It has come to that time of the year again where businesses need to pause and reevaluate their performance thus far. Many business owners find mid-year reviews to be a chore. Yet, in light of increasing foreign competition and a slowing domestic economy, mid-year reviews can actually be a vital checkpoint to ensure growth targets are met by the end of year. Here are some areas to keep a lookout for, in order to turn this potentially tiresome exercise into a substantial marker of end year success.
Are your expenses in check? Have you met your mid-year target for revenue earned? To maintain stringent control over cash flow, SME owners should keep tabs on their profits and losses at this mid-year mark. You should also check if you are in line with the objectives set at the beginning of year.
Canon offers an array of solutions that help to make cash flow tracking a much easier process. For instance, Canon’s Therefore solution is able to route and store all documents on a single electronic database, allowing for convenient access and retrieval of invoices. The confidentiality of financial records will also be protected, with adjustable user permissions and specific digital signatures applied to each document.
Regardless of business function, it is of paramount importance that all business software are kept up to date. Business owners should ensure that security, performance and computer systems are the most optimal for your business at its current state, and if it still has the capability to handle further business growth. In addition, this is the best time of the year to clear out all antiquated equipment and replace them with more current alternatives.
Mid-year performance reviews might be received with some apprehension, but we should keep in mind that constructive criticism is dished out for the purpose of improving business productivity. As SME owners, other than evaluating staff performances, you should also assess if the team is utilized in the most effective manner – Are there people who are handling too much or those who are getting too little? Are all staff adequately engaged and challenged? All these areas are vital checkpoints since performance is often tied to financial outcomes.
Administrative processes are known to be tedious, but necessary for the seamless functioning of any organization. However, if the effort to upkeep these processes diverts already scarce manpower from the running of the core business, business owners should start outsourcing for reliable solution-providing partners. Canon’s Business Services offers a highly-skilled team who can provide objective third-party consultation and design unique solutions aligned to the technical and business requirements of each business. Resultantly, administrative processes can be streamlined and greater focus can be put on the core business processes instead.
At this mid-year checkpoint, remember to also keep a lookout for what your competitors are doing. Reviewing your business tactics will aid in the planning of business strategies that are able to retain or grow one’s consumer base, even with strengthening competition.
An easy and cost-effective way to do this is through monitoring their social networks. This allows SME owners to gain insights on competitors’ business strategies and their respective customers’ reactions. However, this may not give you the most comprehensive results and hence, should be complimented with offline research as well. You can consult with industry analysts, trade associations and advocacy groups which will evaluate competitors and unmet market needs. Industry conferences are also good platforms to help you understand what your competitors are offering. By consolidating these information, you are more equipped to re–evaluate your business strategies to help you better differentiate your business in the industry.
All in all, with these considerations in mind, your mid-year review can be kept brief and focused, while achieving its purpose as a poignant checkpoint to monitor and facilitate growth for your firm over the trajectory of the year. Follow us on LinkedIn for updates as we share recommendations and insights tailored for SME owners!