As a small business owner, it can be helpful to know the value and success of your company. One way to do this is through ratio analysis. But what is ratio analysis, and how can you conduct it for your small business? 

This guide will cover ratio analysis for small businesses, including: 

  • What is ratio analysis?
  • Why is ratio analysis important?
  • How can you conduct ratio analysis for your small business?

What is ratio analysis?

Ratio analysis can help you understand the performance of your small business. But, what is ratio analysis? It’s a process that analyses financial data for a business through a series of ratios that determine things like profitability, liquidity, and efficiency. 

By conducting ratio analysis through financial statements, you can determine how your business is performing over time and compare it to other similar businesses. It offers helpful insights into your business and, along with other evaluations, can help determine how well your business is doing financially and how it can continue to grow. 

Why is ratio analysis important?

If you choose to conduct ratio analysis, it can simplify and clarify your business finances. It will offer insights about your business, which can help you see what’s working and what isn’t. 


Ratio analysis can determine how efficiently you run your business. It can analyse your business financial operations to determine where you waste money and where you could grow earnings. 

By better understanding the efficiency of your business, you can think about how to change your operations to improve it. 

Profitability and performance 

Aside from providing insights on efficiency, ratio analysis helps you understand the profitability of your business. It can examine profits by assessing your sales turnover against your business expenses. Understanding your profitability can help the success of your small business. 

Plus, ratio analysis can gather information on your small business performance. It can also compare your performance against similar small businesses. This side by side comparison can help you understand how to alter your finances to perform better. 


Ratio analysis can also help you understand your business’s liquidity. This is important when considering short term debts and business value. Liquidity can help you understand the value of your assets and how easily you can convert them. 

Liquidity helps you analyse whether you can pay off short term debts in a business cycle. Aside from that, it shows how much you could sell your business for. 

Financial risks 

Another reason to conduct ratio analysis is to understand the financial risks impacting your small business. You can use ratio analysis to determine how stable your earnings are and the sensitivity of a sale. It can help you understand the leverage ratio of your business, to see how you can meet financial obligations. 

It can also help you see if your earnings are heavily reliant on one client or could easily fall due to changing trends. You can use this information to diversify your business financially to reduce income risks.

Financial forecasting 

Aside from understanding the current financial situation of your business, ratio analysis can help you predict the future of your business. Analysing your financial statements can help highlight financial trends and target them in future forecasting. This can help you project earnings based on your current earnings.  

The insights you gain from ratio analysis can not only help you understand how well your business is doing, but it can help show your business value to others. This could lead to opportunities for business financing, investors, and partnerships for future growth. 

How can you conduct ratio analysis for your small business?

Once you know what ratio analysis is, you may wonder how to conduct it for your small business. There are a few things you can do. 

Gather your financial data

First, you’ll need to get your financial statements together. This information will be necessary for ratio analysis. Find and compile statements such as your income statement, cash flow statement, and profit loss statement

These financial statements are easier to analyse if you have them updated and online. This way, you can put the information into accessible spreadsheets to easily interpret it. 

Find your ratios 

There are a few ratios you can find to analyse your business. 

Liquidity ratios

The quick ratio can determine your small business’s assets that you could quickly convert into cash without reducing the price. You can find the quick ratio by adding your current assets and dividing them by current liabilities. 

Solvency ratios 

Solvency ratios can help you understand your business’s equitability and financial standing in the long term. The debt-to-equity ratio can provide insights into your business solvency. To calculate the debt-to-equity ratio, divide your total liabilities by your total equity. 

Efficiency ratios 

You can calculate the efficiency of your business finances with the accounts receivable turnover ratio. To calculate this ratio, divide net sales by average account receivables. 

Profitability ratios 

To understand the profitability of your business, use the return-on-assets ratio. You can calculate this ratio by dividing the net income by the average total assets.

Valuation ratios

To calculate the value of your company for potential investors, use the price-earnings ratio. Find this ratio by dividing the market value price per share by the earnings per share. You would usually calculate this at the end of the fiscal year. 

Overall, using ratio analysis is useful in helping you understand your business’s performance, but it is only one method. To get a broader understanding of your small business performance, consider using ratio analysis alongside other financial analysis methods. 

Save time organising your finances with Countingup

Once you conduct ratio analysis for your small business and determine your performance, you’ll want to manage your finances to grow your business. Thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.