Consider adding a weekly financial meeting to your calendar. 

“Oh, another meeting? Meetings are a waste of time.” I can almost hear you say that! 

Most meetings are ineffective because they are bad meetings, not because meetings are bad. (See Philosophy: Logic Basics) 

Meetings are an opportunity to communicate effectively. When I ask, many employees tell me that communication is a problem at their company, right before they tell me they have too many meetings. 

So, let’s consider adding a tight, effective meeting to your calendar each week.  The topic: Profits and Cash! Here’s how to set yourself, and your team, up for a great experience. 

Set up a regular weekly time, 30-45 minutes is fine. Put it on the calendar and hold to it. Invite the right people. For your Weekly Financial Meeting, invite all the owners. You may also invite key team members, those folks whose behaviors (and their team members) most impact the score. This takes a little courage, and trust, so you can start with just owners.  

Have an agenda. You could start with mine (see below), as an example, and edit it. Have at it!

Meeting:  Weekly financial meeting

Invitees:  Owner and managers

Agenda:

  • Have handy your current Balance Sheet, Month to Date P&L, Year to Date P&L, Budget, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable reports. 
  • Review the Month to Date. 
    • At the start of the month, don’t fret over the dollars and percentages. Just take note of the score and…
    • Focus on making money every month. By the third week of the month, you should take action to ensure profitability. 
    • What will it take to hit your Budget? 
    • What behaviors will help you play offense (Sales!) and defense (manage labor and expenses!) 
  • Compare the Year To Date column with the Budget column.
  • If the numbers and percentages look out of line…
    • Check the accounting first. Make sure the right numbers and dollars are in the right accounts. 
    • Review Job Pricing, Service Pricing and Job Costing. Are you charging what you need to charge? 
    • Was there a one-time hit that is affecting the numbers?
    • Review past data… how are you trending? Up or down? Better or worse? 
  • Create an action plan to get out into the field and on the floor and find out what is happening to create that score! You can’t do all that from the office. 
    • Ride along with your service techs, installers and salespeople.  Look, listen and learn. 
    • Sit side by side with your inside team. Look, listen and learn. 
  • At least once a quarter… review your Budget.
    • Were you unrealistic and do you need to tweak the numbers?
    • Address the operational and sales and marketing processes that impact the score. 
  • Once a month, also create and review your Month End Checklist for the prior month. This is how you tie the last month up and make it ready for your CPA and for Uncle Sam. 
    • Go line by line through the Balance Sheet and Income Statement.  Review the Month End Checklist.     
    • Assemble any items that need to be addressed by your CPA or Financial Planner. 
  • Incorporate your projects into your Top Projects List.

Makes sense, right? Operate from a known financial position. Be able to run the Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable reports on a weekly basis. Share that information with the appropriate team members. Use that data and conversation to make better, faster more profitable decisions. 

Then, perhaps, use this approach to clean up the rest of your meetings? Just sayin.’ You can get a copy of this agenda and a one-page financial report template at www.ellenrohr.com/fqc.   

Ellen Rohr is president of ZOOM DRAIN, a drain & sewer franchising company. She’s the author of four business books, including “Where Did the Money Go?” – accounting basics and "The Weekend Biz Plan.” Ellen’s a member of the EGIA faculty, sharing her snappy, helpful, and usually irreverent insights on business planning and financial clean-up. 

EGIA Contractor University has assembled the most experienced and dynamic faculty ever put together. Faculty members have personally built some of the most successful contracting companies in America. During Contractor Leadership Live, Ellen will be leading an Exclusive Workshop, Tuesday, Sept. 12, From 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. This Exclusive Workshop is only available to the first 500 Contractors who register for the All-Access passVisit Contracting Business for more information and to learn about the Contractor Leadership Live event. Reach Ellen at www.EllenRohr.com