As small business owners, we carry the world (i.e. our businesses), on our shoulders. Decisions that will help our businesses stay productive and profitable are critical to ensure sustainability. But to make good decisions, we need to have good information, right? And to get good information, we need to:
- use trusted reporting tools
- review them often
- and use them to inform our decisions
Perhaps you already have an array of reporting tools in your business. But are they helping you to achieve your business goals? And how well are they aiding progress assessments in line with your unique Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Because what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done, right? Or improved for that matter.
There are two specific areas small businesses need to be very aware of:
- Financial information
- Marketing efforts, especially social media
So, in this blog post we’ll look at different reporting tools we can use to cover these two areas. Plus, we’ll look at the different types of information you could track in order to make the right decisions.
Financial Reporting Tools
To prevent getting stuck in time-consuming spreadsheets (and avoid human error), maximise your use of accounting software. Here are two options:
This free software creates invoices, scans receipts (using OCR – optimal character recognition) and allows links* between your bank and credit card accounts. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require an understanding of accounting concepts.
Financial reports are clearly presented on Wave which includes income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. This makes tracking your income and expenditure much easier. You can also invite other collaborators, such as your Financial Manager or bookkeeper, to work on your Wave account with you.
*Depending on where you are in the world, automatic import of your bank statements may or may not be available.
Odoo is a paid-for experience but you can trial it for free. It provides seamless bank synchronisation, invoicing, reconciliation which improves your expenses management. Your statements are made clearer by Odoo which improves your comparison of different data.
Check out this article, “Best accounting software in 2020: free and paid versions to manage accounts” for other accounting options available.
As mentioned above, it’s so important to actually USE your information. Compiling financial statements is a step in the right direction. But only when you start analysing it with the intention of making decisions, will you find true value in this process.
So, use your information to analyse:
- Sales trends
- Return on Investment
- Gross profit percentage
- Net profit percentage
Social Media Marketing Reporting Tools
The reports and insights generated in your social media business accounts (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) should directly inform your marketing strategy.
Check out this article to learn more about this process: “How to Create a Social Media Report”
Unfortunately, some platforms provide more in-depth data and are easier to navigate, than others. For example, you might find that Facebook is the most user-friendly, thorough, and informative.
That’s where Analytics Reporting Tools come in. They help you maximise your data by refining the information for you. This is critical in the process of analysing your business’ KPIs and goals. It also pulls all your social media platforms to one place, allowing you to compare statistics.
All of this helps you to evaluate your overall marketing strategy in terms of its efficiency and effectiveness.
So, the right reporting tools help filter the desired information. In this process we can monitor and measure the effectiveness of our finances and marketing. And finally, this ensures our decisions are the most sustainable (and profitable) ones for our business.
Now, are you ready to go get the information that your business needs?
About Kristine Tudhope
Founder of UPvisor, Kristine, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2015 and moved into entrepreneurship after a short period in industry. With exposure to finance, reporting, operations, logistics, and other functions in corporate, she is uniquely positioned to bring her financial know-how, coupled with an understanding of operations and technology to her clients.
She recognises the need for support, encouragement and knowledge that other entrepreneurs have, because she feels it too!
Kristine has a passion for seeing people unlock their full potential and has taken on the privilege of serving other entrepreneurs and business owners with enthusiasm through her training and financial consulting services.
She started UPvisor in 2018, and we currently focus on unlocking your business potential by improving your profitability and your workforce’s productivity! We EQUIP business owners with the relevant financial skills, and become your EXECUTING business partner to free you up to focus on what matters most – your strategy and operations – and leave the finances to us.
At UPvisor we are passionate about unlocking the potential in small businesses and business owners by improving the productivity and profitability! We want to see a community of sustainable businesses that are confident in making financial decisions, focus on the right things (strategy and operations) and outsource (or delegate) the rest!
From our financial and technology training, to financial strategic consulting and business coaching, we have a three-pronged approach to make sure that YOUR business will be a success.
If you’re wondering how to get the most of your financial information, consider joining the UPvisor Academy where we aim to Unlock your Inner CFO! Find more information here or book a free 30 minute consultation with us here.
Check out this video to learn more about UPvisor.