Isn’t it amazing how much information has to be viewed, understood and acted upon in a business.
To make it a little easier on you, why not use a One-Page-Report for your Financial Data once a month. Or as often as you are able to update the Report.
First, let us define what a One-Page-Report is.
What is a One-Page-Report?
I guess you already have an idea? Yes, it’s a Report on just one page. You could print the page, or you could view it on your computer screen. Well, nowadays, you could also use any device able to read files.
As all the information is on one page, a one-page report is similar to a dashboard. Yep, similar to the dashboard in your car, any other vehicle or on any other machine.
A dashboard shows you the most important information about the actual situation.
While you are driving a car you need to know your speed, your remaining fuel, the engine heat and a few other things. All this information help you to get to your destination.
Though, do you have a dashboard for your business? Maybe you said yes as you have a ERP-System in place. However, I had seen so many ERP-Systems in my career and most of them had been lacking a good dashboard of the companies most important metrics.
Let’s define a One-Page-Report as a dashboard for your business. However, One-Page-Reports could be created for many more things.
What to measure?
The metrics are the numbers of your business. Again, it’s similar to the Speed Indicator of your car. But for a business, it’s not the Speed you measure.
Okay, you may measure it to a certain extent, when it comes down to your processes. But right now we are talking about the big picture, the bird’s eye view.
While driving, you roughly know how far you could go when you look at the remaining fuel. And you also roughly know how much time the remaining journey will need.
With businesses, it is quite the same. We could measure the most important numbers and compare them to others or over time.
Yet, we haven’t defined what you should measure in your business and show on your One-Page-Report.
Of course, the numbers that are crucial to your business. The numbers that keep your business running.
This means we are talking about Revenue, Expenses as well as Cash and a few other things.
As it is your business, you have to clarify what has to be on the One-Page-Report. The aforesaid items are a must. Keep in mind that this is about the big picture, not the details.
How to use a One-Page-Report
You compare your businesses most important numbers over a certain period of time. This means week by week or month by month. It depends on your business.
Which periods you are going to use also depends on how easy you could gather the data for your Report. Make sure you get the numbers fast and easy.
Still it is a rough picture from above, but you could still determine if your business is heading in the right direction.
Ensuring that your business is heading in the right direction is the most important benefit of a One-Page-Report.
If something catches your attention from the birds eye view, you just dig into the details. Digging into the details will give you more insights, which help you to determine your actions.
Well, you might say I just need to check my Bank Account on a regular basis. Yes and No. Your Bank Account only shows the business transactions that are already finished.
It does not show you how many business transactions (e.g. Open Orders) are still to be finished.
You may have all the information for a One-Page-Report. The thing is, you may not have them in one single place.
And that is another benefit of a One-Page-Report. Having all relevant information in one place.
Do you need a One-Page-Report? It depends.
The more complex your business and the more people you have that work for you, the more sense it makes to use a One-Page-Report.
If you are just on your own, it depends. Yep. When you are alone, it depends on the time you would need to invest to get the report prepared. If you could do it in a relative short time, let’s say in less than 2 hours per month. I would say, yes, use one.
If you need more time. It makes more sense you build a routine for yourself to check your businesses most important numbers where you have them.
Most importantly, you need to bring all the numbers into relation to each other. That is much easier, when you see them in one place.
And of course, if you have the most important numbers in one place, you could also visualize them easily.