By Ashlee Ogrzewalla, CFP®, Vice President and Manager of Financial Planning & Marketing
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Business owners work tirelessly to ensure the success of their organization, often absorbing additional stress and workload. Expanding resources can reduce the number of hours worked while maintaining a high output quality. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping on average for less than seven hours per night. That number could be as high as 54% for business owners based on survey results pre-pandemic. And based on the volatile economy and markets experienced in 2022, one can suspect that number might be even higher. Sacrificing sleep and downtime, business owners have had to continually strategize to keep their businesses profitable in an ever-changing marketplace.
One of the top worries is whether the business is making enough money. Many resources are available to help alleviate some of the burden business owners and key stakeholders may face. The following are resources and ideas business owners, and their key people can use to help alleviate some of the burden.
Cutting costs is an obvious way to decrease the money flowing from your business, but the question is HOW to do it. One strategy could be to look at how digital transformation has (or has yet to accelerate your organization. The 2022 Tech Trends report highlights innovation– automation as a service, automating business processes, and accessing new sophisticated technology services through platform integration. Leveraging technology can maximize time and minimize duplicated efforts.
Also worth considering is taking time to analyze your financial statements; reviewing categories that stand out as higher-than-average spending is essential. In addition to your financial statements’ primary financial outputs, multiple software companies have launched products advertised to analyze under-used financial data within those reports.
For example, “Today, finance isn’t a business function: It’s a business partner. Executives look to CFOs and their teams to drive growth, profitability, and business resilience. The finance function holds the keys to a treasure trove of ever-growing but underused financial data,” according to Qlik, one of a growing number of software companies that introduce tools to help business owners and key people dive deeper into their company’s financial statements.
Another item to consider is market research; are you receiving it, and from what sources? At a high level, market research intends to determine what our customers think, how they feel, and their spending habits. One way to get started knowing your customer better is for the business to write down its top four clients; who would they be? Are they a business or an individual, which pain points of theirs might be alleviated by doing business together, etc.? Market research can begin once there is an understanding of who the target customer is.
- How to Conduct Market Research: A Step-By-Step Guide
- How to do market research in 4 steps: a lean approach to marketing research
A lot of research is available online, and companies would be happy to do market research on behalf of a business for a fee.
In addition to making enough money for a business to have a healthy profit, protecting the company’s assets is also essential. These assets include the key people in the organization helping to make profitability possible. “Key Person” life insurance policies are one of the ways business owners can protect people’s critical roles within their organization.
These ideas and resources are available to all business owners. Engaging a financial advisor can help reappropriate financial concerns and add a strategic perspective to the organization. Business owners may find time to get back a few hours of rest, knowing a broader team is in place.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: The information provided is based on internal and external sources that are considered reliable; however, the accuracy of this information is not guaranteed. This piece is intended to provide accurate information regarding the subject matter discussed. It is made available with the understanding that Benjamin F. Edwards is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or tax preparation services. Specific questions on taxes or legal matters as they relate to your individual situation should be directed to your tax or legal professional.