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Great Reporting Habits – You Should Start Now!
When a buyer is looking at your alarm business, most often their major goal is to gain market share or they see some financial synergy. Beyond the surface and first impressions, it’s the quality of reporting that tells the real story of the strength of a potential deal.
The very nature of reporting, however, dictates that you cannot pull it together at the last minute, during due diligence, for instance. Good reporting only provides good data over a span of time.
And even if you are not selling, looking at trends over time is powerful knowledge, which can save you from costly mistakes and reveal otherwise hidden opportunities.
Good reporting also builds confidence. Solid, consistent reporting increases trust that your business is well run and solid. Sadly, the converse is true. You may have the best customer base in your market, but if a buyer needs to dig through inconsistent reports to see the proof, it undermines their belief in any other data you present, and you stand on shaky ground without further backup.
Start with your financial reporting – tax returns, receipts, profit and loss sheets, bank statements, etc. Every business, no matter what stage they are in, should focus building good habits here first. Yet, you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that ignore the basics until it’s too late. If you need to, ask your financial advisor to help establish simple systems to keep tabs on the financial health of your business.
Next, look at your customers. We have talked about customer contracts previously, but the importance of keeping your agreements complete and up to date cannot be emphasized enough. Routine review is a worthy habit because it will protect the value in your business.
Third, look at how you report attrition and how you calculate your RMR. Get in the habit of doing so on a regular basis. Include details such as your account aging and customer payment history, to get a complete picture. If you need some help with understanding attrition, look for our white paper, Attrition: The Silent Killer, in the Resources section. It’s proved invaluable to many businesses already.
Central Station reporting should be the next place to develop solid habits. They are your partner in delivering quality service to your customers, so you want to have a handle on signals (false and positive) so you can improve your installs and customer communication.
If you don’t have good reporting practices in place, there is no time like the present to begin the habit. And by keeping a solid routine of reporting in the four areas we just talked about: finance, customers, attrition and RMR, and your central station, you’ll be confident and prepared for any future conversation.
Got a report you find valuable to running your business? Let us know your good habits at firstname.lastname@example.org.