Planning Sessions Lead to Success in Business

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It seems like I’ve just finished my annual planning sessions with my clients and now the first month of the year is already a wrap!  I always come off these sessions excited about a new year.

The format of these sessions varies somewhat, but all have these basic elements:

  • Looking at the past year and acknowledging the good and the bad
  • Checking our numbers to see how they compare to what we projected last year
  • Asking ourselves if we accomplished the big goals we had set the previous year
  • Ensuring that we all have the same vision and look ahead three years, asking “Where do we want to be?”
  • Turning back to the annual plan to set revenue and net income targets so we can achieve the 3-year vision
  • Drilling down to establish what we want to accomplish in the next 90 days.

The teams I work with generally have 4-6 people on the leadership team.  We make an effort to block out two consecutive days with little interruption, to allow time for deep focus on these vital steps.  But you don’t have to have a team or two full days.

If you haven’t had an annual planning session (even if with yourself), get it done now. Evaluate your team to ensure that you have the right people in the right seats, and develop a two-page annual plan (20-page business plans tend to take a lot of time and generally end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust.)  Your two-page plan should contain:

Page 1:

  • Core values
  • Mission Statement
  • 3-year and 10-year vision (What do we look like in 3/10 years?)

Page 2:

  • One-year targets
  • Next 90 days goals
  • List of issues to address

The annual plan is just the start.  You should then book times for a quarterly review. At those meetings, ensure that you review your current 90-day goals and update/list new goals and issues to address over the coming 90 days.

With the correct team environment, these quarterly meetings and the annual in-depth meeting become essential and valuable components to a successful organization.

So now that month-one is under your belt, ask yourself

  • How am I/how are we performing?
  • Have I/we made progress on our 90-day goals?
  • Are January financials closed yet?
  • Did we send our December 31 trial balance to our CPA?
  • Have we been using a weekly scorecard for visibility and to ensure our leading performance indicators are tracking?
  • If we are off track, what are we doing to get back on? (If you get off track in the first months of the year, you will have a much harder time getting on track later in the year.)

It’s vital to make sure that you have closed your January financials timely and develop your strategic plan to conquer the upcoming year.  Utilizing these tools will help get an accurate picture of where you are and how you can do better.  Download the month-end closing checklist to verify that you are positioned well for success.

Set Your Business Up for Success: Three Important Things to Do in the New Year

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Happy New Year! As we turn away from 2020, we take many lessons into 2021.

I’m going into the new year with confidence that we will see life improve, in part because of the intense growth many of us had to go through while navigating uncharted territory in 2020.

Hopefully, we’ve all become stronger and more resilient and can apply these freshened skills and attitudes to our business and lives this year. Here are three important things to do in this new year.

Year-End Books

For the business owners, controllers, and finance staff, it’s year-end. It is vital to get your year-end books closed quickly and accurately. And get your CPA audit started as soon as possible. This will position you to make more informed decisions this year. Speed is essential because the longer you procrastinate, the less value this report card has.

I have a current client where we are having trouble getting the CPA audit completed – we are 12 months later than expected. This delay was initially due to sloppy bookkeeping, but now it’s a delay due to CPA scheduling and some subsequent event issues (COVID, PPP, etc.) that now need to be disclosed in the footnotes. If we would have gotten these completed on time, we would have avoided major headaches, extended time – and more professional fees.

Don’t let that happen to you. Banks generally give you 90 days to submit your financial statements, but earlier is best (and if you happen to need a covenant waiver due to ratio misses, the sooner you address it with your lender, the better.) It all starts with a disciplined approach. Get your year-end checklist out and assign expected dates and who is responsible. Push to get your year-end reconciliations done and the books finalized. Do your planning with your CPA and if appropriate schedule the review/audit now. Get it on the calendar. Do the following to have a quicker, more accurate year-end close:

  • Use a month-end checklist – see my resource page for a downloadable sample.
  • Delegate as appropriate and assign expected completion dates and deadlines – don’t leave this to chance.
  • Meet with your finance staff now and review progress often.
  • Make sure all reconciliations are done early. Some could have been completed prior to year-end.
  • Prepare the roll-forward schedules with fixed assets and debt now.
  • Review your leases and know lease accounting (ASC 842) is changing for all companies after this year. This change needs to be considered with bank covenants. Consult your CPA in your year-end planning.

 

For us smaller LLC companies, update your QuickBooks. It’s a discipline of successful companies. It’s a pain for us smaller businesses, but you need to update and look at your QuickBooks.

Income Taxes

Your final tax estimate for 2020 is due January 15th.

I hope you have an income tax problem. That means you’ve had a profitable year. Yes, we want to keep our tax liability as low as possible, but having an income tax “problem” is a good thing because it means you’ve had a steady income. The “problem” surfaces because we’re inclined not to think about taxes until it’s time to pay them. I’ve seen clients scratching on April 15th to come up with the $40,000 in taxes that they owe, (plus the Q1 estimated taxes for the following year.) Ouch. So let me give you a word of important advice for 2021 – if you don’t already have a plan in place to handle estimated income tax, make that a priority this year. Here’s a practical way I do this for my business. It’s a model you could follow, too.

Based on the “profit first” concept, have a separate bank account for owner’s compensation, operating expenses, income taxes and profit.

I take a percentage of each of my revenue sources and physically fund my income tax account. My income tax account is fully funded which works for me.

Those employed by others are already familiar with taxes being taken out of each of their paychecks. Those in business for themselves need to do the same thing. I have colleagues that do essentially the same thing with their small businesses. And every time estimated taxes come due, guess what? None of us lose any sleep over taxes. We simply draw from the set-aside money, pay the taxes, and move on with our business lives. No panic, no frustration, no stress.

PPP Loan

Many of us thankfully received PPP loans in 2020. These were essential for all the companies I’m dealing with, helping them through a period of emergency. My clients have applied for loan forgiveness, but unless and until this is approved by the SBA, these loans are reflected in the books as a liability and will be recorded as revenue when the forgiveness is approved. I was glad (and relieved) to see that PPP is going to be deemed tax free. That was the initial intent, and I feel Congress made the right decision to stick with that. Also, PPP Round 2 is here. If you qualify, contact your bank, and apply! Here are some details on my resource page.

Bonus: A Professional Development Tip

If you’re looking to start 2021 off on the right foot, I suggest all business owners read the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. This is an extremely helpful book for getting into the proper mindset as a business owner. There is nothing wrong with making a profit—a priority.

Contact me if I can help you in any way. Here’s to starting strong and seeing 2021 be one of your best business years, ever! Cheers!

/jon

Deep Cuts: Have you Restructured Enough?

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There is a saying in the turnaround world that when you cut staff, cut deep and deeper than you think – but only make the cuts once. This approach helps reinforce the morale of the remaining team members, reassuring them that no additional cuts are expected.  I’ve worked with turnarounds for 20+ years and almost every time, we didn’t cut deep enough.  There was always a rationalization as to why we need to keep this person or that person. In the end though, the majority of the time, we wish we’d made the deeper cuts, difficult as they would have been.

With the crazy 2020 economy, all of my clients have restructured in some way.   Business as we knew it changed, and we are all doing things differently than we did a year ago.

But now as we move into the new year, we need to ask the question, “Have we restructured enough?”  When advising clients, I recommend they think from the viewpoint: “If we started this company today, what would we want it to look like?”  Most admit they would want a leaner and stronger team.  Often, there’s a “Sally” who has been there for years but didn’t adapt as the company grew and remains difficult to work with.  Or a “Bob” who was enthusiastic when the company began, but has settled in and coasted for too long now.

My clients often would not have the same systems and processes, either. It’s natural for these to evolve over time. If they don’t, that’s actually concerning. While you don’t have to jump on the latest technology crazes or change a smooth operations procedure frequently, you could be missing out on productivity if you don’t at least stay aware of how you can adapt and take advantage of new tools and ideas.

Now is the time to take a look at staffing, process, and systems, with the new year coming quickly.  If you don’t, you may experience what a business-owner friend did.

He tried to keep things the way they were.  Their business was significantly impacted by the C-19 virus.  He had trouble facing reality.  He told himself, “Things will come back. I want to keep Bob and Jean, I’ll need them.”  He bled through all the excess cash on payroll and rent.  When his cash started to run out he called me.

We looked at his business as if it was a brand new start-up.  Would he need Bob and Jean if he was starting the business today? It was a definite “no.”  He also wouldn’t need his beautiful, but now 3/4 empty office.  He could do 100% remote if necessary.  He was focusing 100% of his time on worry and expense reduction rather than 90% of his time on revenue generation and strengthening his team—key roles for the CEO of a small business.

To be fair, these considerations aren’t easy.  And to his credit, he did the following:

  • He started to work within the 80/20 principle, giving 80% of his effort to the top 20% of priorities for the company.
  • He adopted the 13-Week Cash flow process, and stopped the cash bleed.
  • He gave serious consideration to his business plans and budgets for 2021, even if some decisions wouldn’t be easy.

Things still aren’t perfect for him, but his business is surviving. And these days, a surviving business can almost be considered a thriving one.

How about you? Do you need to make some deep cuts? Do some hard thinking? Make some significant changes? It’s not easy, but being a business owner often isn’t. There are ways to handle these decisions with grace and helping your people adapt or even find new places to spread their wings if your company isn’t the best fit for them anymore. You all may find you come out of this global difficulty a little stronger and better positioned for the future.  Let me know if I can help.

Budget Time – Time to Reflect, Review, Refocus

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It’s budget season.  Time to get your budget process started and formalize your plan for 2021.  (And before you panic and say, But I’m Not an Accountant! remember that all executive leaders need to develop at least a basic understanding of the financial outlook for the companies they own or help to manage to make wise decisions! Use this as an opportunity to learn and enhance your leadership skills.)

It’s also a good time to reflect, review, and re-focus before you actually start crunching numbers.

When I help business owner clients with budgeting, I do the following:

  • Reflect: We take a look back to where they were five years ago (in this case, 2015).
  • Review: We look at the transformation (or not) from 2015 to now and determine where things stand right NOW.
  • Refocus: We look at where they want to be five years from now and tighten our focus on those goals.

The look-back is important to appreciate where we are. The lessons are, yes, painful at times, but are good for us in developing as individuals and successful business owners. The look forward primes us to seize what is ahead and make it count.

This exercise helps us develop goals to move toward the five-year vision. We look at sales and marketing, operations, profitability, working capital, EBITDA, and lifestyle. This helps clarify the vision. It’s a simple, but very effective exercise. This helps us activate our brain’s reticulate activating system to do the right things to move toward that five-year vision.

After the reflect, review, refocus process comes the nuts-and-bolts part–creating the budget.

As you start forming your 2021 budget, use the following as a guide to having the budget finalized by the end of November.

  • Sales Budget: The overall company budget starts with the Sales budget. Look at customers’ sales and gross profit history. Synergistically work with your sales team to develop what is possible for your business. Look at your current customers. Set targets for new customers. Look at your current segments–are there any new segments for 2021? Put your customer data into a size/profitability matrix. If possible consider fully absorbed gross margin (i.e. some customers use more operating expenses than others). Consider allocating variable operating expenses to your cost of goods sold by customers. Understand your average transaction size and number of transactions per customer. Fact: Super-successful companies focus on sales growth more so than expense reduction. Make that your focus too. What are your planned sales by segment by month for 2021? What are your gross margins by month?
  • Production Budget: This depends on what type of business you’re running. The production plan must be able to support the sales plan. For example: Do you need to adjust shipping schedules? Is production driving revenue or is revenue-driving production? Focus on lean, smooth, and efficient processes.
  • Personnel Plan: Plan your organization chart with salary dollars and key responsibilities. Here’s a Personnel Plan (on my resource page) you can use.
  • Operating Expenses: Look at your trailing 12 month-by-month to see any seasonality or sales relationships. Forecast each line item by month and document the assumptions in a summary of significant assumptions document.
  • Interest Expense: Calculate planned debt usage. Ensure all debt on your balance sheet ties out to an amortization schedule. Plan to meet with your bankers to improve your borrowing capacity.
  • Depreciation: Plan your capital expenditure budget. What fixed assets are you buying, when, and how (lease/buy, cash/finance)? Use your fixed asset register to forecast your current depreciation for 2021 and needed fixed asset additions.
  • Cash Flow: Can you make improvements in your DSO or Inventory Turnover to improve cash flow? Your forecasted balance sheet will be driven by your cash flow drivers.
  • Calendar Your Quarterly Accountability: I use a Year-at-a-Glance Calendar and schedule everything: holidays, important dates, vacations, quarterly meetings, etc. It’s a good idea to get this drafted now.

A step-by-step budgeting process preceded by a “Reflect, Review, Refocus” exercise can help you tackle this sometimes intimidating but very necessary project in preparation for the new year. If you need help, contact me!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Discretion or Open-Book: Is There a Better Approach to Culture?

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The culture of a business emanates directly from its primary leader(s)—the business owner, CEO, or leadership team.

In my work with a variety of companies, I help provide an atmosphere for high performance primarily through improving financial and operating plans, performance driver tracking and accountability. Even though I bring in my own system for making these improvements, my framework needs to fit into the overall culture of the company. I also personally choose to not work for businesses that don’t have a positive, trustworthy and “desire-to-improve” culture.  Beyond those core principles though, I find that companies have cultures that vary.

Two distinct cultures I have noticed are what I call “Trustworthy Open Book” cultures and “Trustworthy Discretion” cultures.

The Trustworthy Discretion Culture

One of my longest-running clients sold her business last year (which turned out to be perfect timing.) She’d been very successful running it, and enjoyed the satisfaction of selling it at a premium.  Her approach to culture was “trustworthy discretion.”

She was very protective of the company’s numbers, even with the top leaders.  The company was primarily blue-collar with a strong family culture.  Everyone trusted her as owner to do what was best for everyone.  When she pulled me in to help (which provided the discretion of a third-party non-employee working with the numbers) we were able to double the size of the company.  It grew to roughtly $80mm with strong EBITDA, thus commanding a premium selling price.

The Trustworthy Open-Book Culture

I have another client who has gone to an open-book format. All numbers are discussed with the teams and we hold a monthly all-hands meeting to discuss monthly results whether they be good, bad, or ugly.  Everyone is seeing everything and all oars are in the water rowing the same direction. Sales and profits are at an all-time high.

Does that mean either culture can work? Yes, provided three things are in play:

  1. The top leader/leaders set the bar of being completely trustworthy.  In both examples above, the leaders were trusted. One for how she ran the company, the other for how open he has been about the state of the company.  Both built trusting relationships with the people who work for them.
  2. The culture remains consistent.  Inconsistencies lead to lack of trust, even if they aren’t intentional. If you have an open-book culture, then shift slowly OR suddenly to hiding more and more information, you are going to break trust with your team. Alternatively, if you suddenly open up, your team may take a while to feel comfortable with the approach or even feel unsettled that there are going to be other major changes to navigate.  Whatever you choose, be consistent.
  3.  The approach is relevant to the type of business.  Some industries lend themselves to open-book more easily than others. If you are manufacturing a proprietary product, your discretion with bookkeeping may be crucial, too.  If you are non-profit needing donations, being transparent about what the money goes for—a more open-book approach— may be appropriate.

Culture is dependent on the CEO and the leadership team. Trust, no matter which type of culture you choose, is the KEY.

 

Inspired to Innovate

Don't Believe Everything You Think

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I get inspired and motivated by working with smart, driven business owners every day.  They have been forced to be innovative to drive their companies and be successful in constantly changing unpredictable times.  Working with them forces ME to be innovative too, which I love.

I don’t like to get too comfortable. I believe we need to be constantly improving and developing our capacity.  Don’t believe everything you currently think.  Sometimes we need to think differently and not do things the same way they’ve always been done anymore.

Some business owners get stuck in their growth path. Maybe it’s the obstacles in the path to progress. Sometimes it’s stubbornness or a desire to stick with the comfortable.

Take a typical organizational structure for example.  As companies grow, the typical structure adds management layers – some which are necessary and important.  We are all very familiar, and often comfortable, with the idea of an org chart.  Don’t forget though that these hierarchical organization charts were developed back in the 1800s as a way to handle the now growing, larger organizations developing from the industrial revolution.  We needed to create more production in factories.  We needed supervisors to make sure the workers were doing their jobs. We needed managers to make sure the supervisors were doing their job. We needed the directors to watch the managers, the VP’s to watch the directors, etc.

Today we need different thinking.  Now, we need to trust our employees and help them develop their capacity to act, which helps improve everyone’s capacity. Equipping our employees doesn’t necessarily mean adding more task-work. Now, it’s more about helping them develop their skills so they can make wise productivity choices.  It’s a different way of thinking that also involves helping our employees understand the culture and environment we want for our organizations. What are our core drivers? Who is our real customer? How can each of us be an important part of a synergistic team?*  We want them to be an active part of moving the company forward, not just respond to a list of tasks daily.

Not only is our thinking changing, but our environments are also.  Many of us had to address re-opening our offices – how to layout the office with proper distancing, adapting smaller meeting rooms, spreading out cubes.  Many companies are still questioning the rationale of returning workers to the office full-time.  I know several business leaders who had been very strongly against remote work who were planning to come back to their office as soon as they could.  Now that they see their business working well (some very well) with employees being more productive, collaborative, and happy working remotely, their growth path has shifted and they are intentionally growing their business with remote teams.

As we focus on a strong finish to Q3 in a very strange year, get ready to look at year-to-date results, re-examine your team, and how you’ve adapted in 2020.  The 2HYBP may need to be freshened up for the fourth quarter to finish strong. Be inspired to innovate!

*By the way – here’s a fantastic book on improving your hiring process so you can get the employees that will respond well to growth.  Who, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.

Tips for Communication with Outsourced Pros (including the Human Side)

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All CEOs, business owners, and finance execs (CFOs, VP Finance, and controllers) hire and manage outside experts.  Auditors, lawyers, turnaround consultants, IT consultants, HR experts, sales consultants, business consultants, executive coaches and virtual assistants are just some of the roles being filled by independent contractors.  Our current world is opening the door more and more to this type of “gig economy” and the building of virtual teams, some members of which may not be your employees.

In fact, I’m one of those “outside experts” brought in to improve the company’s overall performance. I’ve also worked with hundreds of experts over the years, and I know the importance of working effectively with independent contractors.  For me, it’s all about setting proper expectations and communication – and in today’s world, both are more important than ever.

Having been on all sides, both being hired and doing the hiring for a wide range of projects, I’ve had mostly good experiences, but also a few bumpy ones.

On the good side, an internal control evaluation project I was managing proceeded extremely well.  The project came in on budget, on time and right on scope.  It was a pleasure working with the expert I hired to help with the project.  He was professional, showed up on time, handled the company’s employees well, and delivered a final product that made me look good.

On the bad side, there have been occasions where the professionals I hired didn’t perform anywhere close to where I expected. In one case, they embarrassed me in front of my client’s leadership team.  Then they gave me a bill that blew my socks of, for an incomplete project not even close to what I expected!

I discovered that the most important element for successful projects is clear communication.  I now ensure I have crystal clear objectives with weekly status meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.  I also continually re-evaluate the situation.  Here are some practical tips to help you navigate your relationship with your outside experts (or manage your relationships with your clients) well:

  1. Start with a clear engagement letter, statement of objectives, or memo of understanding.
  2. Define expectations on all sides so everyone is on the same page.
  3. Conduct a regular review of past, present, future, and future priorities.
  4. Establish a timely invoicing structure. Some outside pros are famous for billing delays which lead to large “lump billings” which can shock a client. (It shouldn’t, but that’s another topic, and even so large billings months later are not best practice.)
  5. Evaluate regularly to make sure the contractor is still adding value, or that you are continuing to add value to the client.  For me, I try to show 10x my fee in better profits for the client. For the virtual executive assistance I contract, we meet almost weekly to discuss objectives and ideas, and she is willing to mention if I’m not making use of a routine service her team is doing for me.  Ensure both sides determine the value and the results and make changes accordingly.

If you’re an outsourced pro, you need to make doing business with you easy and pleasant. You’d want the same from a pro you hire.  Clear expectations and procedures help both sides.

Bonus – since so many of us are working virtually, here are a few additional tips for the human side of communication.

  • Invest time to get to know them your outsourced pro. Start meetings with a bit of chit-chat about how things are in their world.
  • Make them feel part of the team. Ask advice. Include them in team meetings if appropriate.
  • Give feedback on performance – positive or negative, on a regular basis.
  • Understand their other projects. Most outsource pros have more than one client they are serving. Don’t be afraid to show interest and respect to them as a business owner.
  • Pay them market or better – don’t skimp on paying what they’re worth.  You get what you pay for.

You can have extremely successful relationships with outsourced professionals (like me!) if you handle communication intentionally and regularly.

Do you need outsourced CFO help? Contact me!

 

Halftime Report: the Value of Mentoring

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2020 is half over.

For many, it’s a “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” attitude. Filled with so many unexpected, and primarily negative things happening in our country and world, it’s no wonder many of us would like a do-over.  Technically, we DO get a “do-over” multiple times per year. The halfway point of the year (no matter how good or bad it’s been) is a good time to evaluate and reset ourselves in goals, priorities, and values.  Sometimes, it’s particularly helpful to have a mentor involved in that process (or be one.)

I have felt incredibly inspired lately to be able to be a mentor and coach in some capacity to several of my client controllers and finance team members.  It’s our responsibility as leaders and experts to provide a trusting, enthusiastic and continually developing work environment to the new generation.  I’ve enjoyed passing along my experience and ideas to them, hoping to help them avoid mistakes and make decisions with wisdom and trustworthy information.

But you can’t just immediately jump into a mentor/mentee relationship without developing trust. It’s a process that goes both directions – me with them, them with me. It involves doing what you say, being transparent and honest, delivering results, and confronting some harsh realities.  You have to be willing to establish clear expectations and hold each other accountable. Sometimes that involves having difficult conversations.

I have set weekly meetings with several of my key client controllers to insure I set clear expectations for the immediate,  and quarterly meetings to focus more on the long-term.  The quarterly meetings are where we dive deeper and I provide bi-lateral candid feedback, using a simple checklist to help me help them review both theirs—and MY leadership and management.  The process is remarkably effective to build trust and accountabilty. I’m also working on my listening skills so I can better understand the other person’s perspective.

Mentoring and coaching is about leadership and guidance.  I find sometimes the teacher becomes the student and I’m loving it.

How about you? As you make a halftime report to yourself, can you consider getting involved in a mentor/mentee relationship to help you grow in your leadership skills the second half of 2020?

Thoughts on Courage

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I am so inspired by the courage I see every day recently in front-line workers—the doctors, nurses, grocery store checkout clerks, police officers, etc.  I am also in awe of the bravery and courage of our military personnel.  Courage drips off these people.  I also inspired the people I serve and many of my clients who have really stepped up and demonstrated immense courage and leadership.  It seems like a crisis can bring out the best in people.

With business significantly changing and the ‘new reality’ is completely unknown, courage and trust are so needed today. Our staff needs our leadership and support—which especially now, can take incredible courage to step up and provide leadership to drive our companies forward.

Courage is a combination of knowledge, faith, and action.  We need all three—two without the other generally doesn’t work.   A project team with knowledge and faith gather the data—they know it’s going to work—but without action, it’s paralysis by analysis.  We all suffer from this.  We need to have the facts and believe what in what we’re doing, but we need action to bring the goal, project, or initiative to completion.  However, action and faith without knowledge is generally stupid and short-sighted.   And knowledge and action can work together, but if there isn’t faith in the idea or project, it won’t sell well or create enthusiasm among staff and clients/customers.  We need all three to exercise real courage.

Courage is such an important attribute in our business’s success.  Companies are already perishing at an unbelievable rate – 52% of the Fortune 500 from 2000 to today are gone. (Yes, some through acquisition, but many are outright gone.)  Somewhere the balance of knowledge, faith, and action failed.   This a is scary fact, but learning from it gives companies an opportunity to be different and thrive.

What got us here won’t get us there.  We need to continually work for tomorrow developing ourselves and our teams and mustering the ongoing courage to drive our companies forward, try new things, and learn from mistakes.

We all fear change. We’ve been brought up to keep “safe.”  And indeed, we need to practice safety on practical levels, especially now. But like a caterpillar that eventually turns into a butterfly, we cannot stay cocooned in the “safety net” of how we’ve always done things while the world drastically changes around us.

Here’s to the courage we are seeing, and the courage we are trying to muster up. Our companies, our staff, and our world need it.

 

The 13-Week Cash Flow Forecast

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I’ve been harping on using the 13-week cash flow forecast (13WCFF) process for years.  It is one of the basic tools for the turnaround professional to quickly get a handle on the short-term cash needs.   It forces the business owner to run their business based on cash the typical income statement lens.

The typical monthly balance sheet and income statement are not enough to effectively run your business.  I’ve seen many profitable businesses run out of cash – and conversely, I’ve worked with struggling companies that have stayed alive for months allowing them to the runway needed to return to profitability.

Whatever stage your business is in, I highly recommend implementing a 13wcff process now to help in these extremely uncertain times.

The concept is the 13WCF forecasts cash receipts and cash disbursements by week for a 3-month period.   In a turnaround, the 13WCF is updated constantly, but for a typical business, I like to update it weekly so it’s always a rolling 3-month look forward.

With all the current uncertainty it’s more important than ever to use the 13wcf process to better predict your cash position, see any bumps in the road, and help you sleep better at night.

The 13wcf forces businesses to think in terms of cash vs typical GAAP accounting.

I created this short demonstration video on how to use the 13-Week Cash Flow template in my resource section.  It takes some work to get started and discipline stay with it update it weekly, but I guarantee this process with help your business.

I hope this helps.

As always, if you need help, reach out to me.