All entrepreneurs want their businesses to grow. Growth is good. For many entrepreneurs, this is exactly what they’ve focused on since the inception of their initial business idea. Then, one awesome day, they turned around, and happily realized, “Wow! I have a real business here!”
Yes! I’m talking to you.
You’ve been so wonderfully focused on getting things off the ground and surviving the inevitable bumps and bruises of a start-up that when you popped your head up to look around, you realized you’ve done it! You’re an established, profitable business. And now it’s time to make different kinds of decisions. Decisions related to how you can continue to support your successful enterprise.
Do You Have a Clear Picture of Your Financials?
It’s at this juncture that the ability to clearly see your financials becomes critical. As you scale your business, you, the owner, will by necessity get further and further away from the day-to-day activity of your team.
There has never been a more important time to have clear, timely, reliable, and consistent financial reporting in place. It is the only way that you can continue to keep your finger on the pulse of your growing entity. One of the most effective ways to gain this “finger on the pulse” clarity is through a good relationship with your financial accounting and reporting.
The good news is that this realization doesn’t mean that the fun of entrepreneurship is over! I promise!
It just means it’s time to get your accounting and reporting processes performing up to the level of service you, the owner, deserve from them. Like many things, you’ve bootstrapped to this point, and in many ways, the accounting and reporting have been a nuisance. I get it.
But I’m here to tell you the information that comes out of your accounting and financial reporting can be set up to serve you painlessly! Now is the time to get the people and processes working on that to serve your needs – not just the needs of the tax accountant and the bookkeeper. For those of you who have gotten this far without an accountant or a bookkeeper, and your receipts are still in that box on the bookshelf, don’t worry! The same solutions apply to you!
Remember: knowledge is power. And in the business world, you need to make that knowledge accessible to you, aligned with how you think about your business, and generated by a process that doesn’t eat up your time and money; or lead to monthly reports getting shoved into a drawer with a frustrated sigh at how meaningless they have become.
Face it, when you don’t know the ins and outs of your business’s finances, and you’re still making decisions from the gut, you’re not going to ever feel completely comfortable scaling your business to the next level.
You need a clear financial picture to support the gut instinct that has brought you this far successfully. You deserve grown up, painless, monthly financial reports and forecasting. You need to know with certainty what that bank balance will be at the end of each month as you grow.
So how do you gain a clear picture of what’s going on with your cash and P&L in a way that makes sense to you?
Get Your Financial Reporting in Line
The key is a timely, reliable, and consistent financial accounting and reporting process. You need a process that consistently generates the information that keeps you up to date on what’s going on financially in your business. And much more important than gazing backward, when properly done it can also give you the information you need to make business decisions that support your company’s growth.
There are three incredibly powerful tools that, with a bit of tweaking to your existing bookkeeping and accounting processes, can be at your finger tips to assist in your growth process. And the good news is that they lie within the information you are likely already generating in your current bookkeeping and accounting “system”, in whatever form it takes today:
- A forecasting process with a growth simulator to see exactly how different growth scenarios will affect your business, your bank balances, and your profitability. You can quickly and easily get a clear picture on the type and speed of growth that will be most advantageous for your business.
- You can see your business in the same way that you think about your business. If what is important to you is product line, or customer, or geography, with some adjustments to your bookkeeping set up, all of those dimensions can be extracted and reported to you. You can look at performance expectations vs. reality in order to make critical decisions like which products to push harder, which ones to cut, which customers cost too much to maintain, and which components of your business put the most cash in the bank.
- You can see how your business is performing over time. Where are your profit margins improving? Which months do you run low on cash? Which lead generation expenditures are driving revenue?
With these three tools at your finger tips, none of which cost a fortune to put in place, you can answer the key questions to support your gut instincts about what, where, and how fast to grow.
You can make informed decisions. You can sleep at night knowing that your success doesn’t depend on just your gut. You can objectively look at the growth, see what it does to your P&L and cash flow, and say, “Yes, I have enough money to do this,” or “No, I don’t have enough money to do this.”
Don’t Let Accounting Myths Stall You
Accounting has a bad rap. Until this point in your business growth, accounting has likely been frustrating because it has never been structured to serve YOUR needs. It’s been set up to satisfy a bookkeeper’s template or an accountant’s tax reporting needs. But it does not have to be that way.
Your financial reporting can and should be set up to serve YOU, the owner. By changing just a few things that can be achieved. And guess what? The bookkeeper and accountant can still have everything they need as well!
Don’t shove those reports in a drawer with the assumption that this whole accounting thing is just a nuisance and always will be. It is SO fixable. Find a good finance expert to show you how you can gain complete control over and get information that is meaningful to you, fully aligned with your business strategy, and one of the most reliable tools you have for running your business.