28 Sep Build a Financial Strategy in 20 Minutes
Most small business owners spend their time looking at finances from the past because they have to.
You have to do some type of bookkeeping for tax purposes. You want to be able to take your deductions and you’re required to have some record of income so you can pay Uncle Sam and so they believe (and can enforce) what you actually owe.
But that’s it. If you’re on your own, you’re not required to give anyone next year’s budget. As long as you pay your taxes, you don’t *have* to have some big strategic vision of what your financial future will look like.
For many of the 28 million small businesses in America, that vision is likely some version of “more.” More revenue, more profit, more time, more locations, etc. Not a whole lot of details or purposeful planning.
Sadly, the pace of business and long-standing habits make it difficult for you to pull your head above water long enough to look 6-18 months ahead. And even if you were able, then you have to worry about figuring out how to create a strategic financial plan to actually accomplish your goals.
Strapped for time? Don’t know where to start? Need a simple framework to start planning for the future? Here is a simple 5-step guide that you can easily accomplish today!
How To Create a Strategic Financial Plan In 20 Minutes
Know Where You Stand:
Take the time to review & understand your current financials – you can’t get to where you want to be tomorrow if you don’t know where you are today. Whether you do your bookkeeping yourself or outsource it, make sure you are receiving timely monthly financials so you can arm yourself with correct information to steer yourself forward!
Address any immediate issues before all else – you have to fix the hole in your roof before you start redecorating your bedroom. This would be items past due, taxes unaddressed, etc. Make sure your plan prioritizes these items!
Decide the 3 key areas of your business (i.e. sales, cost of goods, cash flow). Identify 1 quantifiable short-term (6 mos – 1 yr) goal and 1 quantifiable long-term (3 – 5 yrs) goal for each of the 3 key areas. Narrow your focus while still enabling yourself to pull on multiple levers of your business at the same time → this is the best way to maximize your effect!
Map out 3 actionable steps necessary to achieve each short-term goal, making sure that they are also in alignment with your longer-term goals as well – this will be your 6 month play-book.
Measure & Reassess:
Set an appointment on your calendar (and keep it!) to repeat steps 1-4. Benchmark any changes against your goals and adjust any initiatives accordingly. Did your steps get you closer to where you want to be and are you still on the right path? Note- its OK if you decided to take an alternative route – dreams can change!
Set yourself apart from all of the other business owners. Take time to know your numbers! Follow the above steps to come up with a strategy that includes easily actionable items that can work into your current flow and help guide you to where you want to be!