Chances are you’ve had a health checkup in the recent past. You know the routine: A doctor listens to your lungs, checks your blood pressure, draws some blood, and does a few other exploratory diagnostic procedures. The process might occasionally be uncomfortable, but it’s a crucial part of catching any larger health problems before they become life-threatening.
As a business operator, you’re the doctor and your business is the patient. You have to keep its vital systems running smoothly, keep its lifeblood flowing, and uncover any unusual problems or concerns before they metastasize and threaten its long-range viability. And the profit-and-loss (P&L) or income statement is your primary diagnostic tool.