Business owners’ common frustrations

Have you ever felt like:

  • You’re working too hard, and too many hours?

  • Your business isn’t growing fast enough?

  • You’re not making enough money?

  • Your business isn’t as fun as it used to be?

If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Business is hard. And for small business owners, it can be lonely.

It’s hard whether you’re just starting out, or have an established business.

Just consider these facts:

  • According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 40 percent of new small businesses fail within 2 years. That’s an alarming failure rate amongst startup businesses.

  • The SBA also reports that 60 percent of small businesses that fail are profitable when they fail. By the time most businesses realize they are in trouble, it is often too late to get help. The business can be too upside-down for a lending institution or investor to take the risk.

  • On a positive note, businesses that actively plan—meaning they plan and measure against the plan—grow 30 percent faster. A comprehensive research study by Cranfield University, “Do Business Plans Add Value?” discovered businesses that actively plan grow 30 percent faster.

Let’s consider some of the reasons for these alarming statistics.

The reasons so many small businesses fail

  • A confusion between profits and cash, and delaying tracking cash until it’s a critical problem—small business startups are prone to simply running out of cash

  • An inability to build a profitable business model with an understanding of revenue, expense drivers, and product margin

  • Failure to create and communicate concise value propositions in a clear and compelling way

  • No real differentiation in the market, which makes price the only competitive advantage

  • Emotional pricing instead of strategic pricing; reacting to gut feel and emotion rather than data

  • Not communicating with customers to understand their needs, leading to a lack of understanding of the market

  • Lack of strategic business planning

  • Rapid expansion leading to over spending and running out of cash

  • A lack of systems and processes for operations, as well as sales and marketing (both are important)

It doesn’t get any easier after five years. Growth brings opportunity, but also a new set of problems to tackle.

The challenges facing the established business

Businesses that have been established for five or more years have typically gone through an initial high growth phase, but without strategic planning, they can start to stagnate.

Some of the common problems we find include:

  • Constant cash flow issues due to the demands of high overhead and working capital needs

  • Slow growth and lack of strategies to grow sales

  • Downward pressure on price and margins

  • Working harder without seeing results

  • Consistently falling short of profit targets

More than tax planning

Tax planning alone will not help a business grow and realize better profit and margins. Tax planning is critical to help minimize taxes, but does not help build strategic programs to grow a business.

Real business growth—growth that leads to increased valuation—comes from increasing revenues, gross margin, and net profit.

So, what is the solution?

The solution is strategy: Lean Planning, forecasting, budgeting, and planning for cash flow needs.

However, this can be frustrating work, for reasons such as:

  • Financial statements are hard to read and interpret—they don’t seem like business management tools. Business owners often tell us, “I know my business. I don’t understand how the numbers can help me make better decisions.”

  • It’s hard to make spending decisions, or business growth decisions. Business owners tell us that it “feels like trial and error.”

  • You know your accountant has the information, but it’s hard to know what questions you need to ask to access that information.

  • Planning seems like a good idea, but “I don’t know how to do it in a way that will help my business.”

  • “I know I need to set goals and monitor progress, but I don’t know how, and I don’t have time.”

  • “I need a lender-ready business plan, but I don’t know what format to use.”

The answer is to revisit your strategy, your reason for being in business, and what you want to achieve.

Our LivePlan growth programs will help you identify what you want to achieve and how to get there. We work with you to create a roadmap that gives you a clear picture of how to build the business you want.

This service is for business owners who want to get better results. Some of the key work we will do for your business:

  • Produce up-to-date business management information, which will help you understand exactly what your current situation

  • Analyze financial trends, to help you make better business decisions and improve your profits.

  • Conduct regular review meetings. We’ll even attend your board meetings if needed, as a resource you can call upon for business advice, acting as a facilitator or sounding board for your ideas.

  • Help you to set and achieve business, and even personal, goals. After all, your small business is part of your life. The goals between them are intertwined!

  • Help you to identify and tackle the major challenges facing your business. This can seem broad, but qualified analysis can identify problem areas.

Get Started

We know that everyone is different. Your business is unique. We provide you with a range of options to let you choose the package that best meets your needs.

For each package, we offer a fixed price so you can budget and plan. And each of those packages can be customized so that you get exactly what you want.

In other words, you’re in complete control and can build the LivePlan growth program that best meets your needs and budget.

Download our advisory services brochure for more information; packages start at $130 a month.

 
 
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Certified liveplan advisor

LivePlan is a forecasting and reporting tool used to breakdown your numbers. We use this powerful asset is used in partnership with QuickBooks to provide accurate and constantly evolving numbers.

 
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let us help you

LivePlan is a very helpful tool that we will customize to strengthen your business. We recommend all our Bookkeeping clients to utilize this service to track the progress of your services. We will be there every step of the way to ensure this program works for you and your business.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact Every Penny Accounts today.