The first quarter is arguably the most important quarter of the year. It sets the tone for the next three quarters and reveals how effective your budgeting and planning efforts have been. As you look back at Q1, are you on track to reach your revenue and business goals next quarter and by the end of the year? These five steps will help you get a clearer picture:
Explore how each of your departments is performing and whether any one is holding back your broader goals. You want to find and resolve these issues as early in the year as possible.
Progress can’t be uncertain. If you’re on track after Q1, you should be able to prove it using metrics and KPIs. Decide what metrics reveal the most about your performance so far. Then begin tracking them closely and frequently to understand exactly how the company is doing at all times.
Every department is responsible for profits and losses. Consider assigning each one a quota, then measuring their performance within that context. That way, every department has a stake in the company’s overall profitability.
The numbers are essential, but you can’t ignore the lived experiences of the people in your company. Host a meeting where everyone reflects on Q1, highlighting successes and failures along the way. Your people probably have observations that won’t show up on a balance sheet.
Automated tools make it easier than ever to track when, where, and how people use their time and what results it delivers. These tools offer a more nuanced view of performance. Plus, since the analysis is automated, it’s especially easy to review and compare results after Q1.
Tracking your organization’s performance is a many-faceted process. The challenge is that as soon as Q1 ends, Q2 begins. Companies have to stop and look backward while still focusing on the future.
Outsourced accountants can help you do both. They have the time and resources to monitor your performance throughout Q1. They also have the experience and understanding to help you turn insights from Q1 into improvements for Q2. You can learn a lot more about your company by enlisting an outside perspective.
2019 will be full of opportunities and obstacles. The right team with the right tools can identify what those are and where they are located; giving you the time you need to adjust your strategy and continue moving forward, quarter after quarter. Contact P&N to learn more.