Your financial report says that you've achieved a 35% gross margin on your latest project/job. Should you be happy? Maybe. Gross margin doesn't tell the whole story.
If you have worked for a corporation for a few years before you start your own venture, you need to really prepare for the first time of not having a paycheck every two weeks. While you hear stories about all the personal things that your business can pay for through the company, milking your company can be a very big problem.
Small businesses succeed, in large part, because of entrepreneurs' efforts to minimize costs and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, too many business owners become complacent in their daily operations and forget to actively search for the best deal.
Small business owners need to be savvy and come up with real ways to reduce their expenses and increase their cash flow. In simple terms, less money needs to be leaving your account and more money needs to be coming in. It is an obvious statement to say that you need higher profits, but so many companies are missing opportunities to do just that.
You can't make good decisions for your business without accurate financial statements. If someone is inputting the wrong information, or putting it in the wrong locations, then you'll have financial statements which can't be relied upon. You don't need to know the intricacies of how each entry is made. You do need to know enough to question if the statements don't appear to be right.
Here is a simple economic truth. Fixed overhead continues to eat into your cash month after month. It doesn't differentiate facile, efficient businesses from slow, disorganized, quality-challenged ones.