If your business information is not timely or is inaccurate, then you're running your business on fake news. Maybe your routine on Monday mornings is to have conversations with some of your key people. Or maybe you check out some of your sources of information (CRM system, Financials, Bank accounts). But what happens when you are looking at information that makes it appear as if everything is good, when, in fact, it's not so good? You need to ask yourself; how accurate and timely are my people and my systems?
Some examples of fake news are:
Bank balances - It's nice to look at your bank account and get comfortable or uncomfortable with the balance. But that doesn't tell you the whole story. Have you thought about all your cash commitments coming in and going out? Do you have a cash forecasting tool to look out at least 13 weeks?
Income statements - Of course, it make sense to review your income statement on a monthly basis, but is the information accurate or timely? Has the balance sheet been reviewed? Remember, a lot of problems are hiding in your balance sheet.
CRM systems - It's nice to look at your sales pipeline and get comfortable or uncomfortable. How complete or accurate is the information? Is your sales team working everything and maintaining the right information? Are you reviewing this regularly?
Marketing activities - Did you just go to a trade show? Did you ramp up your Google AdWords spending? Maybe you are feeling good that those activities will produce sales. How do you know all the leads are getting to sales and are being worked properly? How do you know if you should do that trade show again?
Here are a few tips to get Real News:
Assign someone, besides yourself, to present the information to you with commentary. Then review it with them consistently.
Analyze the information. Look for patterns, errors, ways to improve the information. You know where the devil is don't you?
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!