2017 is over, and all of us here at WorkWeek hope you and your business had a great year!
The question is . . . did you? How do you know? If you're not really sure, don't worry—you're not alone. The end of the year is the perfect time to look back and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and ensure you have a full picture of the state of your business.
Many small service businesses—especially micro businesses with 1-5 employees—struggle to know exactly how well their business is doing at any given point. Harder still is figuring out how to get an accurate read on the total health of a business at year-end. There are a number of reasons for this, but it's usually some variation of the same theme—small and micro business owners are often so busy running their businesses alone, focused on their trade and earning an income, that keeping an eye on the overall health of the business gets sacrificed for doing that next job to keep the bills paid.
Here at WorkWeek, we think the most important thing you should be doing as a service business is making sure jobs are getting done so you can earn a living. We also believe strongly that all the mechanics of running a business should be easy for everyone. We release new updates to WorkWeek fairly often, and we try to make sure they're valuable to every type of service business, no matter how large (or small). If the feature gives you something you didn't have before, and makes it easier to build, run, and grow a successful service business, we think it's a really big win.
Today, we're releasing something we're really proud of, and we think it's going to change the way you look at your business. We're calling it the Annual Wrap-up, and here's what it looks like:
So what are you looking at? Well, we took our already popular business section and expanded it to cover 2017 specifically. It's broken into sections that make it really simple to understand what's going on with every important aspect of your business.
Your very own annual report
When you first view your Annual Wrap-up, you're greeted by the total number of jobs you've done, and how much money those jobs have grossed over the entire year. You'll also see what your best and worst months were, and how much you grossed for each of them. If you have feedback from customers, we'll let you know how your customers felt about the work you did.
Know your business, by the numbers
The next section you'll see is all about numbers.
See total job count for the year, how many new customers you had, and total invoice and estimate counts. Finally, take a look at a chart of invoice totals for each month of the year.
Bottom line: Always know the overall state of your business. Use this chart to spot your slow months, so you can either be prepared for your slow seasons in 2018, or know when to work a bit harder to keep work and income consistent.
Know your jobs and services
Jobs are the foundation of your business, and we give you solid insight into exactly what jobs power your business.
We highlight your biggest and smallest invoices, the average length a job remains open, which of your services are most popular, and which is most profitable. Get a visual look at your top 5 services, as well—we'll break down the top 5 services by income and popularity (how many times each service shows up as part of your jobs).
Bottom line: When you know more about your jobs and services, you can make better decisions to grow your business. Focus on your top 5s!
Know your customers
Customers are just as important as the work you do, and the more you know your customers, the better your chances of growing your business.
Take a look at how many new customers you found this year, and what percentage of them were happy with your work. If you have overdue customers at the end of the year, you'll know exactly how many.
Next, see a couple charts showing where your customers came from. If most of them are "Other", you should start asking your customers how they found you. It makes it a lot easier to know if your ads, referrals, or other marketing activities are working. It can also help you discover the best source for new work—especially if you find out people are finding you in unexpected places.
Lastly, check out the city-based breakdown of where you do most of your work. Knowing your service area can help you make decisions like adding travel upcharges to invoices the further your customers are, or it might even help you decide to market or work more in an area you weren't expecting to find customers.
Bottom line: If a customer source or city shows up in your top 5, you should pay attention to those areas for finding new customers and growing your business!
Know your quarters
When looking at your business performance for the year, it's often helpful to break it down into quarters. We've got that covered, too. Get an instantly quarterly view on job count, invoice totals, estimate totals, and top services. Each quarter shows if you did worse or better than the previous quarter, and by what number or percentage.
Bottom line: Look for your best and worst quarters to prepare you for 2018. Try to focus on your lowest quarters and bring the numbers up this year!
Looking forward to 2018
We're really glad we took the time to put this report together, and we hope you like it!
You now have an easy-to-understand overview of your entire business for 2017. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas on how to keep growing in 2018.
If you have any questions or comments about your Annual Wrap-up, or suggestions to improve it, please don't hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.