By Brittany Fisher of financiallywell.info
15th March 2023
The most successful small businesses all have one thing in common — a wealth of data that drives daily decisions. Every day, you must consider how much inventory to buy, where to expand your business, and how much to invest in marketing. You can make more informed decisions when you base them on data — and the best way to analyse data is to compile it in a report. Consider the importance of the following six business reports, courtesy of James Rosa Associates.
1. Profit and Loss Statement
If you are applying for a small business loan or seeking funds from an investor, one of the first things you’ll be asked for is a profit and loss statement. This document details all of your business’s outgoing expenses as well as its incoming revenue. The report will document whether your business consistently turns a profit.
2. Financial Projection Report
Even if your profit and loss statement reflects reliable revenue, investors may want to see your projections for growth. The Business Professor explains that a financial projection report is ideal for this purpose, and it’s also important because it can help you predict your business’s tax debt. Your state may also require you to file a report annually in order to remain compliant. If you do not stay on top of your tax liability and file the necessary reports, your business may be fined — or worse, its licence may be revoked. You can use software to create realistic projections by plugging in your estimated expenses and predicted profits.
3. Annual Report
Your business’s annual report is another important document. It is typically the most comprehensive report that you’ll generate, and it may consolidate previous reports. It is published at the end of the fourth quarter, and it will provide detailed data about your business’s performance throughout the year. This data includes sales figures, an accounting of expenses, and information about funding. The report may also include information about marketing campaigns and the next year’s financial projections.
Something else to bear in mind: to make things a little easier on yourself, you can digitise your reports, making it easier to send them to various team members and potential investors. PDF files look the most professional but if you need to alter the file format, this tool may help by converting from PDF to Word in seconds. From there, you can make any necessary changes, then save the file as PDF again if desired.
4. Inventory Report
Businesses that sell a physical product must be attentive when it comes to tracking the costs associated with their inventory. Whether you manufacture your own inventory or you get it from a supplier, you need to create a detailed account of its cost as well as the expenses associated with storing and shipping it. The report should include data on what items sell the fastest, which items sell best in certain seasons, and other insights that will help you tailor your inventory to customers’ needs.
5. Marketing Report
Marketing reports provide valuable insights into your marketing performance, enabling you to optimise campaigns, engage customers more effectively and make informed decisions about future investments. You can utilise a marketing automation platform to get the data-driven insights you need to measure ROI, analyse effectiveness of campaigns and understand customer engagement patterns at every stage of the customer journey. This platform also allows you to automate tasks and personalise marketing campaigns.
6. Web Impact Report
According to WP Forms, only 64% of all small businesses have their own website. If you’re part of the 36% that doesn’t have a website, it’s time to invest in your online presence. A web impact report will help you see the benefits of a strong web presence, including boosts in sales and a wider reach to your target audience. Generate a web impact report that includes information on social media engagement, website traffic, newsletter subscriptions, and other web-based success metrics.
Make Informed Decisions With the Right Reports
Many small business owners are overwhelmed by the day-to-day responsibilities of entrepreneurship. Generating detailed reports about your business’s inventory, website, and financial health can actually ease this stress and offer a data-based roadmap for growth and success. And using a marketing automation platform can give you insightful marketing reports. In the end, you will see your efforts pay off.
Brittany Fisher has been a Certified Public Accountant for over two decades, with expertise in taxes, personal finance, and financial literacy. She founded Financiallywell.info, her own website dedicated to providing valuable insight and advice about managing money. Through her work, Brittany strives to empower individuals with the skills and understanding needed to make sound financial decisions – from budgeting and saving to retirement planning and beyond.
Please be advised that all views expressed in these posts are those of the author and not of James Rosa Associates ltd.