Winston Churchill’s Wisdom of Ongoing Analysis
Winston Churchill said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should still occasionally look at the results.” Day to day life typically becomes a routine. We know what works, what doesn’t and we follow the plan that years of experience has taught us. Then one day, things come up that we did not expect, and things go wrong. We have all had those days. But looking back, had I taken the few moments it would have required to monitor the circumstances as they were unfolding, I could have often prevented the issue altogether.
If your company is like most, you typically have employee reviews, you have audits on your financials, and if regulated, you have inspections run by the agencies that support you. But, are you looking at the overall health of your company as a part of your routine? Unless you have a reliable tool, it is a cumbersome task to correlate all of the factors that make up a corporate health assessment. Some could argue that it is easy, one just needs to monitor their profits. While profits are a good indicator of today’s health, one should not assume it will be the same story months from now. Problems can crop up from any facet of the business. Without routine health checks, things can go awry on the turn of a dime.
Because analysis takes so long, most just take the stance that they will deal with it when they get to that bridge instead of doing the due diligence of analysis to find potential downfalls in fiscal performance.
Mr. Churchill was correct. However, industries like Convenience Stores have a lot of data to deal with and it is all coming to them in different categories and margins. To run a full perspective evaluation could take weeks, with multiple personnel being involved or, does it? There are tools to help you with this task. Seek one that offers as many perspectives of analysis that you can get, so you may get more accurate projections for future revenue. The more dimensions there are in the analysis the easier this task becomes.
Minute discrepancies in the underlying layers of analysis can snowball into huge losses, but can easily be prevented with proper monitoring. You just have to catch them early on to be able to prevent the avalanche. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be done.