07 Nov 2013

When I’m watching a Calgary Flames game, I’m always checking the scoreboard.

I need to know how much time is left for the boys to hang onto a victory or catch up.

It’s even more important when you’re on the ice.

The clock is a motivator to keep the other team at bay or press harder for that often-elusive tying goal.

Grant Basiuk, a business coach with Forzani Business Coaching, applies the same philosophy to running a business.

“How often are you looking at your business scoreboard,” he asks. “And how good is your scoreboard? Many businesses only look at the scoreboard at the end of the game, or year-end tax time. Once-a-year scoreboard checking makes it pretty tough to make decisions, execute and manage for a whole year at a time.”

Each business scoreboard has to start with the fundamentals:

  1. A budget for the year, quarter, month, week or day
  2. Actual numbers (often called a P&L or your income statement) compared to that budget for the appropriate time period

While larger operations might have more detailed scoreboards, these tools — and checking them regularly — give a business owner a chance to make better decisions.

“Think back to the hockey game for a moment,” Grant says. “Imagine how often the players check the time left and the score. It’s likely at the end of every play or even more frequently.”

If revenue is down against budget or expenses are up, a business owner shouldn’t be waiting until year end to fix it, he cautions.

That could be too late.

“At that point, it is a bit like looking at the score after the final buzzer has gone to see if you won,” he says. “Don’t be surprised when your accountant tells you how you did for the year.”

If we start looking at our business scoreboard more frequently, though, we can make changes along the way. That can give us a winning year and we know before our accountants can tell us.

Learn how to check your scoreboard

Do you want to learn more about business scoreboards and successful business routines?

Grant is running a Forzani Business Coaching session as a guest of A1 Accounting.

Aimed at Calgary business owners and managers responsible for business owners, the workshop is aimed at teaching you about:

  • Business scoreboards
  • The importance of looking at the numbers in decision making
  • The impact of your decisions on four key financial areas
  • Relating an individual transaction to your budget and cash flow
  • Other key performance indicators in decision making
  • Preparing yourself to make decisions that affect your profit

The free workshop is scheduled for Friday, November 29, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m, at the Elks Lodge and Golf Club. Register early at Eventbrite. We have limited seating available.

You can also contact Grant to book a meeting.

Have you Fallen Into Orange?

You only have eight days left!

We’re still looking for entries into our #FallIntoOrange photo contest. Don’t worry if your pictures are snow-covered … that’s part of the beauty of autumn in Calgary!

Take your picture and add it to our Facebook page. You can also Instagram or Tweet it with the hashtag #FallIntoOrange.

We’re taking submissions until Friday, November 15.

Here to help

A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.