Actionable Steps To Improve Your Business’ s Financial Position

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Business Finances|Actionable Steps To Improve Your Business' s Financial PositionBusinesses have been hit hard in recent times, as the pandemic situation has given many business owners cause to worry about their finances. Not that worry is anything new, of course. The life of an entrepreneur has always been a difficult one, as there are all kinds of other factors that can cause financial worry, including the threat of the competition and the ever-changing marketplace which can leave some businesses struggling.

Chances are, you might be struggling within your business, and your financial position might not be as affluent as you would like. This might be because of the factors we have suggested, or there could be other reasons why your business isn’t as fruitful as it could be.

Of course, it might be that your business is doing just fine. If this is the case, then great! Still, no matter how well your business might be doing, we’re sure you would like to reach further heights of financial nirvana.

So, whatever the case is for you, be you happy or otherwise with your financial situation, here are some of the actionable steps you can take to make improvements.

#1: Assess your current situation

To know how well you are doing, you need to get on top of your accounting. If you have an accountant or any other type of financial adviser, sit down with them to discuss your finances. Do the same if you have people on your payroll that deal with the monetary sides of your business. Together, work out where savings could be made, or where other changes need to be put in place and take the necessary steps to make an improvement to your financial position.

And if you haven’t already, consider cloud ERP solutions for your business. These will give you a clearer picture of your finances, with Business Intelligence tools to help you evaluate every part of the financial side of your business. Using the data before you, it should be possible to get a better understanding of how well your business is doing financially.

When you have assessed your current situation, you will be able to work out the way forwards. The following suggestions might be useful to you, so keep reading.

#2: Assess your marketing tactics

For any business to make a profit, marketing has to be key. The more you can to do to get the word out about your business the better. However, you don’t want to waste money with your marketing efforts. If you are investing a lot but seeing zero or minimal return, then you need to rethink what you are doing. It could be that you are targeting the wrong demographic, for example, or you could be using a marketing method that no longer appeals to customers.

So, here’s what you need to do. Firstly, analyze your marketing tactics. You can do this using analytic tools, so check out the link and put them into practice if you haven’t already. Speak to your team too, and ask them for their opinion, and collect feedback from your existing customers to ask about the relevancy of your marketing.

For those marketing tactics that are working, keep using them. But consider how you might improve on what you are doing, and what tweaks you could make to make these tactics work even better for you. And then think of the marketing tactics you need to ditch. While they may have worked in the past, it is important to remember that time moves on and that you might need to try different ways to engage with potential customers. Check out these digital marketing trends if you haven’t already, and take a deep dive in to work out what might be practical for you.

#3: Sell those things you no longer need

Not only will you make more money if you sell some of your unwanted assets, but you will reduce your storage costs too! So, take a look around your business and consider the items that are no longer relevant to you. You might have surplus desks or pieces of computer equipment, for example. If they aren’t being used, and if they are unlikely to be used in the foreseeable future, it might make sense to sell them. Consider the same for any other items you have lying around your office, or that are filling up space in your storage areas. When you have made money from them, put a portion of that cash into your savings if you don’t need to spend it immediately, as you will then strengthen your financial position in the future.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Business Finances|Actionable Steps To Improve Your Business' s Financial Position#4: Shift your surplus stock

Especially if your business is seasonal, it is important to sell off your surplus stock before you need to get rid of it through less-profitable means. So, mark down your prices and highlight them on your website. Send word out to your customers via email or social media. And if you’re still using leaflet drops to market your business, send the word out door-to-door about your discounted products. You will then make money rather than lose it, and for the short-term at least, you will see a rise in your financial position.

#5: Check for government grants

In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a government grant. If you were to innovate in any way, for example, perhaps with a product or service that could make a difference in people’s lives, you might be able to apply for a grant from your local government. Similarly, if you were to make green improvements to your business, you might also be eligible for some money. It’s with checking, so have a look at for anything you might be eligible for, and continue your research online for other pots of money you might be eligible for.

#6: Deal with your business debts

The longer your business is in debt, the worse off you will be, as you will never have the opportunity to fully spend your profits on things your business needs. So, do what you can to reduce or eliminate the debts that are currently holding your business back. You might want to consider consolidating them, as if you can combine your current debts into one low-interest loan, you will make life much easier for yourself. You might want to contact your lenders too, and ask if they will freeze interest charges to give you a better chance of paying off your debts. You should also pay more than the minimum payment each month, as this way, you will be paying off more of the debt rather than just the interest charges. There are further ideas here on how to manage your business debt, so have a read, and get rid of them as soon as possible.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Business Finances|Actionable Steps To Improve Your Business' s Financial Position#7: Stop spending more than you should be

If you want to improve your financial position (which, of course, you do), you should take a long hard look at your expenses. If you are paying too much in certain areas, stop! There are all kinds of ways to reduce your business expenses, so read the linked article, and start to make those savings. Of course, going beyond your expected expenses, you need to think about frivolous spending too. If you are buying unnecessary things for your business, then you are simply wasting money. Assess your spending, and keep in mind that saving is better than spending when you’re tempted to buy something you shouldn’t.

These are just a few of the steps you should be taking to improve your business’s financial position, so go back through each one, and commit to further research to help you increase your business profits.

We wish you every success with your business!

Just for Entrepreneurs: How to Choose the Right Financial Adviser

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Financial Adviser | Entrepreneurship | Just for Entrepreneurs: How to Choose the Right Financial AdviserWhile most entrepreneurs know their industries well, many are not experts when it comes to money. To help entrepreneurs succeed financially at work and in life, they need both a great CPA and a trustworthy financial adviser. Ideally, with the right people, one firm could serve both roles. It’s possible, in my opinion, to work with two different firms, but coordination is essential to keep critical information from falling through the cracks.

What are the characteristics of the “ideal” adviser? To me, it’s all about trustworthiness, the existence of a solid process, and a holistic approach that considers all aspects of an entrepreneur’s life and business.

Defining “Trustworthiness”

How do you know whether your financial adviser is trustworthy? The perception of trustworthiness is subjective, but to me, it’s more than just likeability. It’s also more than friendship, or a reputation based on a referral from a friend, boss, relative or coworker. By “trustworthy,” I mean an adviser who isn’t considering his or her wallet when offering guidance: a person who always puts the client’s agenda first.

It’s true that some financial advisers are required to place their clients’ interests before their own because of the fiduciary standard established under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. However, that standard only applies to certain types of advisers in specific situations, all of which the layperson is usually unaware. Finding an adviser who is required to meet the standard is one thing; finding an adviser who embraces the standard as a mindset, and who structures fiduciary processes to support the standard, is ideal. Look for an advisory firm accredited by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, or CEFEX. CEFEX-certified firms voluntarily undergo annual audits to verify their adherence to best-interest standards. This is supplemental to regulatory or government oversight.

Why Process Is Important

Your financial well-being is a big-picture scenario. All of the moving parts need to work together, and your adviser needs to be confident that his or her process compensates for blind spots and avoids errors. In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, author Atul Gawande discusses the difference between someone with “aptitude,” (the natural ability of a person to be able to accomplish a certain skillset) vs. “eptitude” (the application of knowledge correctly and consistently). High-performing advisers demonstrate eptitude by having strong processes in place to identify and understand your needs, and monitoring those processes to make needed adjustments. Any adviser should provide a great deal of clarity about what you can expect from the relationship. In addition, he or she should be skilled and confident in connecting your business growth with integrated and holistic wealth management that includes tax, financial and investment strategies.

It’s important to understand that a good process informs strategies, which determine the tactics you and your adviser will take toward your financial well-being. Entrepreneurs know that complexity (and sometimes, chaos!) can be the rule in getting a business off the ground. Having a trustworthy adviser who can guide you through these types of situations will help you sleep better at night.

The Need for a Comprehensive Approach

Entrepreneurs have far different financial situations than those with regular, salaried jobs, yet most advisers provide only investment consulting. Entrepreneurs need more. A financial professional suitable for an entrepreneur should ask such questions as: What was your objective in setting up the company? Was it just to have an exit strategy sale? Was it to provide a service to your clients on an ongoing basis, and then to ensure that continued as your legacy? Do you want to help your employees save for retirement, and how? Who, if anyone, are you grooming to take over your business? How can you minimize the impact of taxes that diminishes your wealth over time?

An adviser who can go beyond investment consulting has to have a very different mindset than the average adviser. The shift is from that of a master-builder, as Gawande describes in The Checklist Manifesto, to a more collaborative mindset. In premodern times, as the great cathedrals of Europe were constructed, the master builder held all of the necessary knowledge in his head and directed huge teams, but the projects were not collaborative. Today, complex large structures involve a team of architects, engineers and others who work together in constant communication. The financial services industry is on the cusp of a similar shift. Instead of working with one “perfect” adviser, entrepreneurs should look for firms with diverse master-builder teams who collaborate with, and on behalf of, the client to find creative solutions that work well for the inherent complexity of entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Choosing the right adviser is well worth the time and effort, even for the busiest entrepreneur. With the right person to watch your financial back, you’ll have the freedom to focus on what really matters to you: your family, your goals, and your company.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Wayne B. Titus III, CPA/PFS, AIFAWayne B. Titus III, CPA/PFS, AIFA founded AMDG Financial and AMDG Business Advisory Services in 2002 based on his 15 years’ experience at two large accounting firms working with Fortune 50 clients. He dove into entrepreneurship to make a bigger impact on people’s lives. As a fee-only fiduciary adviser, his loyalty is to his clients: he places their interests ahead of his own or his firm’s. With assets of more than $150 million, AMDG Financial integrates tax, financial and investment strategies to help clients make financial and life transitions successful on purpose. The company’s credo is, “From financial wisdom, better stewardship.” His latest book is The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Financial Well-Being (Lioncrest Publishing, March 2019). To learn more, visit