The Second Quarter Blues
By Tom Caprel
HEY, IT”S THE SECOND QUARTER ALREADY! Just a quick wake up because, in the press of day-to-day operations, sometimes you may not even notice the turning of the quarterly calendar.
It’s easy to continue operating in your business as if the quarter never existed because of the urgency to make the next deal, make payroll or handle the latest employee or customer issue. I believe a quarterly review is essential to the ongoing health and well-being of any company.
At the beginning of the year you made some goals about what you wanted the company’s revenue and profit to be for the year and the quarter.
So how did the company perform against those goals?
The answer varies of course. But the most important question is, “What does this mean for the remainder of the year?”
Congratulations are in order if you met your goals. Before diving right back into the fray, how about a little analysis to ensure this quarter’s good fortune continues:
What do your leading indicators say about the remainder of the year? Measures such as pipeline, work-in-process and estimated utilization can give you a defined picture about the up-coming months. Use those measurements to help you plan for the rest of 2007.
Now for those of you that didn’t make the grade for the first quarter, the first question is WHY NOT? What was the single most important cause for the loss? I use the following frame of reference to approach most issues my clients face:
- “What’s so?” – Why didn’t we make a profit? Who’s accountable for the area most responsible for the loss? “Is this a one-time anomaly our has this been an on-going problem?
- “What’s missing?” – Does everyone understand what’s expected of them? Do they have the tools to deliver on those expectations? Are there processes in place to ensure the smooth operation of the company in these lacking areas? And, maybe, just maybe, is this the right person to be leading this part of the company?
- “What’s next?” – What needs to be added, subtracted, fixed or supported to ensure a return to profit sometime soon? How can I impact this as the leader of the organization?
Obviously these are just a few of the many questions one needs to answer when looking at a shortfall. I would apply this thought process regardless if you made your goal or not.
The point isn’t whether you did or you didn’t make the target, it’s if you know how and why the results occurred. Once you have a handle on the possible causes of the shortfall, the next steps to take are usually fairly clear. Bring clarity to the cause and you will often bring profit to the bottom-line.
Tom Caprel leads Breakthrough Results, an executive coaching and mentoring firm that brings transformation to individuals and companies. Transformation is demonstrated in unprecedented, long-lasting results, with people getting along better, communication and collaboration happening at light speed, (even in adverse situations), and in new levels of performance for the company and individual. www.break-through.us