In large enterprises, reporting is an expectation. It’s how the company communicates its success and challenges with shareholders while driving strategic planning and critical decision making. With so much at stake, the effort put into creating these reports is well worth it.
A lot is at stake for small businesses as well, just with fewer people involved. Having reports can provide insight that can help the business grow and remain constant in turbulent times. Here are five reports every small business should be using.
Employee Engagement Report
Let’s start with a report that’s often overlooked in favor of more financially driven data: the employee engagement report. Employee engagement has been an oft-discussed subject in recent years, with more companies acknowledging the special relationship between happy employees and productivity. They’re implementing smart technology, like Humanity, to assist with scheduling and provide autonomy and flexibility and getting to know who people are outside of their role.
An employee engagement report can look at various pieces of data. It should incorporate information regarding trends in absences, time to get work done, and include an employee survey. Engagement might fluctuate over time, so it’s important to update this report quarterly or monthly.
Cash Flow Report
The cash flow report may be the most important report a business owner can use when they start a business. Ideally, this detailed report would be updated on a monthly basis. The frequency could be increased while leveraging investors and preparing for a significant purchase.
The cash flow statement shows how much money has come into the organization and how much as gone out. It often includes sections about operations, investing, and financing. It does not include credit or sales that haven’t received payment yet, making it more immediately accurate than an income statement.
Customer Conversion Reports
There are a lot of different customer-related reports that can be amalgamated into one document to provide a business with detailed insights into the target market’s activity. The amalgamated customer conversion report will take a look at:
- Lead generation – how many leads are being generated in a given timeframe?
- Conversion rate – how many of those leads are being turned into customers?
- Customer service requests – how many requests were there and what were the overarching issues?
- Customer churn – how many customers left your business and why?
Knowing this information can help drive key decision-making efforts and allow for quick course correction when printed monthly.
Sales and Revenue Report
Sales drive a business forward and generate that sought-after cash flow mentioned earlier. A sales and revenue report ultimately shows how much money an organization is bringing in during a specific time period, and where it’s coming from. This allows business owners to identify their high-value customers, create forecasts, and assess their profitability.
While the sales and revenue report– which could be reviewed bi-weekly– is a great way of tracking business growth, it can also help drive decisions about the future of the business. Has growth plateaued because the business can’t handle any work? Are additional resources required to grow further?
App Log Reports
Log monitoring reports help you automate reviewing of your app’s logs and only point out events that might represent errors or threats. Many apps like Loggly offer real-time reporting that can alert you when something suspicious is detected and also offer a good data overview with analytics.
These five reports, especially when presented together, can provide quantitative data that translates into fact-driven information about a business. For small businesses, these reports can be the difference between having a business that stays afloat and being a force in the market.