A clear business strategy is essential. Ideas and visions are important, but an end goal in mind alone isn’t enough. You need a focussed, actionable approach.
Planning for success requires straightforward objectives, detailed forecasting, and a thorough understanding of the steps you need to take. Whether your strategy is for growth, sustained effort or exit, an experienced financial director can help you reach your goal.
Forecasting: preparing for growth
Forecasting allows us to get a clear view of your financial position to define your strategy. We analyse the flow-through of turnover, profits and cash, understanding where changes need to be made to achieve your targets. This helps us to identify areas of success, which can be built on, and problem areas where something needs to be done differently.
Once we’ve highlighted these changes, we decide how best to action them. Action plans are an essential part of growth strategy. Together, we’ll create detailed plans to outline exactly what needs to be done to win more clients, or reduce your costs. For example, knowing you need to increase profits, and thus that you need new customers, doesn’t mean they’ll simply appear. You need an acquisition strategy in place, so we create a task list for finding, securing and retaining these customers.
At times, business owners can be a little hesitant to set high targets at risk of them feeling out of reach. However, at Not Just an FD, I work with clients to break down their end goal into digestible months. Planning in manageable chunks prevents forecasting from feeling overwhelming. We work step-by-step towards achievable, long-term goals.
Exit: planning for success
For many entrepreneurs, business exit is the ultimate goal: a marker of success. However, a successful exit cannot be achieved without a logical strategy in place. This needs to begin early, so it can be actioned effectively.
There are a range of approaches to exit. You may be heading towards a merger or acquisition, looking to liquidate, or hoping for an early retirement. Whatever your goal, you need a strategy to identify how to make the exit a success and to provide you with the funds you need for your future plans. Careful forecasting and clear financial planning ensure that, together, we understand the steps you need to take: why, how, and when.
Recently, I worked with a client to create an exit plan. We established how many new clients were needed, and at what cost, to result in a business ideal for sale at the price the owner wanted to achieve in a realistic time frame.
Experience: understanding strategy
I’ve spent more than two decades in industry and now use that knowledge to advise on delivering sustainable growth for businesses across a broad range of sectors, from micro to multi-million pound organisations. I’m proud to have helped clients understand their finances more clearly. With a sound knowledge of what a company needs, directors can be empowered to make critical decisions and achieve objectives. Practical advice on finance, strategy and management allows for long-term success at reduced risk.
With that invaluable experience comes a strong understanding of the need for a strategy that can be carefully actioned. All too often, I meet business owners with ideas for incredible growth, but no directive as to how to achieve it. Wishful thinking alone is not sensible planning: hope is not a strategy. Instead, with careful forecasting, thorough action plans, and manageable targets, you have a clear strategy for success.