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Why Plan for & Measure Your Financial Success?

Plan For Your Financial Success

If you have read about the services my Firm offers and the proactive approaches we encourage you to implement, you probably have noticed a common theme: Plan for Your Financial Success. Think about what you want to achieve financially and why. Financial success is unique to each individual or group of owners. Remember, success does not have to be defined as maximizing profits. It can also include helping others. Also, think about how you can achieve the financial goals you desire. Quantify how you believe you can achieve those goals by developing projections to see if your vision is attainable, with some room to spare.

Manage your Progress Towards Your Financial Goals

If you are a business owner or other leader, communicate the goals and targets to all involved. Monitor the business's progress towards achieving the goals by comparing actual results to the performance targets. Communicate the results to all involved. Take appropriate action to capitalize on favorable trends and to correct negative trends. Be open to revise goals and performance targets if they need to change, and communicate any significant changes.

If you implement the above steps, you will probably either achieve your financial goals, or at least get closer to achieving them. If you are a business owner, your business will probably be closer to achieving its profitability, cash flow, owner distributions, and value creation goals. Chances are you will probably operate a well-run business that is more enjoyable to operate with less negative stress. Your business will probably generate more cash flow, both now and in the future when you dispose of your interest in the business. That's important, because your business is probably one of the largest assets you will rely on to fund your retirement years.

Financial Peace or Greed?

I could see how someone could perceive the above approach as creating wealth for a few individuals. However, operating a well-run, profitable business is not inherently wrong. Greed occurs when individuals consume or hoard the wealth only for themselves.

I believe that a well-run, profitable business can impact the lives of people in positive ways. Consider some of the benefits that a well-run and profitable business typically offers, as compared to a business that does not have a plan for success, or any way to monitor their progress:

  • Employees do not have to worry about suddenly losing their jobs simply because the business cannot afford to keep them. That carries over to their families. You can positively impact many people!
  • The employees often receive current compensation and benefits that are better than those of poorly-run businesses who might want to offer these benefits, but can't afford to.
  • The owners and employees often end up with more long-term benefits that help them in their retirement years.
  • Owners and employees have a better understanding of the goals and targets that they are striving to meet. This results in more teamwork to achieve the goals, and less frustration and misunderstanding (assuming all accept the goals).
  • The owners and employees are empowered to be more productive and creative, rather than putting out fires that often result from lack of planning or inadequate reporting systems.

Remember that when you plan, you do not have to define success as maximizing every dollar for profit. For example, you may want to incur an expense or share profits to benefit others. The important point is that you define your plan for financial success, and quantify the plan to see if you can realistically achieve your goals. Then you can determine whether you are making progress towards those goals.

The way I see it, we should try to be good stewards of the resources with which we have been blessed. If we continue to be blessed, we should consider passing along some of those blessings to improve the lives of others. Financial peace!

Jim Blowers