Growing Your Business in 2013 Part 2

Accountants and Controllers
Most small businesses can not afford a controller to manage their finances and they rely on an accountant that they meet with yearly to simply do their taxes.
Proper planning and oversight through out the year can save you thousands in the end.  You need an accountant or controller that can also be a strategic planner for your business.  They should be able to help you create budgets for the new year and help review all of your reporting from the previous year to see where savings can be had or more investigation is needed.  They should be on your “board of experts”.
Many business owners have no idea if they are actually making money in their business.  They see sales increases and assume that everything must be going well.  It is imperative that as a business owner you understand where your money is going and why.  You need to be able to set up budgets within your business.  You need to be able to properly plan your spending for each quarter based on projected sales.
I can not recommend highly enough taking an Accounting Fundamental class online.  It will give you the basic skills you need to be able to interpret the reports and understand what the numbers in your business mean.  Being a business owner, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  Understanding your finances and how your business runs needs to be one of your strengths.
When choosing an accountant be careful to chose one that understands your industry and knows how to properly prepare your yearly returns.  Ask for referrals from other small business owners.  Interview them.  Make sure you feel comfortable “opening the books” to them and letting them into your business.  You want them to be a strategic planner and need to be able to trust in their ability to steer you and your business in the right direction.   Check their reviews online.

Creating a Business Plan

How many of you have ever done a formal business plan?  Do you know where to start?  Do you understand just how important a formal business plan is to running your business?  Well, would you go on a trip with the family and not plan it out ahead of time?  Book hotels, map the route, pack, etc.  Well a formal business plan is just that.  It gives you a way to meet your goals and clearly outlines your plan to others (like loan officers and others) showing them that you are a solid business with a well planned out strategy of achieving your goals.

I am now creating my business plan for JRB Management Services.  As I begin this project I want to share with you some of the basics so you can start yours too!

Business Plan Outline:

  • Executive Summary (Include a Board of Advisers if you are not incorporated.  These can be professionals that you can reach out to for help in certain areas like an attorney, accountant, PR person, etc…make sure they sign a confidentiality agreement with your business as well)
  • Analysis of your Industry, Market, and Competition
  • Products or Services you will offer
  • Marketing Plan
  • Production Plan
  • Management Team and Key Personnel
  • Financial Plan
    • Summary
  • Projected Income Statements
    • Year One
    • Year Two
    • Year Three
  • Pro-Forma Balance Sheets
    • Start Up
    • End Year One
    • End of Year Two
    • End of Year Three
  • Cash flow Projection
    • Year One
    • Year Two
    • Year Three
  • Appendices
    • All back up documentation
    • biographies of Principals

Make sure your plan has a title page that includes your logo, name of business, address, phone number, and a disclaimer at the bottom stating that all information contained within is confidential.

Once you create your plan make sure you share it with your top management and key personnel.  It will become their road map as well to meet the goals that you have set for your business.

Good luck and feel free to post any comments that might be helpful as I begin this process!!