Taking The Family Business Finances To A New Level

November 4, 2014 5:52 pm Published by

You’ve started a business.  You and your family work hard to keep it afloat.  But what happens when the finances just aren’t what you want them to be?  Breaking even is your first goal, but breaking even doesn’t provide for additional bonuses and saving or investing for the future.  So what now? What do you need to do to get to the next level?

1. Identify what’s working well.

Think about every area of the business.  And we mean everything: customer experience, employee morale, products and services, marketing, bookkeeping, location, and anything else you can think of.  And consider how well each area performs.  If you know what areas are working well, you can keep doing what you’re doing in those areas.  It never hurts to take a brief survey of the systems and processes, just to see if it can be better, but at this stage in your business that doesn’t need to be your priority.

2. Identify what’s not working well, and start making changes

If you’ve been able to take stock of what looks good, then you should be able to see what doesn’t look good.  And those areas of your family business need work. You might want to consider a process like this:

  1. Have a family business meeting to discuss these areas
  2. Brainstorm ideas for improvement
  3. Prioritise the areas that you want to start improving first
  4. Distribute responsibilities so that no one person is too overwhelmed
  5. Set goals
  6. Take baby steps and make changes
  7. Establish accountability to stay on track

3. Communicate regularly

It doesn’t help to create a plan and assign roles and establish accountability, if you lose steam after a few weeks or months.  Communicate regularly to any board or advisor that has a vested interest in your business.  That will help you keep on track and advance your business.

4. Reevaluate

There are two times at which you may want to reevaluate.  First, if you feel like you’re not getting traction with one of your plans, you will want to explore why that is.  Perhaps you prioritised an area that should have been left till later. Or perhaps some of the steps you are taking are actually competing with other areas of the business.  Take time to consider why something isn’t progressing the way you intended for it to, and make the tough decisions to adjust your approach or to set that particular effort aside altogether.

The second time is after a predetermined time has passed.  If you set goals for one year away, you need to reevaluate as you approach the one year mark. If your goals are monthly, you should meet after a few months to make sure it’s working – and if not, reevaluate the plan.  At minimum, you should meet annually to go over your business development and growth anyway. And as life throws curve balls, the economy changes, and families grow, you’ll want to reevaluate your business on at least an annual basis.

Putting together an approach like this can help you take your business to the next level.  To make it a smooth process, consider getting help from someone like us.  Our expertise can help you work through your strategic plan, your business goals, and even your family business finances.

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This post was written by M3evolve