How to Effectively Look Back at 2017 and Look Ahead to a Bright Financial Future for a Small Business in 2018

How to Effectively Look Back at 2017 and Look Ahead to a Bright Financial Future for a Small Business in 2018

All small business owners want to position themselves to continue enjoying more success and profitability, and that requires the right mix of looking back and looking ahead. With summer already in the rearview mirror, 2017 will be over before long, but it’s never too late to evaluate, adjust, adapt or improve.

That’s why now is the ideal time to look back at 2017 while also planning ahead for a brighter financial future for any small business. Utilize the following tips, ideas, guidelines, and questions to help achieve small business financial goals.

Perhaps the most important place to start is to evaluate and analyze breakeven points for 2017. First and foremost, are all expenses and breakeven points known and outlined, so future plans can include them or build around them? Simply guessing or estimating is a great way to get a business in financial trouble and continue moving down the wrong path.

Secondly, if goals aren’t being met, expenses are too high or incoming revenue is too low, what does the business need to do to play catch-up before the year is out? Detailed information and data is any small business owner’s best friend.

Another crucial way to get any small business up to speed is to carefully evaluate current financial circumstances in terms of completed jobs, billed hours, accounts receivable, and more. Set aside a day to simply pour through all of this material, and a huge difference can be made in the bottom line of any business.

For instance:

  • Have completed jobs and hours spent been billed?
  • Have work-in-progress clients been billed?
  • Are there any outstanding or overdue invoices? How can a push be made to collect these as quickly as possible?

Many business owners end up shocked at how many “hidden gems” of unbilled and/or unrecovered revenue exist stashed away and forgotten.

It’s also important to consider overall business practices, to see which direction the company should really be moving in and what makes the most sense to pursue or not.

  • Have jobs been profitable? If not, are rates too low, or billing practices too lenient? Are the wrong types of clients and projects being taken on? Which types of jobs make money, or cost money? Is it better to realize short-term profits or long-term investments of time and effort?

Don’t forget to conduct thorough cash flow analysis reports, too. Business owners need to know how much is coming in and how much is going out. Just as importantly, this should be known not just “day of”, but a month or more in advance, to facilitate adequate planning and allocation of resources at every level.

Margida & Associates is an Ohio small business accounting and consulting firm. As an accountant in Stow, Ohio, they serve clients throughout the region, including Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, Twinsburg and Aurora, offering corporate tax planning services, personal accounting, small business consulting and more.

With the right tips and professional assistance, anyone can quickly get on track to close the year and look ahead to a bright financial future for their business in 2018. Call Margida & Associates at 330.926.0023 to learn more today.

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