Mid-Year Business Health Check-Up Time
Nearly half the year has gone by now. Since most companies are on a fiscal year that is the same as the calendar year, it’s time to take stock of what has happened in the first half, adjust tactical plans for the second half and generally check the health of your business. When you visit a doctor, in part thanks to the new health-care law, you will be asked a lot of questions to assess your health. Someone will document your medical history, often with a long checklist to help jog your memory. They want to know if you have had any specific disease or symptom that needs to be discussed or known. They will ask you for a history of operations that you have had since you were a child. They want to know what allergies you have, what prescription drugs you are taking and what over-the-counter medications you use. They want to know why your ancestors died and when. They are likely to ask you to use a smiley face description with numbers from 1-10 regarding your current level of pain. They may do the same for your happiness. They will weigh you, take your temperature, measure your oxygen levels and check your BP, both above and below the line–systolic for when blood goes out, and diastolic for when it comes back. Then, the doctor will come in and do further, simple diagnostic tests such as listening to your heart and lungs, asking some probing questions. And they will repeat this process each and every time you visit the doctor’s office.
Your business should not be so different. You have many key performance indicators, just as the body has key health metrics. You need to check your companies BP–Business Plan to see if what goes out is high quality and that what comes back is positive testimonials from satisfied customers and not poor quality product returns and bad will. You need to see if your people are in pain at any level and that they have oxygen and clean air to breathe (physically clean and mentally/attitudinally clean). You don’t want your overhead to be overweight. You need to understand your company history to understand the effects of your own business DNA. Obviously, you need to check your company’s blood pressure in terms of cash in above the line, and cash out below the line; assets above the line and liabilities below the line; income above the line and expenses below the line. You need to make sure you aren’t using more energy (calories) than you can afford and you don’t want to be building up business fat. If a person is very muscular, their measure of body fat can be misleading. So too, some business metrics can be misleading depending on the nature of your business.
So, check your business health using your BP (Business Plan) as a guide. Check your eyesight and hearing. Get a chiropractor adjustment or a massage to keep things functioning well and moving in the right direction.