Financial reports might not be the most exciting part about running a children’s activity business, but they are very important. When you dive into financial reports and dashboards for your business, then you get the opportunity to learn and gain insights that can help you make decisions.
At Sawyer, our goal is to help children’s activity businesses run seamlessly so they can spend more time teaching, making community connections, and growing. Our reporting dashboards help providers dive deeper into the numbers so that they can gain useful insight like top purchasers, customer segments, form field responses, average client ages, and retention and enrollment trends.
In this article, we’ll review the importance of financial reporting, how to read financial reports, and which reports and dashboards are most useful for children’s activity businesses.
- Why are financial reports important for businesses?
- Tips for using financial reports
- Important reports and dashboards for children’s activity businesses
Why are financial reports important for businesses?
Financial reporting is the first step towards gaining insights that can lead to confident decision making for your business. When you understand the numbers, you can see the bigger picture and dive deeper into what works and what doesn’t.
Financial reports are important for businesses for many reasons:
- Planning and goal setting: Building business plans and setting goals help your business grow and scale. By reviewing financial reports, you can keep track of your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual revenue, track performance, and determine successes.
- Discovering trends: When you review financial reports and dashboards, you can make connections and determine trends. Whether you are looking at retention, enrollment, customer segments, and/or activity or time slot performance, you can make analyses and explore questions.
- Making connections with customers: Gaining the knowledge from your reports will help you make stronger connections with your customers. Plus, when you understand which activities and time slots are the most in demand, you can add more programming to increase enrollment and revenue.
- Celebrating wins and understanding losses: You need both eyes open to successfully run a business. Diving into your financial reports and dashboards allows you to see where you are successful and where you need to add more support or remove an activity or time slot altogether.
Tips for using financial reports
Now that you have learned the importance of financial reporting for children’s activity businesses, it is time to think about how you can actually read, use, and make sense of these reports. Use these tips to start your journey into understanding financial reports for your business.
- Do research. Before diving in, we recommend looking into Help Center articles and any other background information on the reports that you can find. For example, we have a large variety of Help Center articles that include definitions, workbook tips, navigation options, and so much more.
- Explore on your own. One of the best ways to learn how financial reports work is by poking around and exploring. Practice turning filters on and off, creating customer segments, sorting information, building analyses and trends, and more. Once you feel comfortable exploring, you can start to create workbook views and visualizations that answer questions and establish insights.
- Personalize your reports. You can drill down into the information to answer specific questions. Then, you can save these personalized workbooks and return to them each week or month to see how the data changes. This helps you determine seasonality, trends, and more!
- Get the information out. Once you have reports that work for your business, export or schedule them to be sent out to necessary staff and team members. Financial reports can go to accountants, form field responses can go to instructors, top performing activities and time slots can go to program managers, and more.
Important reports and dashboards for children’s activity businesses
Are you ready to dive into your financial reports and dashboards so that you can explore your data, make informed decisions, and grow your business with ease. These are the top three important reports and dashboards for children’s activity businesses to review. Luckily, children's activity providers who use Sawyer to run their business can access, edit, personalize, and export these dashboards so that they can stay up-to-date and make informed decisions. Next step: Growth!
If you want to grow, you need revenue (income). You need to bring in more money than you spend, otherwise you will be in the red. Taking the time to review revenue insights each week will help keep you updated on one of the most important elements of success for your business.
Here are some important visualizations as part of your revenue insights dashboards:
- Average revenue: What are you bringing in on a daily, monthly, and yearly revenue basis?
- Monthly revenue with year-over-year change: What does your monthly revenue look like and how does it compare to last year at this time? This will help you determine seasonality and other important trends that you should track.
- Total orders by order source: Providers on Sawyer can receive orders from multiple sources. This chart helps them understand their total order numbers as well as which sources are the most successful.
- Revenue breakdown: It’s important to see a breakdown of where your revenue numbers are coming from. This chart displays a summary of the total net amount paid to the provider, total refunds processed, and total fees paid for a selected date range.
- Revenue growth: Likewise, how much are you making each day? And where is it coming from? This chart displays the sum of revenue (paid amounts, including recurring payments, after coupons/discounts/fees but before refunds), grouped by the day of the transaction.
- Total orders: How many orders are you receiving? It’s important to keep this number in mind on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis so you can see that you are growing.
When you run a children’s activity business, you grow when you increase enrollment numbers. Keeping track of your enrollment trends with enrollment insight workbooks will help you see where you are doing well and where you need help.
Keep these visualizations in mind when you review enrollment insights workbook:
- Enrollment summary: First, take a look at everything at a glance with an enrollment summary. This chart displays the total numerical values for enrolled spots, available spots remaining, and total capacity.
- Enrollment percentage: How many students are enrolled in an activity and how many open spots are there? This chart compares those numbers so you can see where you are in higher demand and which activities need more support.
- Schedule performance: How are your activities doing in terms of total enrollments, canceled enrollments, and unique students enrolled? These numbers help you get a bigger picture sense of your performance trends.
- Student retention: Retention measures the number of unique students who have made their first booking in the cohort year and then checks if they have bookings in subsequent years. This chart displays a 5 year snapshot of the unique count of students by booking cohort year.
Get to know your customers so that you can make informed decisions that will lead to more bookings and higher revenue. With customer insights, you can dive deep into customer growth, student age distribution, top purchasers, and form field responses collected during registration.
Use these visualizations when reviewing your customer insights workbook:
- Total active purchasers: How many people made purchases during a selected time frame?
- Customer growth: Are you increasing the number of customers each week or month? This chart displays a rolling count of client profiles (both adult and child) grouped by the month they initially created a profile with the provider. This includes gross customer count (total rolling count of created accounts) and gross converted customer count (the number of purchasers who made a booking).
- Customer value: Customer value refers to the total orders or dollar spend by customers. This chart displays customer name and email as well as total orders, total spend, and average spend per transaction.
- Student age distribution: This chart displays the total count of students (child profiles) by age for all time. This is useful for providers to understand because as their students get older, their activities should shift as well.
We hope that this guide has helped you gain an appreciation for financial reports, insights, and dashboards that can help your business run more smoothly and grow. If you are a children’s activity provider and you are looking for guidance on managing and running your business, the team at Sawyer is here to help.
With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.