Brace yourself, the 2019 budgeting and business planning season is here. If you have regained your composure, it’s not all bad news. We know how busy small business owners are day in, day out. We also know that flying by the seat of your pants seems easier than taking time to budget income and expenses, staffing, capital expenditures and cash flow. The 2019 budgeting and planning season is here, but there is great advantage to get more professional and let us help.

Business planning is an exercise that isn’t supposed to be a once a year marathon of generating spreadsheets, gather binders of information and burying one’s head in the sand to avoid it. There are some key things to consider that can make the process easier and almost automated. There are formal and not so formal business plans, so you might want to take a look at this article to help determine how you would like to proceed.

Wait a minute, of course much of this can be automated.

Typical Business Planning

There isn’t anything mysterious about scheduling a business planning session and getting your business plan together for the coming fiscal year. A business plan is nothing more than a written futuristic viewpoint in your mind’s eye as to how you’d like to see the business operate that might be different than the current year.

What activities do you plan to implement and when, how, and why next year is a part of the plan that most small business owners do not take the time to jot down. They just go about their day hoping things turn out well enough to pay the bills, bring home enough cash to support the family, and hopefully put a little away for hard times or retirement.

If you find a quiet spot on a weekend and think of how you’d like to see your business evolve positively from point A, where you are today, to point B, where you’d like to be positioned. Then jot down the steps it will take to make it happen. If your action steps are succinct enough and coordinated properly, your team won’t have any difficulty putting the action steps into play. And, like John Luke Piccard, you can merely move your hand and proclaim, “Make it So.” Just don’t forget to inspect what you expect.

But let’s get back to the core of the issue. Business planning is a guidebook to the future one step at a time. If you can take a day or two to consider every aspect of your business and how it can be improved, and document it, then you are on your way to a better year.

Cash Flow Management

Did you know there is a simple way to manage cash flow with a simple document? Yep, a 6-week cash flow planning sheet can easily lay out where you are at any given time with cash availability and needs. There are automated methods that can provide up-to-the-minute reporting, but if you are not automated, now might be the time. Simply start with your bank balance, chart the income and expenses for the next 6 weeks, and see what the forecast will be, and what might be done to ensure you have sufficient cash on hand to cover expenses.

Budgeting Year Over Year

With actual performance being documented on a digital document such as Google Sheets, adding another line with a year over year calculation of plus 5% or 3% or whatever you feel is reasonable, you can let automation take care of next years pre-budget worksheet one month at a time. At the end of the fiscal year, all you need to do then is to consider market conditions that may be different than they were at the first month’s posting. A lot can happen over the course of 12 months, so it’s always a good idea to make some notes every month-end to help as a reminder what was great or not so great during the reporting period.

Formal Business Planning

Don’t confuse everything said thus far to be for crafting a formal business plan. Business plans that are specifically designed to seek funding, preparing for massive growth and therefore taking on investors, or getting ready to transfer the ownership of your business. That’s an entirely different color horse.

You can find a great amount of help online regarding formal business plans, but start with your CPA first. Bond Andiola, and firms like us have the expertise to prepare succession planning, ready the firm and its officers for possible mergers, or transfer of ownership through sale.

If you are freaking out about the upcoming business plan and budgeting season, don’t. We’re confident we can get everything pulled together from your existing account file and make the process pain-free. If you are reading this and are looking for help and guidance, feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion about your needs and our ability to be a source.

Until then, have a great fourth quarter.

What Is Your Reason For Procrastinating?

Why wait any longer? Bond Andiola & Co. would like to take this opportunity to invite you to meet with them and get unbiased and professional business planning support. The initial consultation is free, and you’ll take away valuable planning advice as well as insights that will help your organization become more efficient.

From taking advantage of accounting automation, to leveraging the cloud, the experts at Bond Andiola & Co. are adept at helping companies in nearly any industry, regardless of their size.

Use the form here, tell us a little about your company, and we’ll call you to schedule the initial consultation shortly.

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