Financial Goals: Going beyond keeping overhead low

The financial goals for every business that are actually worth making.

We know we don’t need to convince you to make financial goals. We’ve all heard the: “don’t spend more than you make,” and “keep overhead low” advice. But those are a little obvious. These five approaches to goal-setting are actually attainable and will help you scale!

Financial Goals

Know your business cash flow.

We’ve talked about this before. In fact, we’d say we’ve almost talked it to death if it weren’t so important. Know your business and how your cash flow operates within it. If you have seasonal fluxes of cash, prepare accordingly. Don’t blindly spend while you have money coming in only to be strapped for cash later during your slow season. Part of this means having accurate financials on-hand to really understand your free cash flow. Any predictable income is vital when strategizing your financial goals.

Have a back-up plan.

Every budget should include a cash cushion. Maybe you’ll have an unexpectedly large tax bill, or an operational emergency. What would you do if your landlord suddenly sold your space? Do you have a safety net to find a new space to buy or lease for potentially more than you’re paying now? We’ve even seen businesses find themselves in hot water when their industry peers suddenly dropped prices and they weren’t prepared to keep up with the change in market price temporarily while they performed a price analysis. When building your contingency budget, also remember to take into consideration any previous expenses that had large variances.

Related read: Especially in high-growth companies, executives tend to spend a lot of time budgeting and looking at expense variances- people are inclined to focus on expenses because you can control them. However, when you’re halfway through the year your revenue is always the most volatile number, you could be off by 50%, because revenue is so choppy. 

Arm yourself with a team of experts.

Save yourself the time (time = money, remember?), and look to hire a CFO or outsource your accounting. Yes, you could consider this a self-plug, but if you don’t understand the numbers then how are you supposed to improve upon them? If you’re not an accountant, why take up ample amounts of your time trying to right the balance sheet and trying to rework statements. Your financial expert should even be able to create your contingency budget and monitor the ebb and flow of your cash to ensure you can always meet your financial goals.

Set one specific financial goal each fiscal year.

Having sales targets is great, but crafting one definitive goal for each year will set yourself up for an ambitious year. Every year. Maybe it’s to increase your safety net we mentioned above. Or maybe this is the year you’re going to pay off your business loan completely – or a portion of it. It’s never a bad idea to define your investment objectives. Mark Suster recently wrote this good reminder about profit vs. growth and Amazon who may show an unimpressive profit but they are reinvesting a TON in growth and acquisitions. That said, the goals don’t have to be huge. They just need to exist.

Curate a culture for growth.

Remember to loop your team in on the financial goals each year. Better yet, include them in the planning by providing them with a road map and updating them quarterly. Your staff will be more likely to buy into that vision, which creates a common purpose and a culture for growth. If you offer incentives, remember to connect them directly to your fiscal objectives.

Whatever you and your accounting team determine to be your financial goals for the year, remember that “keeping overhead low” is just one small piece to helping your business scale.

Learn more about how you can curate a culture for growth to reach your financial goals.

Join Chris Arndt, Founder of Red Granite and Director of ORBA‘s Cloud Accounting Group and Sean Condon, Registered Investment Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Windgate Wealth Management for a FREE breakfast seminar on September 28th, 2017 at TechNexus. Register below:

Curating a Culture for Growth Breakfast Seminar

September 28th, 2017, 8:30-10:30am at TechNexus in Chicago.


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The start of the new year means exciting new changes for Red Granite.  Beginning January 1, you’ll also find us online at now that we’re part of one of Chicago’s most prestigious CPA firms, Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd.  While we’re saying goodbye to our old website and company name soon, we want you to know that we’re still right here to serve all your bookkeeping, accounting, and strategic financial needs. In fact, with our ORBA colleagues, we’re positioned to offer you an expanded array of state-of-the-art services.  So set your sights high for 2017 and sign up to receive our latest blogs and newsletters.  Visit us today, we’re looking forward to welcoming you!

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