You absolutely need accurate up to date financial data run your business


“As Mark Twain quipped, ‘Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.’

Grab a cuppa and settle in, my friend. Ever been to Starbucks? Of course, you have! But did you know there was a time when our beloved coffee haven was in hot water? No pun intended! 😟

It all started when Howard Schultz, the genius behind Starbucks’ rise, left the company due to—get this—a disagreement over business direction. Schultz, with his grand coffeehouse visions, watched from the sidelines as Starbucks shifted focus and began selling all sorts of oddities. Can you imagine your local Starbucks stocked with furniture? Yep, that happened 💺

Fast forward to 2008. Starbucks was in a pickle. Sales were down. Customer satisfaction? Don’t even ask. The intimate, community coffee shop vibe was fizzling out faster than foam on a badly made cappuccino. And the once-booming giant? It was on the brink of closing hundreds of stores. Gasp! 😟

Enter our caffeine knight, Schultz, making a comeback. But rather than storming in with just instincts, he brought something mightier – data. Remember our chat about the importance of financial data? Here’s where it all brews together ☕

Schultz took a deep dive into the sales data. And the insights were more revealing than a spilled cup of coffee on a white shirt. Stores that were once seen as profitable were, in fact, cannibalizing sales from other nearby locations. And those random items they were selling? They were cluttering the brand and diluting the core Starbucks experience 👈

The twist in our tale? Schultz decided to close over 600 stores! A bold move, but here’s the kicker: he did it to save the brand. By focusing on what made Starbucks unique and loved (hint: it wasn’t furniture), and by using financial data to guide decisions, he slowly steered the ship—or should I say, coffee cup—back on course 🏪

Today, when you walk into a Starbucks and feel that familiar cozy vibe, know that it’s not just the result of excellent coffee beans but also some piping hot, robust financial data 🔢

So, bringing this back to our businesses, I was sitting down with a client last week and they didn’t have clue which of their product line were making money and which weren’t but they had a hunch that some weren’t. The client finally had a lightbulb moment and probably for the first time understood the importance of having comprehensive up to date financial date and why money spent of on systems and processes to do it are an investment that is essential if you want the best chance of success 💡

Cheers to that, right? ☕️

Disclaimer: Paul Stankiewicz is the owner and principal at Paul Marks & Co Chartered Accountants which is the trading name of Paul Marks Ltd a Limited Company registered in England and Wales (registered number 4487645).This article is designed for the information of readers only and is the opinion of the author only. Readers should not act on any of the information contained in this article without seeking professional advice. Nothing in this article constitutes advice, nor does the transmission, downloading or sending of any information or the Material create any contractual relationship. Links to third party websites are provided as a convenience to the reader, Paul Marks Ltd does not control and is not responsible for any of those websites or their content. Paul Stankiewicz and Paul Marks Ltd accepts no liability or responsibility whatsoever for any loss or damage suffered by any user of the information contained on or accessed through this article or the Material downloaded.