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Manager's To Do

It’s Time to Give Your Profit-and-Loss Statement a Spring Makeover

This recommendation leads the manager’s-to-do list for April.




Apr. 3-9

MANAGEMENT April is often one of the slower months. Put it to good use by blocking out time to do some planning, get ahead on designing new templates for events and holidays, reaching out to customers you haven’t heard from in a while, or just taking a rejuvenating break from work.
hygiene Just like at home, spring means chores. “As soon as it warms a bit, clean, clean, clean,” says a Wisconsin jeweler in our sister publication, Instore. “Time to clear the air, shampoo the carpets, wash the windows, spruce things up.”

Apr. 10-16

MANAGEMENT Step up engagement with your team. If you don’t already, draft a schedule to meet with everyone once a week and individually every month. And bring the KPIs. Most successful people like to be measured. It gives them a yardstick for success.

FINANCES If you’re like a lot of small businesspeople, your profit-and-loss statement is long and detailed and not particularly informative, especially if the items are listed in, say, alphabetical order. Business coach Laurie Owen recommends giving your P&L a spring makeover. Consolidate some of those expenses and group them into categories, such as salaries and benefits, marketing expenses, admin, etc. Then, next to the dollar amount, list the expense amount as a percentage of sales. “It helps you see when an expense is increasing as a percentage, and not just going up because your sales are increasing. Important to know if you want to catch those creepers.”

Apr. 17-23

MANAGEMENT Don’t be “all business.” Balance casual conversation and business conversation with your staff. Just a few quality minutes each day spent getting to know the people who work for you will do wonders for their morale. Schedule the time if you have to.

STAFF Ask employees for their summer vacation requests.

Apr. 24-30

FINANCES Talk to your bank about establishing or increasing a line of credit. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the best time to apply for a bank loan or a new line of business credit is when you don’t need it. When the economy falters, getting access to finance gets much harder.


MARKETING Here’s a fun goal for the coming warmer months: Make a friend from a different generation. Could be a youngster or a senior. Either way, they are likely to give you great insights into core markets.



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