The “Executive Dashboard” or “Flash Report,” is a one- to two-page report that includes a company’s really important numbers. Typically, these reports are reviewed weekly, although some companies— especially larger ones — review them daily. One of the report’s goals is to provide a company snapshot and identify departments that may be falling down on the job. By analyzing this information for 15 to 30 minutes a day, you’ll have the inside knowledge you need to take action before crises develop.

I asked some industry notables which metrics they think should be included in this report.

Marketing and Sales

  • Number of raw leads. Compare each lead to the same period the previous year to really understand company trends.
  • Number of raw leads converted to appointments. Analyze according to lead source and cost per lead. If a job is too small, the source may not be worth the investment.
  • Number of proposals presented. Plenty of appointments but few proposals? Find out what’s happening. Are the leads lower quality so that a low number of appointments is expected? Or is a salesperson doing something wrong in the sales process?
  • Closing ratio (number of contracts ÷ number of appointments). View closing ratio by both lead source and per salesperson.
  • Revenue earned-to-date vs. budget. If you’re falling behind on produced sales or revenue, determine whether it’s because you have no backlog to produce or because the production department is not producing enough even though it’s sold and ready to go. Work with key managers to develop an action plan.

Financial Metrics

  • Cash flow. This should include the cash requirements of the company for the next 30 and 60 days.
  • Backlog/gross profit dollars remaining. This tells you how many gross profit dollars you can expect to earn if you complete everything you have in the production pipeline today.
  • Accounts receivable. If this begins to grow, that may indicate collection problems, which could mean customer-satisfaction issues.

Rosie Romero, founder of Scottsdale, Ariz., Legacy Builders, and now president of ROTH Productions, makes this recommendation: “Include trailing 12-month charts on all of the above to your regular business analysis. This is managing ahead of the curve. Other analytics are historical and create a reactive culture instead of the much more positive, proactive environment that this data will provide.”

—Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage — helping hundreds of remodelers across North America build strong, profitable businesses. 301.490.5620.