You're up and running and looking for opportunities to grow your business—and your revenue. To make good strategic business decisions, you’ll want to track your financial performance metrics so you can refine your strategy as you go. The resources in this guide offer an introduction to financial statements, and other tools to monitor your you business so you can respond quickly to opportunities and challenges.
Whether you call it a business plan, a Lean Plan, or a strategic plan—developing a roadmap to guide your business’s growth is key. Successful businesses set goals, iterate on their business plan regularly, and use their financials to help them understand when it’s time to make major business decisions.
Three basic financial statements provide the most comprehensive view of any business: the cash flow statement, balance sheet, and income statement (also called profit and loss, or P&L). Doing monthly financial statement analysis gives you a window into your financial performance that will help you make better spending decisions.
Planning for sales and expenses will help your startup or small business be more strategic as you think about where to use your resources. Your sales forecast, at its core, is really just a way to state your goals for your company. Your budget, or where you’re planning to spend your money, will probably reflect your sales goals. So, reviewing your metrics gives you a sense of how well your strategies and tactics are working.
Whether your goal is simply building a healthy company, or expanding into new markets with the eventual goal of selling your business, spend part of your time focused on strategies for growth and innovation.