It’s hard to believe that 2019 is in full swing. They say the older you get, the faster life happens. I must be getting pretty old because it is flying by. We’ll leave it at that!
It is during the months of November and December when well intentioned business owners come up for a breather and finally have time to focus on their finances. Most business owners really do want to have a better grip on their finances. They just don’t have the time.
Have you ever been looking behind you or not paying attention where you are going? That question brings me back to a college tour I took with my daughter a couple of years ago. I’m strolling along, talking and not looking ahead, and BAM! I walk straight into a concrete pole in the middle of the sidewalk. Not only was it painful, but it also embarrassed the heck out of my daughter. That’s what happens when you are looking in the rear view mirror instead of ahead – minus the daughter part.
The Rear View Perspective
From a practical and financial standpoint, let’s talk about what’s in the rearview mirror. I refer to it as after-the-fact accounting (or, AFA). At that point, the accounting is just a task to be done because it is required to file your taxes. No other real value. An owner in this mode is typically reacting to financial difficulties that come up during the year and is often baffled as to where all their money has gone when, up until that point, they believe they have had a really good year.
When AFA happens, many owners finally have their financial “come to Jesus” moment. They realize they have to do something, and that’s where we come in. So what’s the alternative?
The Year in Review Perspective
So you have decided, no more! It is time to take control of your finances. You’ve hired us to get your books cleaned up. The next step is to review and learn from where you’ve been so you can plan and strategize about where you are going.
The review is critical before making your future strategic plan. It is important to understand how you got to where you currently are, whether it is good or bad. Getting to know the person and the culture driving the business is just as important as the numbers. The review gives you the perspective you need to think ahead and set some goals. Here are some next steps after you get your books in order.
- Hire a small business financial consultant to get an outside perspective and expertise. We do that!
- Make a list of the positives and negatives you have or are experiencing in your business
- Reflect on whether your business is going in the right direction – why or why not?
- Ask yourself what you would have done differently
- Plan ahead, set goals and monitor those goals
Now we’re talking. You got this! You actually know how your business did last year and now you can think about how you want your business to do next year. You can start thinking about what you need to do to make it happen. At last, you don’t have to dread the end of year.
Are you ready? What’s stopping you? Now is as good a time as any.
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