“There is an excitement with new beginnings. Everything is fresh and fun. Creativity abounds. There is hope for what will be.”
When it comes to business this can be the beginning of the business itself or it can be the launch of a new program, new service, division, location or even a new marketing campaign. It is at this stage that I see a lot of people miss this crucial first step. They are clear where they want to go, they may have brought in tools and training that they feel will be necessary in order to get there but they have not yet become crystal clear on where they are. Having a firm knowledge and understanding of your starting point is critical for long term sustainability.
If I were to drop you off in the middle of the desert what would be the most important thing you would need? When I ask this question I hear a lot of things like, the location of my destination, a compass, or water. While each of these things are important and the likelihood of needing them along the way is pretty high, the truth is if you have no idea where you are to start with it will be impossible for you to plot a clear path to where you need to go. The likelihood that you will go in circles is really high. The same is true in business and financial management.
Having what I call a solid baseline, a solid picture of where you are beginning from will allow you know the gap between where you are and where you want to go. Then we are able to create a plan to back into what you will want to do first, second and third to close that gap. We can lay out a step by step plan of what to do tomorrow, next week, next month to ensure we reach our goal in the amount of time intended.
This solid baseline will give us a lot of information about when we will need what support. When we will want to launch phase 1,2 and 3. How we are going to manage cash flow along the way ensuring what is already in place – overhead, salaries, expenses – will not be compromised. It allows us to always be at choice with confidence. It also allows us to be able to make changes in real time as they present themselves so we aren’t surprised and forced to react.
It is from this place of confidence that we are able to create a sustainable, long term business and financial management plan that will give us the life that we desire from those exciting and hopeful new beginnings.