How does your Business compare?

It’s a very natural thing to wonder how you stack up to those around you.  I remember back as far as grade school trying to figure out who was the fastest kid in my class (not me – but for short enough distances I was close…), or was the best at math (might have been me) or the best baseball player (definitely not me – especially after my career ended in 3rd grade with a particularly bad foul tip to the face…).

In the business world, that desire to know how you stack up is still there but beyond being just a competitive thing, there are a lot of tangible business reasons why it’s important to know how you stack up and where you are.

Are your financial metrics above or below your industry average?

What if you were running 15% higher on expenses compared to other similar sized companies in your field?  Maybe it’s on purpose – your unique difference is premium customer service and your willing to pay a premium (and receive a premium price) to stand out from the crowd.

However what if you don’t know why your expenses are above average?  A bit of investigation, some consultative help (perhaps from your favorite business development firm…?) and maybe you could lower your expenses – which goes straight to the bottom line!

As long as we’re talking about financial metrics – are you looking at the right financial ratios to get a real read on the health of your business?

If you were thinking about growing your business and asking for a loan to get you there, do you know if you’re in good shape to get that money?

This is difficult stuff, but depending on your situation it can obviously be very important.

*Note – blatant advertising to follow…  😉

My firm – Aspire Business Development, in conjunction with the Professional Business Coaches Alliance (PBCA) has just completed an agreement with Fintel and it’s a really exciting development.

Fintel Logo

 From their website:

Fintel brings you an array of products to help you understand, and improve the financial performance of any firm regardless of size.

  • Fintel database includes over 900,000 private and public companies in over 900 separate industries
  • Powerful and unique benchmarking reports comparing your company financial information to an entire industry or only similar sized firms
  • Easy to use interactive reports for evaluating and improving profitability and cash liquidity
  • Comprehensive tools for helping to understand and improve sustainable growth rate (SGR)
  • Comprehensive tools for helping to understand and develop the value of your business
  • Loan risk evaluation module specifically designed for the lending industry, but available to all firms with debt financing
  • With Fintel Industry Metrics quickly obtain industry financial ratios to compare to your company
  • On-line access, secure data, minimal input, and highly useable management reports

Whether you are looking for industry financial ratios, tools to help understand and improve sustainable growth rate (SGR) or assistance with debt financing, you can rely on Fintel to give current and accurate financial performance reviews.

The bottom line is that there is a cost effective way for you as a business owner to know how you stack up to others in a detailed but easy to use analysis.  Couple that information with a business development consultation that will help you take action with your new knowledge and you’re on your way to a competitive edge!!!

You can also use that same baseline of information as a planning tool to run what-if scenarios that will show you what your cash flows could be pending certain activities, help you rationalize strategic plans and investments (i.e. should I spend the money on a system that will reduce my average inventory hold time?) or help you determine the overall value of your company.

I’m excited about using Fintel learning more about all the things they can do and especially excited to start using it with clients.  If you’re interested in learning more, contact me and let me know what you think.

So where do you stand within your industry?  What information would you really like to have that you haven’t been able to get so far?  Share your thoughts here.

Shawn Kinkade