Financial planning can be a powerful part of the overall strategy required for a company to reach its goals. As a fractional CFO (Chief Financial Officer), I am often asked some version of this question: "What is the best way for us to take our company from where it is now to reaching our goal?"
The answer I like to explore with our clients is: "Create a financial roadmap." This can be a powerful financial strategy to achieve goals.
A financial roadmap is a plan or strategy to get you and your company from where you are now to where you want to be.
Here are the steps to create a financial roadmap for your business:
Define your goal in financial terms: Decide what your company’s financial statements need to look like for your goal to be achieved. For example,
How much net profit needs to be earned?
How much revenue does the company need to achieve that net profit we require?
What will our budget for expenses need to be? Remember, revenue – expenses = net profit.
To chart a course to where you want to go, you need to understand where you are now: What do your company’s financial statements look like now?
Is your company’s bookkeeping accurate and up to date?
Are you able to interpret your company’s financial statements? If not, you can get help with that.
Do you have a clear picture of the baselines?
What do the trends suggest?
What’s been working to date?
Do you understand what your company’s financial key performance indicators (KPI’s) are? If not, you can get help with that too. Some examples of financial KPI’s are revenue, gross profit, and net profit. There are others that may be applicable for your business.
Understand and influence what drives (causes changes in) your financial KPI’s:
Actively manage and influence the factors that drive your KPI’s.
Prioritize drivers based on their impact and the resources required to improve them. Focus on high-impact drivers that you can control or influence significantly.
Work diligently on the KPI drivers to cause the financial results you want.
Create an action plan that includes key tasks, task owners, and timelines.
Follow-through with the task owners and keep them accountable.
Monitor, analyze and assess the results regularly (e.g., what was planned vs. what occurred) and make course corrections (adjustments) as required to stay on track to achieve your goal.
Leverage expertise when needed: if you need financial leadership and guidance, a fractional CFO can offer valuable insights, help analyze opportunities in your business, refine your plans, and follow through.
Continuously improve: Set new goals & targets to achieve your next level of success.
Adjust your strategies in response to performance data, market changes, or unforeseen challenges.
Flexibility and adaptability are key to staying on track.
Embark on a journey of financial mastery with your business! This article explores a way to navigate towards your goals through a well-crafted financial roadmap. By defining clear financial targets, understanding your current position, and strategically influencing key performance indicators, you set the stage for success.
Remember, the path to achieving your business dreams is about planning, follow through, & continuously adapting, improving, and seizing opportunities with foresight. Embrace this roadmap as your guide, and watch your business soar to new heights. If you'd like the assistance of a fractional CFO, we can help.
Your financial success story starts today – are you ready to write it?