Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

December 2013

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Running a business in today’s fast-paced environment is overwhelming. For women business owners, running a business is even more stressful as we strive to balance the demands and aspirations of our business with the stressors and cravings of our personal and family life.

With barely enough time and energy each day to run the business, when we do find time to grow our business? Now, more than ever, what every woman business owner wants is to Rise Above the overwhelm and achieve.

Women Build Great Companies

And, that’s not just my opinion! A recent study by Babson College found that women entrepreneurs:

  • Create more jobs. By 2018, women entrepreneurs will create more than half of the jobs expected to be created by small business.
  • Do more with less. On an average, women use 40% less capital for venture-backed startups than men. (We know how to “pinch a penny.”)
  • Fail less often than men. Despite less capital, women-owned businesses are more likely to survive the transition from startup to that of an established company.

The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report revealed that the rate of women-owned enterprises is growing at one and half time the national average! In fact, as women-owned enterprises have expanded, men-owned businesses have contracted! This information certainly substantiates that women have the vision, capacity, and perseverance to build thriving companies.

Women-Owned Business Revenue Lagging

With mounting evidence that women business owners have an edge in running successful businesses, why is the average revenue of women-owned business 27% of the average revenue of those businesses run by men? Here are a few influencers a women business owner can relate with:

  • Businesswomen struggle balancing the many necessities of home and work, which can stall their business progress.
  • Despite the progress made by women in business, a lingering discomfort continues to exist with powerful women. Many times, women are scolded for their ambition. In turn, this causes some women in business to view wealth and success as unbecoming.
  • Women in business are involved with their families and don’t always have the time to develop the professional network necessary for success.
  • Many women lack the strategic planning, organizational, and management skills that allow them to manage their everyday tasks while accomplishing larger business goals.

Women as Serious Players in the Economy

To succeed in today’s turbulent times, women business owners need:

  • Success redefined. For women in business, success is more than money. The desire to grow a value-based business, one with vision and purpose, is equally as important. Businesswomen need to know that both are possible as they redefine success.
  • Goal management. As women in business juggle the many needs of business and family, emphasis on goal management, rather than time management, allows businesswomen to grow their business at their desired rate.
  • Strategic planning and thinking. Research shows that the only statistically significant predictor of business growth is not the industry, size of business or length of time in business. It is the entrepreneur’s goal for growth. Strategic planning allows female entrepreneurs to move from “I have a dream” to “I have a strategy and a plan.”
  • Tools for tracking metrics. Gathering the necessary data helps in making sound business and financial situations. As we discussed in a previous blog, Business Metrics: If You Don’t Know It, You Can’t Grow It, business metrics help you make better decisions and prevent growing your business in the dark.
  • Delegation skills. Women in business experiencing high business growth have excellent delegation skills. They know what to delegate, how to delegate, who to delegate to, and what to do with that time.
  • Robust network. The support and encouragement of other women in business helps “stay the course” and act as a catalyst for accelerated business growth.

Undoubtedly, women in business are key players in this economy. With the unique strengths and perspective that women bring to business, they can Rise Above” the overwhelm, stress, and unrealized potential to achieve work-life balance, greater fulfillment, and accelerate business growth.

It can be overwhelming to grasp the many different financial aspects of your business. From basic accounting and budgets to bookkeeping, pricing strategies and taxes (just to mention a few), not many entrepreneurs have time to make sense of the flurry of financial activities. Although we may not comprehend them as well as an accountant, it doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility we have for actively understanding and managing the financial development of our business.

There is no way to eliminate all the risks associated with the economic growth of your business. However, you can improve your chances of success with good planning and preparation. A good place to start is by implementing sound financial activities to keep you on track.

Record Transactions Daily. There are a variety of financial transactions that take place every day in your business. These include:

  • Sales and revenue transactions
  • Accounts receivable (if your customers make purchases on credit)
  • Accounts payable (if you make purchases on credit)

In order to know how your business is doing financially, you will need to record these transactions on a daily basis. 

Establish Accounting Controls. How do you protect yourself from others tempted to pocket your hard-earned money? Although there is no way to guarantee that a business won’t suffer from employee theft, implement accounting controls to improve the odds.

Establish a Business Budget.  Although budgeting may seem tedious, it’s critical to your company’s success to forecast your income and expenses. You can’t accurately predict where you’re going or analyze where you’ve been without one.

Close Your Books. You need to close your books and have financial statements prepared at least once a year in order to file an income tax return. However, annual financial statements are not enough to keep tabs on your business. Even if you are not having financial statements prepared, you want to close your books monthly. Sending out customer statements, paying your suppliers, reconciling your bank statement, and submitting sales tax reports are just some of the tasks you need to do every month.

Develop Credit and Collections Policy. A credit and collections policy is something many companies put off developing until they’re between a rock and a hard place. Some companies address the issue when they realize they’re losing sales or having problems with “deadbeat” customers.

A credit and collections policy is just as important to a business as the business plan itself. The lack of a policy or creating a poorly planned policy can actually destroy a thriving business.

Analyze Your Financial Position. It’s a good idea to take a close look at the financial state of your company on a regular basis. It’s not enough to have your accountant review financial statements.  As a business owner, you have a vested interest in understanding the content of those statements.

Understand Financial Statements. Financial statements are excellent tools for helping you see where your business has been and where it is going. Financial statements, generally prepared monthly or quarterly, are ready after all entries and adjusting entries have been posted.

Sound like fun? Not really!  However, mastering the details related to the financial development of your business is necessary for those with a stake in its future.

Are you curious about your accounting aptitude? Take the “Accounting and Financial Growth Skills” assessment and see for yourself.

Need assistance? Contact us to make sure your business is financially happy and healthy.

Related Blog Posts:

Show Me the Money! 5 Ways to Stop Underearning in Your Small Business

6 Steps to Small Business Revenue Growth

Create Your Business Growth Plan with Strategic Coaching

Living in Los Angeles is a continual reminder of the need to “freshen” one’s look to remain relevant. It’s a great analogy for the importance of keeping your business products and services pertinent in a continually evolving and dynamic marketplace.

Every small business must consider the ebb and flow of their products and services. What clients absolutely loved and couldn’t live without last year gets discarded like a worn-out shoe this year.

To be successful and obtain sustainable growth, your business must be good at finding and growing successful products and services. This includes:

  • Ensuring your product or service is in the right market, designed well, positioned correctly and priced appropriately
  • Knowing open market segments in which you can openly and successfully compete
  • Understanding the market tier for which your product and/or service is best suited
  • Knowing which stage of the product/service lifecycle you’re currently experiencing
  • Having a development process in place for finding and growing new products and/or service

These are just a few considerations when looking for a pick-me-up for a product or service that may be old and tired.

Product and service innovation is a great way to drive growth and bring a new solution to your clients’ challenges.

Are your product/service offerings ready for a new look? Let us help!

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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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