When you first start your business, it’s important to “follow your gut” because you don’t have any track record and your numbers don’t point anywhere. Your “gut” is your true north. In the fog and confusion of a start-up, you need something “steady” to hold onto, and your gut instinct is as close as we get to a North Star.
As your business starts to grow but is still small, you see every invoice, you sign every check; you are likely able to continue to assimilate all the data in your business just because you see every data point. You don’t need fancy spreadsheets; your gut is still pretty well educated because you know every data point.
As your business grows, it gets harder, by the time you have reached to 10 or so employees, maybe $1M – $1.5M or so in sales, keeping it in your head isn’t even an option anymore. You can’t see every transaction anymore. There’s much more information, and it’s much more confusing. Your internal “sense” for how long things take and how much things costs is calibrated in the past when things were smaller and more straightforward. You can’t hold it all in your head anymore like you used to. You need to start aggregating all that data — not in your brain or your gut, but on paper before you get to that point!
That’s when budgets and forecasts start to be valuable.
If your business has grown to a point where you can’t keep it all in your head, and you’re scared that your “gut” might not be enough, then it’s time to lean into your analytical side and dig into the numbers to get your answers.
The problem is that many business owners are not analysts with a long background of digging into numbers to find answers to their questions. Some business owners break out in hives just thinking about data analytics, so even when I give you my magic budget spreadsheet it just gives you a headache!
If that’s you, you need to get some help.
When your budget is all set up you don’t have to spend hours working on it — your bookkeeper can spend an hour every month keeping it up to date and then you’ll have the information that you need to make solid decisions in your business without spending a lot of time “crunching numbers.” For this to work your numbers need to be up-to-date and accurately entered; you likely need a professional bookkeeper to help you keep up.
Once you have clean numbers that are kept up to date, then your business advisor can help you find the 3 – 5 key numbers that you have to monitor to make sure your business is on the right track. With those numbers in hand, you have fewer nights when you are awake worrying at midnight because a quick look at your dashboard tells you that all the lights are green and go back to sleep.
Instead of being in the terrible situation where your bookkeeper tells you the day before payroll hits that you’re short on cash to make and need to find an extra ten or twenty grand – you can see those things coming and take action before the crisis is upon you! Best of all when you want to go on vacation, you will know you have the cash to do it, AND you don’t have to check-in every day. That same dashboard can give you peace of mind that everything’s OK.
When you have a clear view of the numbers in your business, you can move with much more confidence.
You know what the next few months are going to look like and when it goes like you planned that’s a fantastic feeling. When something unexpected comes up, you can make a plan and see the effect of that plan before it happens. You know how “bad” it’s going to get, or how long it’s going to take to recover.
I don’t know how to run a business without a budget, but I don’t look at it more often than once a month. When I need to make a big decision, or if something is happening in the marketplace that has me nervous, my budget the first place I go. It helps me to see the future!
I want you to have this same peace of mind
If you are that person who gets a rash thinking about spreadsheets, or you guess about what’s going on in your business, it’s time to get someone from the outside to help you build a map, a crystal ball, that will help you get back in control again.
The first step is as easy as booking a 1-hour consultation where we can find out if my spreadsheet, or anyone’s spreadsheet, is what you need. We can answer all your questions.
While I do charge for these consultations, if, at the end our time together, you don’t find that you got at least 2X the value of what I charge I’ll give you your money back no questions asked. There’s nothing at risk; if you aren’t 100% satisfied with our work together, it doesn’t cost you anything.
Is it time to figure out how to predict the future for your business? What would that peace of mind be worth to you? What would you pay for a worry-free vacation? Fewer worries in the middle of the night? More certainty about your income?
Let’s clear the fog and give you a vision for where your business is going. You don’t have to guess anymore. Let’s work on this together.