For those not familiar with the Profit First plan, you should know that the first step towards small business profitability is having a Profit Assessment done by a certified Profit First Professional. This is a thorough review of your books, performed by a highly-trained professional who uses the proven Profit First system.

Why, you may ask, is this necessary? To answer that, let’s consider the “couch potato” who suddenly becomes inspired to train to run a marathon. It should be obvious to anyone (if not, it would become so quickly after the first attempt to run), that you can’t just hop off the couch and run 26 miles. There are some things you need to do first:

1. You need to evaluate what your current physical condition is. Are there things in your past that affect your current condition but were only “one-time” events? Do you have some sort of restriction that would prevent you from training properly? What are your physical strengths and weaknesses? What is your resting heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure? What are those vital signs after 5 minutes of exercise?

2. Now you need to take this information, which is your starting point, and get a true picture of where you are. Only by knowing, with certainty, what your current condition is, can you begin to understand what is needed to reach your end goal of running and finishing a marathon.

3. With this information, now you can begin to develop a training regime. Do you need to spend time doing weight training to build up muscle? Do you need to work on cardio endurance to allow for distance running? What is the proper ratio between the two that will best get you to where you need to be? All of these questions are answered in the training program prepared by your coach.

A Profit Assessment is like a physical evaluation for your business. Your Profit First Professional will review your company’s books to look for unusual expenses and unusual revenue. They’ll determine what your year-over-year operating expenses are and how they relate to your profitability and how much the business-owner gets to take home in profit. They will take your company’s pulse and blood pressure.

Only once this is done, can your Profit First Professional start your company and you down the road to consistent profitability. With this information from the Profit Assessment, your Profit First Professional can work with you to map out a step-by-step “training plan” to help you achieve your goals. They will work on the areas that need the most attention while continuing to support those that are already healthy.

THIS is why you need a Profit Assessment – NOW!! Get off that couch and make that call!!