An important part of a successful business is meaningful, regular communication with your banker. This dialog centers around a budget and first quarter review. Why, you ask? Let me share a quick analogy.
Picture this . . . its summer vacation. A family heads off to French Lick (after all, they are good Hoosiers and want to keep their money here in the state!) to enjoy all that vacation has to offer them once they arrive. As they begin the trip they realize that their primary route is closed due to construction. The family has no GPS, no paper map, and due to a dead iPhone, they can’t even rely on that technology. Without any of those tools, they are unsure how to handle the numerous detours, and unforeseen circumstances. Businesses are just like this family; issues arise that may change the planned course or destination. Without a good map or GPS (a budget and a plan), the business may become unsteady or lose focus on how to reach their destination (business goal).
What is the business’ plan? As one of my colleagues says, those who are living off the bottom line will continue to succeed, those that are living off the top line . . . well, it isn’t as pretty. So, what can a business person do? Consider the following steps:
- Put a good annual plan into place.
- Know where you want the business to go and figure out the mile makers with which you will measure progress
- Determine the resources needed to accomplish this plan
- Communicate with your CPA, attorney, insurance agent and business banker - help them understand your desired outcome.
At the end of the first quarter you may be saying, “Chris, it’s too late, we already are three plus months into the year, we can’t do that now.” Or maybe the statement is “we put our budget in place, we are one-fourth of the way through the year and we are ‘knocking it out of the park’ we don’t need to worry.” My response to the first statement is this - it is NEVER too late to budget and plan. My reaction to the second statement is, “Congratulations! Now, what else can you do to enjoy your trip and ensure you remain on course?”
It is never too late to plan your trip and it is never too late to plan for unforeseen circumstances. Is your trip a bottom line or a top line trip? If it is the latter, now is the time to consider changing direction and switch to a bottom line perspective. And if you have questions, make sure that you include your banker in that discussion. We want to help you live a better life and succeed, because when our clients do well, MutualBank succeeds too.