With 2019 winding down, temperatures dropping and even fewer hours of daylight to enjoy, we think there’s no better time to start thinking ahead to your 2020 financial plans. This means financial planning, creating an effective and achievable financial strategy, assessing your marketing strategy and outlining your business goals. At CJM, we have been imploring our friends in Ayrshire and across Scotland’s central belt to join us in our December planning.
Get Ahead of your Competitors
It will be January in no time and we think to beat that early New Year lag, it’s important to gaze back at your performance throughout the year and use that information to carefully plan the coming 12 months. You might think that this is the time to be winding down and relaxing, after all, that’s what all your competitors will be doing.
But while everyone else is gearing up for the festive season and taking their foot off of the gas, it gives your business the opportunity to steal a march on the competition. Even in December, it’s important to not lose focus. You need a strategy that is financially viable, financially sound and well-funded – for all12 months of the year! A financing strategy is integral to an organisation’s strategic plan, no matter the size of your organisation.
Effective Financial Strategy
A financial strategy sets out how the organisation plans to develop its financial sustainability and its overall operations to meet its objectives now and in the future. This could be for the coming 12 months or for the next five years.
There are a few steps you must take when it comes to planning your financial strategy:
Start with your overall company objective.
- In one year, I want to increase sales by 50%
- In two years, we want to have new premises
- We wish to redevelop our marketing strategy.
Each of the above have multiple implications, and each impacts your financial strategy.
You now know where you want to be, what will it take to get there.
- If I am increasing sales, do I need more staff?
- Can I keep the same level of profitability to deliver the new sales targets?
- If I need more staff do, I need additional office furniture and IT.
- New premises start to make you think about:
- The cost of the move
- The design and layout
- Internal refurbishment
How do you fund such an expansion?
To develop your marketing strategy, you need to consider:
- Is this investment in our website
- Do we rebrand
- Do we redevelop our ecommerce site?
- How does the developed marketing relate to the improved sales?
Important Tips on Financial Strategy
- Each decision should be made on solid financial footings
- Look at your current financial situation and then decide is there a funding gap? If there is, then let’s look at what can be done to fill that gap, and to provide future investment.
- Understand what you need funding for.
- Start having funding discussion early
Developing Your Business Plan
So, what better time than now to start developing a detailed Business Plan for the changes you want to see in your business over the coming months and years? This should be integrated into your financial forecasting to better keep track of your spending and help you work out what kind of funding you need for your business.
Financial Advice and Help is Everywhere
Make sure none of the above is done alone. Be sure to include all your staff, stakeholders and management in the planning stages to ensure they are on board with what you are planning. Having each and every member of the team committed to the process is invaluable in an organisation’s growth. Everyone will have differing ideas and expertise, use this, it will work to your advantage.
Best Wishes from CJM
We’d like to wish all our readers, clients, friends and family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We hope your 2019 has been as exciting as ours, see you in 2020!