Moving into the second quarter of the year, entrepreneurs should be well aware by now that the only way to ensure that their company gets more efficient is to examine its performance in the previous quarter and see where it can improve. Performance evaluation is much more than just an assessment that focuses on a small core of metrics.
Gearing up for the second quarter relies on determining where the company dropped the ball in the first quarter. In dealing with strategic approaches, these seven members of Young Entrepreneur Council look at their own methods of determining their goals for the second quarter based on performance in the first and explain how their approach helps their teams gear up for a more productive quarter.
1. Assess Time and Effort Alignment With Priorities
In 2020, Q1 was not at all what we expected and what will happen in Q2 is still very uncertain. In these times where results might be entirely outside of your control due to government restrictions and macroeconomic changes, it’s best to evaluate the allocation of your time and effort. Did you and your team members spend time in the areas that were most important for the business? Did you move ahead on any strategic priorities in addition to keeping up on the day-to-day and managing the massive transitions? This kind of evaluation empowers you to feel good about what you did given the circumstances you had. It also allows you to set time and effort goals for Q2 that you have the ability to choose whether you meet. – Elizabeth Grace Saunders, Real Life E®
2. Measure Qualitative And Quantitative Achievements
Generally, at the close of every quarter, we review the qualitative and quantitative achievements of the company. We compare how we did with what we expected and make sure to explore the areas we outperformed and underperformed. As a company that prides itself on growth, we try to highlight points of improvement and mistakes and how we learned from them to ensure that we are always pushing, growing and expanding what’s possible. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya
3. Assess Customer Engagement And Loyalty
I value loyalty. Despite generated sales, every quarter I check to see if our loyal customers order the same thing the next quarter. If not, then there’s a chance that something happened along the way. Our followers have good engagement with our social media accounts, especially on Instagram. If they don’t find our posts interesting enough for them to engage, chances are we didn’t post something relatable or understandable for them to like or comment. I value loyalty and engagement because those are the things that you can’t force or purchase. – Daisy Jing, Banish
4. Monitor Your Finances
As a company owner and manager of operations, I watch the financial health and performance of the organization and all of our sub-brands. I keep a spreadsheet on my desktop of each brand, service and product so I can monitor every daily, weekly and monthly revenue statement. This helps me set goals and benchmarks for the upcoming months and quarters. It’s a simple way to conduct financial comparisons without getting too bogged down in unnecessary detail. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
5. Closely Track Your Cash Flow
Every business should have a 13-week cash flow forecast in place at the beginning of the year. This forecast maps out your quarterly budget and projections so that the executive team knows how to measure expectations and performance. Reviewing it weekly helps us mitigate surprises and address cash flow issues before they become a major problem for the company. The forecast allows us to better evaluate overall company performance quarter to quarter. – Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc
6. Focus On The Few, Not The Many
The 80/20 rule states that 20% of your customers contribute 80% to your revenue and the other 80% contribute the rest. Focus on the few high-paying customers and improve your services to enhance their trust in your brand. Here’s the hard truth: people don’t like to buy from a person they don’t like or trust. Customer relationship is the No. 1 priority to increase sales and conversions. Don’t just disappear from the face of the earth once the sale is complete. Ask customers what they are up to and give them flexibility in payments, especially during these difficult times. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about the other 80% of your clientele, but focus more on the 20%. Strive hard with your marketing to convert the other 80% into high-paying and repeat customers. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
7. Set “Rocks” For Employee Evaluation
We evaluate our employees according to “rocks,” which are bigger quarterly goals. If those are met, it’s safe to say that person is on the right track. If not, you know who needs to step up their game and work harder to reach their goals. For example, our writing team has a rock to collect at least 25 backlinks per week from their content. If that number is lacking by the end of the quarter, then we know what area they need to focus on to get better results for Q2. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms