“I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive.” (Abraham Maslow)

One of the most frequent reasons I hear from business owners to not get started on boosting profits is, “I hate numbers.”

A few simple formulas and ratios, hand-picked for your business, is everything you need to get started. And once they’re set up, they’re easy to track with user-friendly graphics so you can spot major trends visually. Focus and selectivity are the keys to measuring performance in your business.

So, where do profits come from? Across all industries, from manufacturing to service providers, these nine processes are common:

Within each of these processes there are associated costs, yet at the same time lies the opportunity for enhanced value creation. Within each of these processes lie cost contraction and profit expansion opportunities. If you’re wondering where to start, the answer lies all around you in your business processes. If you’re wondering where to start, the answer exists all around you. You know your customers; you know the marketplace. And there’s no shortage of people who are ready and able to give you feedback if you ask for it.

Excess costs tend to build up over time, and don’t generally command your attention until there is a sales decline or a profit squeeze. Yet the most profitable businesses look at their costs on a regular basis. After you look at ways to cut costs, the next step is to look for areas to streamline; even essential activities might be less efficient than they could be.

If I told you that managing your numbers for only one hour a week could boost your profits, wouldn’t you agree to spend that hour with me right here, right now? You may never come to love numbers, and you don’t need to. Managing your numbers will lead to:
Less Pressure, Informed Decision Making, Improved Problem Solving, Improved Investments, Better Customer service and More Family Time

In the beginning, it’s important for you to be fully involved in the process of selecting the core business analytics for your unique business. It will be a great asset to understand and how to react to the number showing to ability to meet your short term obligations or the proportion of debt in your financing or effective you are using your resources or the returns on sales and investments. After you get it set up and working, you can delegate the routine analyses to others, allowing you to effectively track the trends that matter.

Doing this depends on a clear view into the nuts and bolts of your business. In many ways, your business is like every other business. You offer products and services in an attempt to make a profit. Yet at its heart, your business is completely unique. So the way you measure your numbers can be tailored to your specific needs. Your numbers can meet you where you are now. And they can change as your business changes.

And you can do it yourself! No need to be dependent upon expensive consultants. No need for long-term arrangements where you lose control of your business. Get what you need to know and then you can do it yourself. Just a few numbers is all you need to boost profits and track your business. Simple is better. Consistency is the key.
Remember – Just Say No to the Status Quo TM
Donna Marie Thompson, PhD

Author's Bio: 

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD is a Small Business Profitability Expert and Founder of Expert Profit Solutions. She is a two-time best-selling author who has spent most of her career problem solving in international management consulting.

Donna Marie has helped businesses meet their profit targets under challenging circumstances. She was a Director at PricewaterhouseCooper's Consulting, and has worked at Booz Allen, as well as local consulting firms. This wide range of experience in businesses of all sizes uniquely qualifies Donna Marie to guide small businesses to discover their hidden profit potential.

Donna Marie earned a PhD from George Washington University, an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, a CPA in the state of Maryland, and is a Master Practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index.

Get your own copy of the free special report: "3 Profit Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them" at http://www.ExpertProfitSolutions.com.