In our general business counseling practice at the Boone/Hickory region SBTDC offices, three key areas for improvement continue to resonate and influence the focus of our coaching efforts:
- Many of our clients feel as though they are running their business on an island. They may have an accountant or an attorney; however, they do not consider them part of their professional team. They often are at a loss for resources with which to test ideas. Building an active Advisory Board can fill this need. Professionals familiar with the industry, as well as mentors, can serve on an Advisory Board. An Advisory Board can help the business owner step away from the day-to-day operations and discuss the path of the business.
- Many business owners see financial statements as a necessary evil only prepared for tax purposes. The successful business owners view financial reporting and statements as a tool for business just like a marketing plan or sales plan. The key to successfully manage from financial information is to understand key performance indicators and how they compare to industry standards. The business owner should have an accountant that understands their industry and a goal of building value versus tax avoidance.
- A third area of focus is understanding cash! Too many business owners only understand cash in the bank or lack of cash. Understanding the cash flow cycle, sources and uses, will help the owner proactively manage cash needs. Planning for projected need for equipment or growth is vital.
Our general business counselors work with clients in all three of the areas to improve performance. Please contact a Regional Service Center near you for assistance.
Byron Hicks, Director of the Appalachian State University’s SBTDC Boone and Hickory offices, is our guest contributor this week. His offices serve 14 counties in the foothills and high-country of North Carolina. Read More…