The Burden of Expectations | AccountingWEB

The Burden of Expectations

One of the ways we judge our businesses is by not just how we did (profit, revenue, etc.), but how we expected to do. What might sound like a great quarter to some could be a downer for you if you were expecting to do big business.

It seems that the majority of small businesses did a good job setting expectations in the first quarter of 2013. Our March SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard found that 80 percent met or exceeded expectations for the first quarter, despite potentially negative impacts of the fiscal cliff deal, payroll tax increase and the sequester (58 percent said these events had a negative impact on business).

Regardless of how you did this past quarter relative to what you planned, keep in mind that those numbers only show how good you were at projecting and predicting, not necessarily how well you ran your business.

It’s important to have multiple metrics you can judge your business on. Maybe you didn’t grow as much as expected, but if you grew at all in this economy, it’s achievement worth noting.

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Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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