Creating a report card for a small business can help the company design a business strategy that is actively shaped through purposeful analysis and intent. Business report cards allow business owners and managers to know exactly how productive the business is. Use the small business report card to influence operating and marketing decisions. A small business report card should be prepared for owners and managers or by the owner-manager at least once every three years. Make plans for improvement and use the report card as a checkpoint.
Make an outline of the basic elements of the report card, which should include basic accounting information. According to MasterCard's "Small Business Report Card" guide, the basic elements that need to be contained within a report card addresses the efficiency of the operating cycle of the business. The parts of the operating cycle are: "Assets," "Liquidity," "Debt" and "Profit."
Consult with a business accountant or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help calculate accounting basic elements and financial components like "accounts receivable."
Save an electronic template of the report card using a word processing application like Word or Google Docs. Fill in the report card, along with any notes you may have and hit "Save As." Saving the document "as" is will save a new copy, which you can rename. Include the year in the file name for easy organization of the files in the future.
Look over the report card one more time. As the owner, manager or team member charged with creating the business report card, you can add more elements at your discretion. For instance, if you know that problems with employees are causing a slowdown in productivity, add another section to the report card that assesses the effectiveness of the hiring/firing process being used in the organization.
Print out the report card with the answers filled in and distribute it to each team member. Go over the report card and determine what elements seem to be missing based on consensus or managerial decision, depending on the decision-making style of the group. Edit the report card as needed.
Make group plans for operating efficiency and write down the projections in the form of a time line. It might be helpful to start with the end goal and work backward in the plan, filling in the steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal form end to beginning. Start with the goal of reducing debt by 10 percent, for instance, by one year from the planning session. Fill in the steps that need to be taken, such as increasing profit, from back to front. The first step might be to research financial assistance, debt management and fund-raising options, for example.
Continue to issue the business report card on a timed cycle. Incorporate goals into next year's report card to consolidate the paperwork.