I remember vividly going to New York City with my wife, Meghan, for our first real visit back in 2016. I had always wanted to stay in Manhattan, eat at a cool restaurant or two, and just walk the streets. Movies and TV shows make it look so cool. And it was pretty cool, but I discovered that NYC looks way better from above.
If you’ve walked a dark side street in Manhattan on your way to a late dinner, you know that things don’t look the same as they do from those awesome drone photos of the city at night. There’s no comparison. The pictures that made me want to visit NYC were always taken from above, never at street-level. But the photo taken from 3,000 feet above the city doesn’t show the real city, does it? You can’t feel what makes NYC fun unless you’re standing on the corner of 200 5th Avenue with a cup of delicious coffee from Eataly Flatiron.
Everything looks acceptable from the 3,000-foot level. You can’t see the imperfections and all the details, but you can see just enough to allow you to check off the task of reviewing your financials and move on. Business owners are scared to get in the weeds of financial reporting because it may reveal things that are gritty and a little off-putting. The thing they quickly realize when working with us is that we won’t let them ignore those things; to run a healthy business, you have to check all the vitals and not just give a cursory glance on your way to the next meeting. It’s not a quick photo of Manhattan from the observatory on the Empire State Building. It’s a ride on the subway in the wrong direction where you have to ask for directions to get to a place you only vaguely remember. It’s gritty and it can be frustrating at times, but it’s the only way to move forward.
Our start-up consulting engagements are designed to direct and educate new business owners in how to recognize the important details of their financial statements. We take them from the 3,000-foot view down the ground level where the true details lie. We dig into why particular trends matter, why certain metrics are worth tracking every single week and not just when you think about every three months, and why top line revenue by itself means absolutely nothing. You can’t glean these facts with a 30 second review of your P&L in QuickBooks Online. You have to dig deeper; you have to walk on the sidewalk and not just float above the skyline.
I’m not knocking the cool aerial photos. I have quite a few myself. But the truth lies closer to the ground. If you need help sorting through the piles of information for the useful data, let us know. We’d love to help!