25 Oct 4 Unusual Financial Strategies for Small Business Owners
It takes a good, in-depth look at your unique business plan to come up with a really good financial strategy. Doing this work is completely worth it. (See last week’s post for a review of why your numbers matter!)
As part of our service to small businesses that we serve, we always go over your business plan during our onboarding process. You see, we want to make sure that your business is as profitable as it can be. Our number one goal is to partner with you to see you succeed. It is a top priority of ours to make sure that we are doing all that we can do to see you to beat the small business success rate odds! Part of that means having a viable financial strategy that can carry your business through the tough times into the successful years!
So if you are looking for THAT kind of financial analysis and strategy, give us a call at (865) 212-0063.
BUT today I thought we would chat about a few off the beaten path financial strategies. Really these are just good BUSINESS strategies but here is the thing. Seeing how these good business strategies directly affect your finances can be paramount to the growth of your business overall! These aren’t just things you should do when you get some extra time. These are things that you need to be doing now in order to reach your goals this year!
4 Unusual Financial Strategies for Small Business Owners:
You’ve heard all the quippy sayings. If you don’t know where you want to end up, you can’t effectively lead your business. You need to know where you are going, to know how to build a plan to get there. But what does this mean for you now? How does this strategy affect your finances?
Think about your vision statement. I am guessing it doesn’t sound something like, “To sell $1.5 million this year.” Maybe, if you are a marketing firm, it would be something like, “To become the national leader at understanding and then connecting both small businesses and their customers.” While obviously you want to grow in profitability, your company NEEDS a forward looking, seemingly pie-in-the-sky vision. You probably have a business plan and financial goals because every company thinks about how it is going to pay the bills, pay its employees and grow. Every single one.
But if you aren’t spending your brain capital actually plotting a clear course with tangible steps to move your company toward that otherwise pie-in-the-sky vision statement, you simply will not reach your financial goals. A financial strategy is crucial. But the marketplace is ever changing. What worked last year will not work the same this year. Looking to the future on a regular basis and then creating actionable steps to move toward a thoughtful vision will be the fuel in the engine to drive your company towards success. The smart financial goals can then be matched up along the way with a company that is empowered to meet them!
There is a lot out there about not having regrets and keeping your eye on the prize. But if you have been a business owner longer than a minute, you know it is messy. You have lots of regrets. And there are times when those mistakes are staring you in the face and seemingly distracting you from the prize. This can feel really overwhelming and it is tempting to just stuff it and move on as quickly as possible.
What you need to remember is these times in your business are gold for the forward momentum we just talked about. You have a vision that you actually want to achieve. It isn’t just empty words. So the mess you are in, the mistakes you just made, the low month or two you just had…ask yourself this. What DIDN’T work? What about those decisions directed you away from your goals? How did you get there?
Spend time analyzing your business strategy with your vision statement in mind. Look at what worked too! If you had a good month, get excited, sure. But don’t take success for granted. Figure out why it was good. Look at what you did different and think about if the short-term profit is propelling you toward long-term growth. Let the past be rock solid material to pave your way forward. Adopting this kind of strategy will allow you to keep your vision in check and change it if need but but it will also allow you to adjust your course to avoid the same pitfalls again. Using mistakes to steer your business towards improvement means keeping your company as profitable as it can be!
One of the smartest financial decisions you can make for the welfare of your small business is to see and invest in your team. Underutilized and underdeveloped teams leave you as the owner maxed out and frankly, this is a poor investment of your business revenue. Payroll is one of your top expenses each month. This money is actually WORKING for you! Just as above, your vision statement should be your plumb line. This means you need to make sure you have surrounded yourself with people who will buy into your company’s vision along with you and who will work passionately alongside of you. If they are teachable and passionate, you can grow these people to be the biggest asset of your small business.
This team can help drive your business forward by offering valuable and diverse ways of seeing how you can move towards your vision, as well as talents that will extend the effectiveness of your business. This may sound like a broken record at this point but when you are better at carrying out your vision, you guessed it…you are more effective at driving your profits up!
Lastly, but most definitely not least, a sure way to increase your revenue is to consistently be learning from others. Purposely build relationships with others who have gone before you in your business but don’t stop there. Get creative and surround yourself with people who have different talents and strengths than you. Ask questions all the time. Allow yourself to be challenged by people who are similar in business to you AND by people who are different. The bottom line is, stay humble. Be confident in your vision and your abilities but allow that vision and those abilities to be challenged and sharpened by a variety of skills and views.
How does this affect your financial strategy? Well, the sharper your tools, the more effective you will be at building the road that takes you towards your vision. Staying humble and receiving input ultimately means you are working on building a better YOU. You are the vision-carrier, the one driving your company towards its goals. Choosing to take time to make yourself more effective means that you are choosing to take time to make your company more effective at embodying its vision. You’ll keep that edge and keep your company moving forward when you allow yourself to spend time being sharpened by outside sources.
No matter where you are in your business year, take time to go back and review your vision statement.
Does it inspire you? Does it actually address a deep need that the customer base you are trying to reach would relate with? Analyze it and then spend time letting it move you and your employees to push out in all directions.
Once you know WHERE you want to go (forward), you can easily know where you DON’T want to go (backward), WHO will help get you there (inward) and WHAT influences you will allow to help shape you along the way (outward).
Implementing this strategy is a sure fire way to make your small business absolutely boss at reaching and exceeding your financial goals along the way to becoming the best in your industry!