Chapter 17

Understanding Your Business

In This Chapter

arrow Analysing how profitable you are, day by day and month by month

arrow Tracking jobs and projects to find out how profitable they are

arrow Managing your finances better with budgets and cashflows

Before accounting software gave people the ability to analyse information with such ease, many businesses led a precarious existence where optimism and intuition played a bigger part than the analysis of facts and figures. To some extent this still happens, especially in smaller businesses.

Without information at their fingertips, many businesses operate in the dark. For example, a builder knows that only some jobs make money, but he's not sure which ones; a hairdresser suspects that one of her branches is profitable, while the other isn't; and a guesthouse owner wonders whether the expenses from the restaurant eat into the profits made by accommodation.

What if you could switch the light on? If the builder knew for certain which jobs brought in the money, he'd probably be more selective with his clients; if the hairdresser could see just how much she was losing in her second shop, she'd probably close it down; and if the guesthouse owner could ...

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