Don't take any more financial decisions without one of these

24th June 2020

I’m very interested in technology, so I find it hard to understand when my friends are not…

But that is definitely the case with one of my oldest friends, “George”. He has no inner geek!

But George is also a business owner, and although his company is not in the tech sector, it does rely heavily on its IT to run smoothly.

A while back, George told me that this was something he used to ignore – leaving it to his team to handle – because he wasn’t interested in it at all.

But one day he had an epiphany.

He realised that many of his business goals were tied in with having the right technology in place, and that by tuning out, it was harder to run his business properly.

He decided to master this area…

…Which didn’t mean learning IT or even really understanding it (he still wasn’t that interested!).

But it did mean forming a much closer relationship with his IT supplier.

Just by talking to them a lot more about what his business needed from its IT – and hearing, without getting too techy, what might be possible – he gained a lot more control over tech matters.

Nowadays, he’s able to take tech into consideration when thinking about the development of his business.  The relationship of trust with his IT partner makes it all possible.

George’s technological mind-set shift is exactly what so many business owners need to go through regarding their finances.

All too often, this is an area where business owners abdicate responsibility, either because the numbers in their business just don’t interest them, or because they don’t really understand them.

They would probably never say this out loud, but internally they tell themselves that they’re so busy - “I just don’t have the time to worry about the numbers”.

Or they think it’s not something they have to pay attention to, because they have an accountant

Or that as long as they’re keeping their clients happy, the numbers will take care of themselves.

But ignoring the financial side of their business comes at great cost.

Even at the best of times, it’s difficult to make the best decisions for your business without understanding your financial position in depth.

I mean, imagine trying to decide which product lines to invest in without having complete clarity about which are most profitable

Or deciding whether to hire new staff without properly understanding how much money you’re likely to have in your account next week, next month and next quarter.

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

But right now, in the midst of an economic crisis, it’s downright dangerous.

You need every piece of financial information you can get your hands on to inform your decisions.

Otherwise, you are shooting in the dark. And not only does that feel terrible (like you’re taking a gamble with each decision)…

…But it’s an exceptionally difficult way to navigate a business through a recession and possibly another wave of Coronavirus.

Now, I’m not going to suggest you get to work trawling through your numbers…

Chances are, you’re never going to be that interested!

But I am going to suggest that you follow George’s IT epiphany.

First, recognise that this is an area you cannot afford to neglect, because there is a strategic cost to your company (and to you personally, trying to do your best without enough information).

Take an executive decision: You’re going to take more ownership of this area!

It involves a mind-set shift…

…Accepting that getting the numbers right is key to managing and growing your business – and so this isn’t something that you can completely leave to others. You need this, to do your job well!

And second, find a partner who you can trust to manage your numbers on your behalf…

Someone (or a group of people) who you can talk to about the strategic needs of your business – where you want to take it, how you need it to perform….

And who can give you relevant, useful information about your numbers, which helps you decide on the right course of action.

Again – You do not need to get knee-keep into the numbers yourself, any more than George needed to learn about the cloud!

But you do need that trusted relationship with a finance manager, who understands your numbers on your behalf and can talk strategy with you on an equal basis.

That’s the role we play for our clients.

We help companies turning over £1 million+ professionalise their financial management.

A large part of that is working with you as founder or CEO, to ensure that you have all the financial information you need to make good decisions – and that you understand that information, too (not just hand over confusing spreadsheets….).

Wouldn’t that be a relief – especially right now, when so much is at stake with every decision?

Wouldn’t you feel so much more confident about your leadership and the direction in which you’re taking your company, working off real numbers – not gut feeling?

If the answers to these questions are “yes!” and “yes!”, then it’s time we talked.

Just click here to get in touch with me today, or call us on 01279 647447.

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