By Ashlee Ogrzewalla, CFP®, Vice President and Manager of Financial Planning & MarketingPrint This Post
Business owners work tirelessly to ensure the success of their organization, often absorbing additional stress and workload. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 35% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping for less than seven hours per night, on average. That number could be as high as 54% for business owners, based on pre-pandemic survey results. Due to the volatile economy and markets experienced in 2022, one can suspect that number might be even higher now. 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 of owners is whether the business is making enough money. Many resources are available to help alleviate some of the burdens that keep business owners and key stakeholders up at night. Consider the following:
- Cutting costs is an obvious way to decrease the money flowing out from your business, but the question is HOW to do it. One strategy could be to look at how digital transformation has (or has not) accelerated your organization. The 2022 Tech Trends report from Info Tech Research Group highlights innovation – automation as a service, automating business processes, and accessing new sophisticated technology services through platform integration. Leveraging technology could help maximize time and minimize duplicated efforts.
- Review your financial statements and examining any categories that stand out as higher than average spending is essential. In addition to the primary outputs from your financial statements, multiple software companies have launched products advertised to analyze under-used financial data within those reports.
For example, Qlik is one of a growing number of software companies to introduce tools to help business owners and key people dive deeper into their company’s financial statements. From the company web site, we read “Today, finance isn’t a business function: It’s a business partner. Executives are looking 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.”
- Market research: are you receiving it, and from what sources? At a high level, market research intends to dial into what our customers think, how they feel, and their spending habits. One way to get to know your customer better is to write down your 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 with you? Once there is an understanding of who the target customer is, market research can begin.
How to Conduct Market Research: A Step-By-Step Guide
How to do market research in 4 steps: a lean approach to marketing research
It’s worth noting that 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. Another blog of ours, entitled What is “Key Person” Life Insurance, discusses ways business owners can leverage insurance to protect critical people in 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 might even find some time to get back a few hours of rest, knowing a broader team is in place.
*The companies and links in this article are used for illustrative purposes. We recommend completing your own research to find the appropriate resource if you choose to utilize one of the above-mentioned strategies.