Running a business is complex and managing it effectively can be difficult. To make matters even more complicated, many businesses operate in a competitive environment where they must compete both with their competitors and with the larger economy. To stay ahead of the competition and ensure that their business is running as efficiently as possible, businesses should regularly run reports to check on their performance.
1. Understand the difference between the two main types of reports: financial and performance. Financial reports detail company finances, such as income and expenses. Performance reports focus on measures of business success, such as customer satisfaction or product sales. Together, financial and performance reports provide a comprehensive view of an organization’s health.
2. Determine the data that you need to make informed decisions for your business. Of course, do your research to help understand what other clinics prioritize; however, take ownership of your reporting methods. Don’t generate a report because that is what the experts are telling you to look at. Generate a report because you need that data to help make informed decisions about your business.
3. Dedicate time to run reports. Assuming you have already identified the reports that you will run, decide how often that data needs to be collected. Some reports may need to be run daily, others weekly, and others monthly. Once you have the cadence set, we encourage you to take it a step further and block out time on your schedule to run these reports. Perhaps for your daily reports, you want to get that done first thing in the morning. On the other hand, it may be best to run monthly reports on the first business day of the new month. For example, if the last business day of April is on a Friday, generate your reports for that month on the first Monday in May. This way, you can make sure to capture all of April’s data.
4. Dedicate time to analyze reports. After you run reports, do they just sit in a folder on your desktop or pile up on your desk? Running the reports is important, but it is critical to spend time analyzing the data that the reports provide so that you can determine what you are doing well, what needs to change, where you need to focus your attention, if you are on track to meet goals, etc.
5. Schedule time to review the data with your staff, in a meaningful way. After you, and other administrators or managers, run and analyze your reports, you must discuss your findings with your staff. Depending on how large your staff is, you may want to have meetings with each department (i.e. providers, front desk staff, billers) or you may even want to go a step further and have individual meetings. It is pointless to throw a bunch of data up on a screen without having meaningful discussion about it. Explain how the data effects your staff. Tell your staff what they are doing well and what they need to work on. Furthermore, provide them with the necessary tools and guidance to help them change their ways to ultimately, hopefully, improve personal and business metrics.