Remember back in Q4 when you thought you had plenty of time to build, vet, and implement a solid plan of business resolutions to kick-off 2018? Now the Times Square Ball has been back in storage for three weeks, the sound of Sinatra is a distant echo, and that roadmap to grow your business is still unwritten.
Creating a plan to organize your business objectives is essential to the growth of your company. While it may take a few days, or even weeks, to tackle, you shouldn’t wait until next year to put those goals into action. Below are 7 goals to get you started just in time for February:
Set a budget, then lower it
Take a look at the budget from 2017. Now is the time to review it and see if the budget in place was realistic and in align with your business objectives. Building and setting a budget requires determining revenue earned from all streams, fixed costs, variable costs, and any one time payments that may be coming up.
Once a budget is set, look for ways to cut costs and/or expenses. This can include paying invoices early (many vendors will offer discounts to reliable clients/customers) or negotiating lower prices with vendors. Lowering payroll will also cut expenses. Try hiring interns or outsourcing in areas where you may not currently need seasoned or full-time professionals. Find a budgeting technique that best fits your business.
Better manage your cash flow and financial records
“Making more money will not solve your problems if cash flow management is your problem.” -Robert Kiyosaki
The last thought that should ever cross your mind is: “what happened to my money?” Does your business have a cash flow forecast created? Are you tracking your performance against the forecast? Because cash flow is the lifeblood of the company, cash flow monitoring is critical. Whether for future endeavors and purchases, or if you know you will need to start looking for financing options in the near future, you want to be able to see what cash available. If you aren’t considering different scenarios for the forecast, it’s time to start before it’s too late.
Prepare for future expenses
Other than Jeane Dixon, most people don’t claim to be able to predict the future. Even in the business world, predictive analytics can be a fairly inaccurate source of information. However, financial metrics tracking past performance (and are relative to your business) can be used to prepare for future expenses. Past expenses can also be used to create a forecast/budget. A budget could also include any new expenses the business is expecting to take on or account for increases in any expense.
Create a plan to eliminate (or reduce) debt
While some debt is good for a business, more often than not it can cripple, and even bankrupt, a company. Businesses accrue debt in countless ways: expanding too quickly, financing new projects too early, or even something as simple as being unaware of company spending habits.
Creating a plan is a good way to reduce, and ultimately, eliminate debt. A debt-reduction plan could include actions such as cutting expenses, speeding up collections, or contacting creditors to consolidate or renegotiate debt. A business should also pay off high interest debt first
No matter what’s on the plan, the end goal is universal- creating strategies that can be implemented long term and eradicate bad debt.
Do your taxes throughout the year
Making quarterly tax payments isn’t for every business, but could be beneficial especially if you’re focused on your statement of cash flows. Making quarterly tax payments spreads out cash payments instead of taking what feels like a big hit all at once. Contact your tax CPA to find out whether paying quarterly payments will be beneficial to your business.
Save for a rainy day
“All days are not the same. Save for a rainy day. When you don’t work, savings will work for you.” -M.K. Soni
With a market that has historically turned volatile on a dime, every company, regardless of size or revenue, should have access to a cash supply in the event of an emergency. Cash flow forecasting and management can also help prepare your business for a rainy day. Planning and monitoring cash inflow and outflow will help you see your expenses and what you can cut, yet still operate, while slowing down cash burn.
Be consistent and stick to a plan
With a solid, defined roadmap in place, the next step is to be consistent. Inconsistency creates ambiguity which can cause a chain reaction of inefficiencies across the business: from operations, to employees, clients and customers. Establishing and maintaining consistent policies can improve organization with the company, employee turnover, customer retention, reduce churn, and aid in the growth and expansion of your business.
Don’t wait until 2019 to start building and implementing a plan to get your finances in order. Signature Analytics can work with your team to create a budget for your business and monitor that budget throughout the year. If you need assistance building, or improving, a plan to organize your finances and grow your business, contact us today for a free consultation.