Last Updated on: September 25th, 2019
A business evaluation can provide you with valuable insight as to how your business is making money and how you’re spending it. Taking a closer look at your finances can reveal things you never knew about your company’s finances, and where you need to plug potential holes in your expenses.
Here are 5 things you should evaluate when performing your business evaluation.
Business Evaluation Component #1: Employee Performance
Labor is probably the biggest expense for your business, and if your employees aren’t measuring up to certain standards, you’re throwing away your money. As business owners, we set standards to ensure that we’re paying employees fair wages, based on what they can do and how well they perform in their areas of expertise. If employees aren’t measuring up, it’s time to take a look at how this really impacts your finances.
Let’s say you’re paying someone $50,000 per year for a high-level job that requires a lot of work. This employee has continuously failed to meet goals throughout the year, causing other employees to have to pick up the slack and help do their job. Not only is this detrimental to the cost of keeping this employee on the payroll, but it can cause serious frustration and extra work for other employees.
If someone on the payroll isn’t measuring up, perform a review twice a year and give them goals to reach. If they continuously fail to meet those goals, it may be time to consider seeking out a new person to fill that position.
Additionally, because blogging can help your business thrive, you should be sure to hire bloggers who can create compelling content for you on a regular basis. This will help boost your brand’s visibility online as well as help you rank in the search engines.
Business Evaluation Component #2: Fixed and Variable Expenses
Every financial review should include both fixed and variable expenses.
Fixed expenses are things that don’t change (such as your building’s rent or mortgage payment, or the financing for the company vehicles). Variable expenses vary according to their use (such as phone bills, utility bills, advertising, etc.).
Fixed expenses should always be deducted from your gross income, and variable expenses should have a budget that will help keep costs to a minimum. Since variable expenses are so flexible, ensure you have a fixed ceiling on these expenses; in other words, an amount that they absolutely must not exceed. Deduct this from your monthly gross for a more accurate picture of your net income.
Business Evaluation Component #3: Marketing Costs and ROI
Marketing probably accounts for a large portion of your budget, as it should. Marketing is essential to the continued growth of your business. You need to keep current customers engaged and potential customers aware that your brand exists.
Marketing might involve spending money on ads, creating and promoting a book for your business, or hiring a marketing firm to help you promote your business.
While marketing is an essential component, so is ensuring you’re getting an ROI from it, or a return on investment. If your marketing expenses are high, but you’re not seeing an influx or are seeing a drop in customer interaction, you’re not getting an ROI. This can mean it’s time to take a closer look at your marketing efforts and decide what you can do to improve brand awareness and attract new leads. Maybe you need to hire a top-notch freelance writer to create copy for your website so you can boost your sales!
If you perform in-house marketing, it may actually be more affordable for your business to hire an outside marketing firm with proven results. This will help ensure an ROI for your marketing efforts and guarantee that what you’re paying for can produce the results you want. Take a look at this article about how marketing firms can help your business.
Business Evaluation Component #4: Tax Deductions
While you’re performing your business evaluation, make sure you’re accounting for all of your tax-deductible items. Save receipts and invoices for all of your company’s expenses throughout the year, no matter how small or trivial they may seem.
Anything you can claim as a deduction will help you recover some of your business’s expenses, putting more money back into the business account and creating more opportunity for growth. Don’t underestimate expenses like gasoline and mileage for company vehicles, or even office supplies like printer ink and paper.
Anytime your business incurs an expense, keep a record of that expense so when you file your taxes, you’ll have an easy-to-access collection of expense reports.
Business Evaluation Component #5: New Expenses
Have you incurred any new expenses since the beginning of the year? Perhaps you decided the business needs a video conferencing solution or maybe you have hired someone to create stunning infographics for your website. Any new costs that have come about since your last evaluation should be accounted for and added to your monthly expenditure list. This includes new phones, vehicles, legal expenses, travel expenses, and financial advisors. Having a financial advisor can help your business immensely. You can find one either locally or online. (You can compare the 5 best financial advisors in Texas on the Careful Cents site.)
If you’ve switched to different materials for your products that cost more, you’ll want to document those as well for when you file your taxes. The best practice when you’re in business is to simply document everything. The more documentation you have, the better.
Accuracy is essential for filing your taxes, as any errors can come back to haunt you in the form of fees or penalties later on.
Your mid-year expense evaluation should include everything your company spends money on, including labor, materials, office supplies, marketing, etc., so you can experience entrepreneurial excellence and success. Be sure to make a thorough and accurate report so you can take a detailed look at where your money is going. The more accurate the report is, the better chance you’ll have at trimming down expenses where necessary and maximizing your net profit. Don’t forget the little things, and remember to document everything!