3 key ingredients to help you achieve your financial goals
If you are like many business owners just thinking about facts and figures, or more specifically your financials, can send you running in the other direction. Or are you one of the few that actually enjoys looking at your numbers, well at least when they’re looking good?
Numbers in a business are like the dashboard in your car, you can’t run your business without them, the same way you can’t drive a car without the dashboard to tell you how fast you’re going, how much fuel you have in the tank and a number of other relevant and important facts about your drive.
It amazes me just how many business owners run their business as though they are driving a car with no dashboard, never actually looking at any of the key numbers day to day. The numbers are your friend in business, they measure whether you’re doing well or not.
What would your dream financial goals look like?
The first step to understanding and measuring your numbers is to set goals around what you want your business numbers to look like, and there are various ways to do this. One of the easiest ways for those who’ve been in business for a number of years is to take last years’ numbers and add a modest increase. That’s fine if you’re happy with your current results and aren’t looking to do better, to improve the numbers, grow the business or make more profit.
The better way to set goals is to allow your dreams of what you want the business to look like to come into your mind. Write those dreams down, identify what the business will look and feel like, who are your customers or clients, what will you be selling (it may be what you’re selling now, or it may be different), where is the business located, how many team members are there and so on.
Then start to think about what you want to achieve personally. What level of income would you like to be earning, what costs do you currently have, what costs might you have in the future to run your home and family.
When you have these identified, only then can you realistically start identifying your financial goals. Your dream business may take time to achieve and you may need to work backwards from the future to identify what your next 12 months’ goals will be.
Who is holding you accountable to your financial goals?
Successful people, whether sportspeople, politicians or business owners will tell you that they’ve had coaches, mentors and other support people around them who have helped them achieve their success.
These people have provided accountability that has resulted in the success. For your business to be truly successful and achieve your dreams, you will need to find an advisor, a mentor or at the very minimum a buddy to hold you accountable to your goals.
Depending on your level of knowledge of the numbers, your accountability person may need to be someone with extensive accounting background, or you may need to find someone who is a key player in your industry who has a wealth of knowledge they could impart to you as part of your accountability sessions.
At the very least, find someone who will hold you accountable to doing what you say you will do each month to get you to your goals. I’ve rarely seen this work well though when the person is a close friend or family member.
The best type of person is someone who has experience, who is prepared to encourage you to achieve your goals and who will have your best interests at heart.
Are you treating your financial goals as a top priority?
Once you’ve got your accountability person identified, get out both your calendars and book in your appointments for the next 12 months.
These appointments must be treated just the same as your best customer or clients’ appointment. You cannot cancel it, you cannot postpone it (without a very good reason to do so and then only by 2 days at the most) and you must be prepared with your scorecard report ready before the meeting.
Having a good accountability mentor is an important ingredient to business success. One of the other important ingredients is telling your team, your customers or clients and other key stakeholders in the business about your dreams for the future.
It is when they know about your plans for the future that they will be motivated to join your journey and make decisions that will help you to achieve your dreams.
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About the contributor:
Amanda Fisher fuses accounting and technology to help improve business. Amanda’s mission in life is to educate business owners on how to understand and interpret their business numbers to make informed decisions. She shares that knowledge in a fun and inspiring manner. Amanda’s easy to understand style has enabled her clients to come to grips with the numbers and use them to improve cashflow, profits and their take home.