Last weekend, I took my retriever, Fletch, for a run in the woods and found myself post-holing through the snow. With every stride, I sank ankle deep into the soft snow, slowing me to a crawl as the mud below tried to suck the shoes from my feet. It’s that time again—not enough snow for skiing and water logged greens are still weeks away from opening day. Mud season in New England.
Just like the mud can slow you down, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day operations of your business and lose focus on your progress. With outside activities on temporary hold, this is a great time to step back, revisit your business goals and chart a path for growth. Mud season is the perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at the financial foundation of your business and for setting business goals to build profits.
Define clear, measurable goals
Your business success is defined through achievement of the goals you set. If those goals are not clear, it’s difficult for you and your employees to know if you are on the right course. Take the time to revisit and redefine where the business is headed and how you will measure success. Team members with a full understanding of the company goals have the context to set appropriate priorities and make better decisions.
To track progress on your business vision, goals need to be quantifiable and measurable. Specific goals like, “We will grow 20% annually for the next three years” provide a solid benchmark to gauge your success. Employees are more likely to rally around a measurable objective, working to achieve that common goal.
Align reporting with goals
The standard financial reports you receive from your bookkeeper may not provide the insight you need to track your progress toward the measurable goals you’ve defined. The reports you depend on should be designed to fit your specific business goals and measurements. Great reports eliminate the guessing and help keep you and your employees focused on the benchmarks against which you track progress for your business.
Strategic financial management
Vital to aligning your financial management is ensuring your team understands the importance of current information and reporting tailored to your industry, firm size and stage of growth. With the pace of business today, outdated reports and generic metrics can put the business at risk. You need to stay in front of developments in the business to adjust course quickly.
Setting the appropriate measurements and benchmarks is not as easy as it may seem, requiring experience and creative thinking. Whether your business is large enough to support an internal accounting staff or a finance department comprised of a part-time bookkeeper, you need professionals who understand the strategic importance of fine-tuned financial management.
There may not be too many upsides to mud season, but you can turn it to your advantage. Use the time to rethink and rebuild your financial foundation. With well-defined goals plus the people and reports to help you stay focused, you can avoid getting bogged down in the day-to-day and stay focused on the path ahead.
Driven Insights Advantage
At Driven Insights, our bookkeepers, controllers and CFO's are charged with much more than simply “doing the books”—they take the time to understand your unique business challenges. With a full understanding of your objectives, we will help you define the metrics and analysis you need in monthly reports and/or real-time dashboards.
Interested in learning more? See for yourself how Driven Insights can provide the insight and control you need to build profits and achieve your most critical goals. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-631-1124.