In Pursuit of Profit
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We are in a time of change because that’s what the business world does – change. Whether innovation happens slowly or quickly and whether advancements are small or massive in scope, the world doesn’t stand still.
Amid the ever sweeping winds of change business owners must return to the core of management – asking the right questions to keep their businesses moving along at the same pace.
The most successful businesses will constantly ask (and answer) fundamental questions like:
1. What do we want to be known for?
2. What is our value proposition?
3. What differentiates us?
4. Do we have profitable growth?
5. Is our growth trajectory sustainable?
6. How big is our market currently and what is projected to happen to the size of our market in the future?
7. How much available capacity do we have to increase production or take on new work?
8. What are our goals for growth and what does growth look like for us?
9. Which opportunities are in front of us right now?
10. Which barriers may prevent us from growing?
11. Should we focus on selling to our current customers or new ones?
12. Should we expand to new markets?
13. Are we spending money in the right areas – IT, marketing, sales, R&D, etc.?
14. What kind of resources can we draw on if there is a downturn?
15. Are there partnerships or alliances we should pursue?
16. How can we mitigate our risk?
17. Are we connecting with our customers or just selling to them?
18. Do we deliver a unique customer experience?
19. Are we providing leads with the support they need to feel confident buying from us?
20. Does our go-to-market (GTM) strategy effectively leverage our strategic business drivers?
21. Are we focused on the right product mix?
22. Are we focused primarily on our core offerings or getting sidetracked by “special projects?”
23. Are we listening to our customers’ feedback?
24. Do we have loyal customers that we can leverage to help us grow?
25. Who are our most profitable customers?
26. Why do customers leave?
27. How easy is it for customers to leave?
28. How can we retain more customers?
29. Do we have the right personnel in place to achieve business goals?
30. Are we best leveraging our employees’ skillsets and areas of expertise?
31. Where can our efficiency be improved?
32. Where should we be outsourcing business activities instead of doing them in-house?
33. Should we hire (and, if so, when)?
34. How can we better retain staff?
35. How do we attract top talent for new openings?
36. Are we focused enough on the professional development of our staff?
37. Is our leadership team prepared to lead through what is coming next?
Accounting and Finance
38. How much does it cost us to acquire new customers?
39. Where are our highest margins?
40. Are our payment and credit policies aligned with our business goals?
41. How quickly are we collecting on receivables?
42. Are there areas where we are overspending relative to our needs?
43. Where can we reduce waste?
44. How much debt do we have?
45. Do we have enough inventory to support growth?
46. How much cash will we need to grow and where will we get it?
47. Are we calculating Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) correctly?
48. Are we using the right tools to work efficiently?
49. Are there any emerging technologies that could help us achieve better results?
50. Are we tracking the right metrics?
51. Are there any warning signs that may indicate fraud is occurring?
52. What kinds of upcoming expenses should we expect?
53. When will we need to replace critical business equipment or technology?
54. Are we reconciling bank and credit accounts regularly to maintain cash flow?
55. Are we doing financial reporting often enough to get good business insights?
Answering these types of questions requires a strong understanding the company’s financials, including cash flow, expenses, and sales figures. CEOs should not expect that they will be able to answer these types of complicated questions and respond strategically without the help of their CFO as well as their accounting and finance teams. However, for companies that are too small to employ significant staff in these areas, leaning on an external consulting accountant or hiring a senior accountant or Controller may be critical to the future success of the company.
When you need accounting help to keep your business running smoothly and meeting its goals, we have a team of experienced accountants ready to work with you! We offer in-house, remote, and hybrid outsourced accounting options to businesses across Oregon, Washington, and Colorado as well as accounting recruiting services to give you access to the kind of personnel you need to succeed. Contact us today to find out more!