Tips for building a business and investing: BusinessWise
Question: Do you have any advice for business owners looking to invest and grow their business?
A: As CPAs and business owners, we understand the risks of running an organization. However, successful business leaders are always on the lookout for opportunities in good and difficult times. They will often use “fear” as a competitive advantage.
In our experience as business advocates and advisors to many successful entrepreneurs, a common attribute they share is their positive attitude. These leaders have the passion and the persistence to make their dreams come true, even when the going looks bleak. They are optimistic about life, both professional and personal, and when faced with challenges, they make plans to overcome any obstacles that may stand in their way.
The most successful business leaders surround themselves with like-minded people. They don’t work in a vacuum. Instead, they seek out best practices and engage others in the conversation. They work with key employees and advisors to develop strategies (short and long term) that will lead the business to the success they want to achieve. Then they create an action plan to achieve those goals, which should include metrics to measure progress and hold people accountable.
It is essential that you, the business owner, believe in yourself and your business. Others in your organization will follow your lead. Your enthusiasm and confidence will become contagious with everyone who comes into contact with your business, whether they are your employees, customers or suppliers.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of developing the right attitude for success, there are several other factors that will help you grow your business:
- Knowledge matters. Having the financial knowledge to understand and use your financial statements as a tool for managing your business is essential. The old adage rings true: “Money is king”, especially when it comes to the financial management of a growing business. While many people focus on the income statement in determining the health of a business, it is just as important to understand the balance sheet, which represents the assets, liabilities, and net worth of your organization. You don’t need an MBA to analyze your data, but it is important to have a CPA, mentor, business partner, or good financial advisor who can help you analyze the financial health of your organization and develop strategies to make your business more profitable and stronger. .
- Advisory groups. Formal or informal advisory groups such as a board of advisers or even a CEO roundtable can allow you to tap into expertise that you do not yet have. Other business owners can come up with marketing strategies, supplier management, and even provide referrals.
- Business is business. Small businesses come together and can feel like family at times, which is why many business owners struggle with the human capital side of their organizations. If you have human issues, it may be because some of your employees don’t share your core business values. You can have individuals in the “wrong place” in that they are not able to fill the most important roles in their position. You simply cannot keep people around if they are destroying your company culture by not presenting the organization’s core values, or if they are not able to fulfill their role in the company. Maintain a strong work ethic and don’t compromise on core values. Stick to your goal.
- Hire creatively. If you are considering an expansion but don’t want to add full-time staff due to economic uncertainty, consider bringing in independent contractors or temporary employees instead of hiring permanent employees.
- Embrace technology. Leveraging technology can be crucial for successful small business owners. Find ways to become more efficient and effective using technology. Leveraging innovation and using it to your advantage can help you stay ahead of your competition.
- Search for best practices. Be prepared to learn how other owners run their businesses and how these strategies could improve your business. You can also learn from the mistakes of others.
- Forward thinking. Be aware of trends in your industry and any adjustments you may need to make to stay or become more competitive. Both short and long term planning is essential. Futuristic thinking will not only set you apart, but also put you in a much better position to consider your trading decisions and options ahead of time.
Be proactive and take the initiative to grow your business. See the current state of our economy as an opportunity to move forward. Things don’t always go as planned and will change over time. However, as a small business, you have the flexibility to adapt to these changes more quickly.
Crystal Faulkner is a Cincinnati Market Leader with MCM CPAs & Advisors, a CPA and Consulting Firm providing expert advice and beyond thinking for today’s public and private businesses large and small. , non-profit organizations, government entities and individuals. Tom Cooney works at Wealth Dimensions, an investment advisory firm. For more information, call 513-768-6796 or visit online at mcmcpa.com. You can listen to Tom and Crystal daily on WMKV and WLHS on “BusinessWise,” a morning and afternoon radio show that features successful people, businesses, organizations and issues from across our region.