What really happened last year?

dataRight about now, most business owners are reviewing their financials for 2014 and taking stock of success for last year and opportunities for 2015. But assumptions about what happened last year may be flat out wrong.

What really happened? 

What are the facts behind the numbers that will dictate management activity to truly increase results and the value of your assets in the new year?

Ask yourself questions.  Have a dialog with your financial experts and advisors. Make sure that you will focus on making what you want to happen in 2015.

So, if your sales were up last year, and I sure hope they were in this economy, it is smart to identify and distinguish between menu price,  guest count and  PPA increases — assuming all three were up.  I know more than a few cases where PPA was up but guest count was down.   That is nothing to celebrate.

Were sales up at lunch, or dinner, or weekends, or across the board?  The answers to these questions will tell a story that indicates what really happened last year and what action to take this year.

If your profits were up, is it because sales went up? Costs went down? Investments in initiatives paid off? Or didn’t?

Most people look at the top and bottom line and a few cost areas and draw conclusions quickly. The best businesses drill down into those numbers to decide what action to take to improve their condition in 2015. They know that there is a story behind the numbers, and when you take time to tell that story, you will allocate precious finite management time and energy in places that will give you the greatest return .