Our favorite time of year happens four times: at the end of each quarter. If you’re following Profit First, this is when you, as the business owner, get to take half of what’s built up in your profit account as a distribution (a bonus, if you will) to yourself.
That’s right, every 90 days you get to share in the profits of your business.
Three months can fly by—especially in your business. It’s that time again for your Quarterly Financial Routine. You do have a quarterly financial routine, right? If you do, awesome! If you don’t, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled our top three tasks that should be a part of every business’s quarterly review.
In addition to the quarterly tasks, we strongly recommend using your quarterly quiet time to review the progress of your yearly goals. Revisiting the goals you set back in January every three months allows you to stay on track, reflect on your priorities, and hold yourself accountable.
Now let’s take a look at the top three quarterly tasks we recommend in your business.
You know your business is making a profit, but do you have a clear understanding of your KPIs? Key performance indicators are built into the Profit First model. By creating a spreadsheet for profit distribution every quarter, you can more quickly and accurately track the performance of your key accounts and begin to compare any fluctuation quarter over quarter.
If your business is growing, take a close look at your distributions from each account, then consider any notes you have made in previous quarters and adjust your distributions accordingly. If you’re finding that your operations expenses have increased, determine why and whether you need to increase your allocations there. Ideally, you have a good handle on your expenses and can ultimately increase your owner’s pay and profits instead.
Spending time with your KPIs will help you develop a broader understanding of your business operations, which leads to a positive impact on your owner’s pay percentage.
The goal of Profit First is to make sure you are paying yourself what you need. A quarterly analysis is a crucial step towards ensuring you allocate the proper owner’s pay percentage based on any account fluctuation.
Take time at the beginning and end of each quarter to analyze and record any changes to the buffer in your owner’s pay account. The cushion in your account should be increasing over the quarter, meaning you’re allocating more to that account than you ultimately need. If you have a steady increase, it’s time to raise the amount you actually pay yourself.
However, if your revenue is down, you might be eating into your buffer. It’s natural to think the easiest solution is to adjust your owner’s pay allocation down—don’t do it! If you notice the drop mid-quarter, stay the course, trust the buffer, and look at your financial standing as a whole at the end of the quarter.
As I mentioned, Profit First’s goal is to make you money. If you are at your minimum lifestyle lock number, do not adjust down without referring to Task #3 or reaching out!
Whether you’re practicing Profit First or not, running a quarterly expense analysis report by vendor will tell you everything you need to know about who you’re paying, how much, and when.
This report offers a comprehensive reminder of every vendor you’ve paid throughout the quarter. This is the time to evaluate if you are still getting value from their services. Is there another vendor who does the same thing that you can go with instead? Or do you have the potential to eliminate an expense?
Doing this analysis can also bring to light duplicate charges, increased subscription prices, or subscriptions that you no longer use. Identifying these will help you to save money in the long-term.
Bonus tip: If you are thinking about decreasing your owner’s pay (like we talked about in Task #2), don’t do it! Decreasing expenses is the key to keeping your allocation intact.
By creating a regular quarterly analysis of your business, you empower yourself to make educated decisions based on experience and expertise. Without trust in the system, you might end up making impulsive financial decisions that end up hurting you or your business in the long term.
You don’t have to wait for a special day to analyze your financial health. Schedule a quarterly date with your spreadsheets and make the most out of your relationship. Getting up close and personal with your finances will help you feel more confident, prepared, and empowered to develop your business needs’ money mindset!
If you’ve ever logged into your business account to double-check your balance before making a purchase, you’re like the majority of business owners. And you’re also suffering from Parkinson’s Law.
Parkinson’s Law says that we use all the resources we have available to us. So if we have a week to finish a project, it’s going to take us a week to get it done. Even if the actual project only takes us two hours. We’ll put off work on it until we only have two hours to get it done.