Monitoring where your simple business is in terms of its financial standing and keeping track of the corresponding movement in the (stock) market whatever industry you belong to, should be one of the top priorities of an entrepreneur, whether you have been in business for a fair amount of time or just starting and learning the rules of the corporate world.
For small and medium business owners, it is especially crucial to recognize the need for not only keeping record but also analyzing financial statements such as payments, profit, expenses, costs, and transactions to survive and keep up with the competition. At some point in your business in a fiscal year, there would be no alternative to methods or strategies that would help you streamline the process of closely monitoring your performance in the industry and your business’ financial health.
Finance experts and professionals advise clients to monitor their assets and liabilities periodically so they can detect signs of high indebtedness or the risk of financial mishap down the line. Such a strategy also applies to the corporate and small business leaders with financial analysts scratching their heads while trying to regularly assess performance trends when going over the financial statements of private entities and nonprofits.
Studying data that shows how the industry is changing over a time period sounds a tad trivial and can be regarded as very general and basic as a profession or task, but you’d be surprised how most executives are knowledgeable but very few of business and government organizations fully understand the language of trends and what they mean or how important they are in business. You can also read sample IT gap analysis templates.
Do you plan on putting your money on a growing business or one that is showing the early stages of failure? This could turn out to be a decent idea and not such a call for trouble if you are an investor who thrives on an acquisition strategy in acquiring and turning around assets at the brink of complete disappearance and save another entrepreneur from his woes while gaining profit. You can also read competitive analysis templates.
Of course there’s no easy way of telling whether a business venture is going to be successful in the future so you have to take advantage of available tools and strategies to help make “accurate” and data-based predictions. While some investors are confident in breaking down analytics and doing the math to back their predictions up, others would rely more on their “gut feeling” than developing an actual analysis. You may also see sales analysis templates.
But the trouble with gut feeling when you are making financial decisions is that ends up wrong most often than not. If you ever have someone in your team or a consultant who promises accurate predictions and projections, and your instinct is telling you otherwise, then this is where you follow your gut. Learning to accept that even the best predictive tool and strategy in the most unpredictable and challenging aspects of business is most of the time a miss than a hit, gives the rest of us a humbling sense of acknowledgement and realistic approach towards decision-making in business. You can also read financial analysis templates.
With that said, nothing is seen in random. Contrary to that, there are actually a lot of trends that you can easily identify which your company or competitors might already be using to their advantage. You would surely want to keep up with this and not watch your company falling behind so learn the importance of trends in business and how it would help you succeed. You can also read sample situation analysis templates.
Trend analysis is defined as the process of comparing business data in a specific time period to detect any consistent outcomes or trends, which would then allow you to build your own strategy in responding to those trends in a way which corresponds to your business goals. Having a trend analysis checklist helps you further understand your business in terms of performance in the market and predict where current business operations and practices will bring you. If you do this right, you’d have enough ideas to help you in changing things in order to push your business in the right direction.
Trend analysis helps stakeholders and the public of what happens behind the walls of an organization, in a historical sense. By going over a company’s financial statements, investors not only become aware whether the company made profit for the year in review but also whether it was successful in generating cash over a period of three, five or even ten years. Compilation of sample financial reports would include the balance sheet, income statement and a cash-flow as well as statement of retained earnings.
It is important to conduct a trend analysis when you’re trying to go over and examine a company’s financial statement samples since analysts have enough experience and expertise to see how a business’ assets have increased over time. In the competitive environment the subject of increasing assets is usually preeminent, especially if you’re in an industry that requires hefty investments upfront like mining, the military, and oil and gas which are rightfully demanding industries.
Analyzing and evaluating performance trends consultants or business analysts would also be able to see whether a company is handling its finances well and making wise investments. There are basic methods in analyzing trends while you sift through financial statements. You can do this by way of ratio analysis, vertical analysis, and horizontal analysis.
By evaluating performance trends, corporate analysts also can tell whether an organization is adeptly managing its money and investing it wisely. There are primary methods to analyze trends while sifting through financial statements. Since strategic leadership is built from trend analysis, you may be wondering what needs to be done to incorporate these methods at the business level. You can start by these basic elements:
This is a simple form of deconstruction but one that often lacks a holistic form in many leadership environments. You need to know first what you and your organization wants to understand. Do you want to check sales data from within your own business, market and stock trends? What about analyzing stock prices from all over the industry like the price of petroleum gas or is it all of the above? You can also read market analysis templates.
The next thing you have to do is identify data sources. This is where majority of the challenge in trend analysis comes from. Trying to find a reliable source of information about industry or market changes, about any type of changes your business should be looking at, understanding the process by which data was gathered and trusting that the information collected could be uses as the grounds for what could be a billion-dollar decision, is a tough, tough task that takes effort, time and a lot of fact-checking for accuracy. You may also like financial statement analysis examples.
Trend Analysis cannot happen by mere accident. Every company must employ the services of professionals dedicated to seeking, gathering, analyzing and interpreting data. It would be impossible to achieve this just by gathering a group of people who “sort of” “look like” those who can analyze and report “what’s happening.” It should be done by a real analyst with the level of expertise and professional skill required to do the task correctly in interpreting data, especially when a decision has to be made. You may also see sample marketing analysis templates.
The structure of framework which the analysts and the decision makers in the organizations had agreed upon is somewhat subjective. When it comes to secondary bond market yields, the structure is agreed upon where the higher yield would indicate that a business is being deemed in the danger of default by traders. If this assumption is not shared by one party alone, then the analysis is considered null and void, not unless the assumptions are really explicit. Until then, the strategy would remain at the mercy of prejudices, baseless predictions, and corporate politics. You may also see project financial analysis templates.
Finally, a well-conducted trend analysis would require some sort of delivery mechanism because it simply would not suffice to just put random data and ideas on an executive’s hands without proper evaluation of its accuracy and a final, organized output that corresponds with what was realized by the activity and how it would allow the business to move forward. You may also see social network analysis.
Will the end-product remain to be a document showing trends identified from the overall analysis? Will there be implications provided as to the trends detected? Will the analysis involve scenarios or cases or does the one single, set of implications derived, serve as the major analysis? These are the questions you need to address so that you can end up with an analysis that would set the course of your company’s financial health in the long-term.