How does a professional like me transform a conversation about business financials into something that’s actually interesting?
Look, even I know that no business owner wants to sit down and talk about “Gross Revenue.” You’re probably no different. You don’t want to talk about numbers. Well, guess what? You might be surprised to learn I don’t want to talk about numbers either! At least not in an exclusive way that isn’t tied to doing what you love to do.
Instead, I’m all about understanding your story. Tell me about the latest celebrations you’ve had at your company. What are the wins and how did they happen? Where do you want to take the business from here?
There’s a reason why I want to learn more about where you’ve been and where you’re going. By hearing the latest version of your story, I’m going to begin to pull out some financial pieces worth examining further. I’m listening for a variety of things, from frustrations with processes to pain in how your team is communicating.
See, you can’t look at your business financials as though they’re on an island. It may not seem obvious right now, but those numbers have a real connection to the story your business is telling in regards to your process, your tools, your team and your reporting.
With this in mind, we’ll evaluate the following core areas that can have a direct impact on your business financials:
- PROCESS: What is happening in your business that is impacted by issues within your process? For that matter, do you even have a concrete process?
- TOOLS: What type of digital tools are you currently using to understand your business financials? What new tools do we need to bring in to customize to your business’ situation and help you accomplish what you need?
- TEAM: How is your financial team currently set up? What do the relationships on your team look like? Is the communication healthy or not? What are the associated costs with each team member?
- REPORTING: What is important and insightful for you to know about your business? Instead of just looking at endless amounts of data, what data is the most valuable for you to understand in relation to your goals?
Let’s take a look at some business examples we’ve worked with at Officeheads to understand what their story told us at the time and how we connected that story to their business financials.
This start-up was, well a startup. Being so young they were in bit of a mess. If you were to ask them for financial information, they could share a bunch of contracts but had little else to show. If they wanted to be prepared for potential audits, they needed a lot more than that.
Clearly, the Process and Reporting aspect of the client’s business had to expand beyond a focus on getting paid by clients. Officeheads worked closely with them to teach them how to look through the lens of solid financial management and truly understand the entire funnel of how dollars were flowing into their business.
With better, more disciplined reporting, the company was able to create a strategy every single month and grow out of startup mode.
“We realized we couldn’t run our company by the seat of our pants any more. It was time for us to put on our big girl pants.”
Sometimes companies feel like they never have enough money in the bank. However, in this case, our client felt like they always had enough – and that was actually causing a problem. Because they were in a constant state of profit, they’d hardly done any strategic planning.
Now, this was a client comprised of artists and it’s admittedly not easy to get artists excited about numbers. So how did Officeheads do it?
First, we built them a financial engine that gave them better insight on the performance of several areas of their business through strong reporting. The client wanted to impress their investors and become our most dedicated students so we created a financial bootcamp for two months during the summer.
Along the way, we didn’t use any of the scary accounting words that so many CPAs tend to use. Instead, we chose to use language pertaining to money coming in and money they had to spend. If they could operate frugally and achieve a profit, we talked about how they were going to celebrate with that money and use it to build a larger business. Before long, they realized that having a financial conversation wasn’t hard, shouldn’t give them anxiety and was nothing they should feel stupid over. As a result, they actually looked forward to learning more.
The story that people tell themselves when it comes to their financials is rarely a positive one. They have a ton of fear or shame. They talk about the things that aren’t happening in their favor, like cash flow issues. Or they wonder if they’ll ever be able to find someone who can do their books and file their taxes, which can be painful and difficult.
If you find yourself in that situation, it’s time you have a conversation with our team at Officeheads. Forget the fear. Let’s talk about the good things going on in your business so we can align a system and process to the things you like to do. Don’t just focus on finding help with bookkeeping – focus on how great it’s going to be to have a bookkeeper who can help you implement your vision and run your business more efficiently!
In doing so, we can help you only think differently about your business financials. We can give you the inspiration to think about your business in a way you may never have considered before. Let’s rescue those business financials from the island you’ve left them on, and let’s do it together. Call Officeheads today at 847.866.8877.