Financial planning is a mission critical task to launching and maintaining a successful company. It isn’t the sort of requirement that a manager or business owner can push back from or finish in a single afternoon. It is an ongoing process that must evolve as the company does. Owners often have stories about months or even years of preparation aligning funds through loan applications, non-profit grants, or investor capital before creating presentations for potential stakeholders.
Creating a successful financial plan for a small business must be broken down into various stages because each category requires different amounts of capital. Further, some funding resources may qualify for one aspect of a business while others have use restrictions applied to their use. It is also critical to have solid Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs) in place before you begin to use these accounts to avoid introducing any impropriety into your business practices.
Adopt an attitude of strategic planning
As you begin to develop your business’s financial plan, here are some of the categories you will need to plan for:
- Marketing: eCommerce, website, and online marketing
- Office furniture and supplies
- Technology: including PCs, tablets, laptops, mobile devices, and specialized software
- Industrial Equipment
- HR and Recruiting
- Employee Benefits Planning: including 401(k) Plan Sponsorship, stock options, healthcare, and other employee services
If you don’t take on the tasks one category at a time, you risk losing focus or omitting key details which will invariably need to be expensed. It also helps, of course, to draft a plan with a consultant or area specialist on topics you aren’t as well-versed in to avoid overlooking details. A strategic planner will have the expertise that can guide you through the entire process.
What you do not want is to underbudget your financing needs as your company is getting off the ground. It’s imperative that you have developed a smart plan to get your business through the upstart period of non-profitability.
Consider strategic partnerships
If you know of other businesses that can deliver one of your products or services more efficiently or more affordably, than you can be open to the partnering concept. You want, more than anything, repeat business and an excellent customer experience to keep them coming back, especially in the early years. Reciprocity through formal contract agreements can create economies of scale within your operations even from an outside source, such as a competitor.
Good employee experience is key
Everyone needs to be fairly compensated for their contributions to your business. And over time, top contributors will be rewarded for quality work and dedication. Without question, they need the option to contribute earnings into a 401(k)-retirement account. Only you know whether you can budget to provide a matching benefit for your staff. However, in the very least, hire a retirement plan consultant to set everything up and roll out a program that managers and employees and get enthusiastic about.
Open communication can lead to higher productivity
- In any new or growing business, miscommunications happen, and things can go wrong. Heated workplace arguments or unverbalized anger are common. When people work long hours or they have families but are still putting in the time, they especially need a channel to express frustrations when they arise. It’s vital that employees should not work in fear of communicating with their managers, and that there is always available means of effective conflict resolution.
- There are many different approaches that managers can take to “check in” with their employees. Monthly meetings that aren’t only about performance, clients, and work are a great place to start. Fun, offsite games and events have also gotten more popular. Consider adding some company-sponsored events as an expense item in your budget.
- A new company should want to avoid gaining a reputation for churn and burn. Even if the 10- or 12-hour workday arises, most employees don’t become disgruntled if the work environment is pleasant or non-toxic. Remember that working professionals do share their stories with others and with networking resources such as GlassDoor. It’s good to put in the effort and the funds to show appreciation to your team.
- Create a job incentive, then get a consultant or HR specialist who is experienced in office environments that make employees want to stay.
The right consultant can help bring your company to life
Seeking outside consultation from financial specialists is always reasonable when you are putting together a business plan, especially if you are new business owner, or if your company is scaling from small to medium-sized and you want to ensure that your company’s finances evolve appropriately. Professionals at a firm like SD Mayer can sit down with you and help you tailor a step-by-step plan for your company. We also have a wealth of additional materials and resources including seminars, ebooks, and podcasts to help you stay informed and confident in every financial decision you make on behalf of your business.
Whether you’re an experienced investor, busy small business owner, or just getting started SD Mayer has the expertise you need to succeed. We tailor our strategies to your needs, and help you build a bright future—for you and everyone that depends on you.