A constant eye to improving our businesses’ key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical. Empowering and involving our staff in reducing cost of goods sold, reducing overhead expense, and improving productivity will yield results. Key employees, if not the entire team, will benefit from understanding how to effect and improve these KPIs. Sharing this important business information regularly develops knowledgeable team members that can, over time, begin to think and act with an ownership mentality. In the beginning, when you share such information, be sure to include education to ensure they understand what is being shared. Many employees, in the absence of such education, incorrectly assume profit is a huge percentage of revenue. They have never managed a business and know no better in the absence of such education.
In this time of continued tight credit, developing and nurturing the relationship with our banker is key. Sharing our business plan and results with our banker regularly—not just when we need to borrow money—helps develop the relationship and give him/her an understanding of our business and confidence in us as the owner. In fact, developing such a relationship with more than one banker is a good idea so that you and your business are known when the time comes that you need access to capital. The nation’s lenders continue to face a range of challenges related to increased government oversight and regulation. Regulators are extremely sensitive to public perceptions that the lack of previous policy and enforcement rigor contributed to the financial crisis of 2008. A direct effect of that mindset is contributing the overall current lack of credit access. Many deserving business owners that need credit are unable to get it. Developing the relationship with your banker could result in improved access to funds when you need them to grow your business.
At FASTSIGNS, we work together with our franchise partners in developing their business plan and budget, have developed KPIs for our business, and review their financial statements with them, bringing the value and understanding we gain by reviewing literally hundreds of financial statements. We are about to launch an integrated point-of sale, e-commerce and management information system that we believe will revolutionize our centers and give us and our franchise partners even more insight into their businesses and how to further improve them. If you are interested in evaluating becoming a FASTSIGNS franchise partner, contact us. We are focused on increasing the number of FASTSIGNS locations and are converting select, appropriate existing sign and graphics businesses to our brand.