An incredible product or service and an intense work ethic can carry your business far. But, your business will eventually hit a plateau. If you want to continue growing you are going to need to be more strategic. Many businesses find they need financing to fuel future growth, but their current financial position makes banks and investors nervous. You can improve your financial position and increase your growth opportunities by implementing strategic budgeting and forecasting.
Get Clear on Your Long Term Goals
Before you can begin making meaningful changes your first need a strategy. But, before you can even develop a strategy you need to be clear on your long-term goals. Are you building towards an IPO? Are you angling at being acquired? Do you want to remain a private company, but expand your reach or offerings? There are no wrong goals to have. But, each goal requires a different strategy.
If you try and pursue too many different goals you won’t make any progress on any of them. It is vital that you are clear about your priorities.
Considerations When Developing a Strategy
Once you have a destination in mind, it is time to develop a plan for getting you there. You need a strategy that plays to your strengths, limits your weaknesses, and that has a realistic timetable.
When it comes to strategic budgeting and forecasting you will want to make sure you have someone on your team who is fluent in finance. One attractive option for many companies at this stage is to use part time CFO services. A part time, or virtual, CFO will have the experience and knowledge to help you craft a strategy that will get you off of your current plateau and back into growth mode. Using part time CFO services allows gives you access to the expertise you need at a price you can afford.
When developing your strategy make sure you consider:
- How committed your leadership team is to the success of your plan?
- Does your team have the discipline and expertise to execute the strategy?
- How often will you need to reach milestones to keep everyone motivated?
- Do you have a plan and the bandwidth for making adjustments to the plan as you move forward?
Developing the right strategy is a critical first step, but it is only the first step. Your strategy will be wasted unless you and your team are disciplined in executing the strategy. That might mean making short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. You may need to invest significant resources in developing the infrastructure to improve your forecasting and monitor your strategic implementation.
You and your team also need to have the skills to put the plan into action. Especially during the early stages of a new strategic approach to budgeting and forecasting, it may be helpful to bring in an experienced hand to make sure everything gets moving.
Even if you didn’t use a part time CFO for the strategic planning, you may want a virtual CFO to oversee the execution of the strategy.
If you take the time to develop a solid strategy that is inline with your long term goals, and then faithfully execute that strategy, you will find your business’s financial position is steadily improving and your opportunities for growth are multiplying.