’t mean you have to be obsessed with reports constantly. It’s generally enough to generate a few main reports every month, as well as periodic reports several times a year.
1. Cash Flow Statement
This report shows you where your money is going and how much working capital you have on hand during the month. The cash flow statement is useful because it can help you reduce overhead and minimize waste.
2. Income Statement
This statement helps you identify all your available assets and expenses during the month. You can see critical business data, such as total revenue, total costs and net income. These details are vital for seeing ways to improve your operations.
3. Balance Sheet
Your balance sheet reveals all of your current assets and debts, including inventory and loan payments. The balance sheet is one of the best reports for tracking trends on a monthly and yearly basis. It can improve your inventory management considerably, helping you adapt smoothly to seasonal shifts.
With the help of business reports, you can gradually improve everything from employee performance to marketing costs. Thanks to reducing unnecessary spending, you can put your cash where it counts and take advantage of online avenues for increased sales.