Financial Management You Can Take To The Bank!

Financial Management You Can Take To The Bank!

In any business there are six phases of financial management that if followed will allow your business to thrive. I’ve determined that if you or any business will work through these phases it will allow you to perform even better in the other areas of alignment: Impact, Revenue Generation, Operations Management, and Organizational Development. And conversely if you do not, the chaos caused will bleed into those other parts of your company.

There have several case studies about businesses that have expanded too quickly without financial controls. This has left the open to fraud & embezzlement in their company. Everyone gets excited about new business…but there’s a cost to new business as well as in continued business.


The establishing of financial goals must be done by whomever is casting the vision of the company. Your ability to communicate and establish what you want your team to work toward is critical for strong financial management. You need to do a strategic analysis of your company, and to step back to confirm what you would call a successful completion of your financial goals based on your vision.

What is your strategic goal…or…what is the vision behind your goal? Does your vision maybe lead to a financial goal? Establish financial goals that strategically match your vision and will help you achieve them. Set them in sales. Number of units. Number of projects. Set them with metrics that indicate you’ve been successful. Understand the value, understand your market, understand the good first steps for your team.

Put your goals in writing. Set a goal that is smart. One that is achievable. And ultimately a goal that is understandable.


Once you’ve established your financial goals it is time to define your financial projections. You must map out a plan that demonstrates that your goal is achievable. And in that projection, you need to include areas (revenue, profitability, direct expenditures, outside costs such as accounting, legal, insurance) that may not be a part of your business today, but that must be in place to reach that strategic goal.

If you don’t begin the process of projecting, it will lead to not fully understanding your business and the industry it’s in. So, work hard at creating consistent, achievable projections that match your goals. It doesn’t take much to review someone’s projections to see that those are just numbers on a piece of paper, and that they don’t understand their business model or their industry. Include in your projections all the areas that you know will be a part of your business model for it to be successful at reaching your goal.


Next it is time to benchmark. Benchmarking is the practice of measuring your performance against your goals and projections and secondly against others in your industry or market. Benchmarking allows you to determine if your projected goals are realistic, if they’re achievable and if they truly are an example of what can be accomplished. If they’re not, then you need to stop and reevaluate your projections.

Establish your goals, develop your projections, measure your performance each month.

If you can measure it, then you can get the feedback to apply it to your benchmark!


The phrase “Financial Management” implies that you have financial control of your company. Take the time to create within your organization, a culture of financial control. You’re in a position of leadership because it is your job to cast the vision for your small business to fulfill your vision in order to make an impact.

Oftentimes the CEO treats their small business like it’s their personal bank account. And they spend or manage the resources very haphazardly. Those business owners and leaders who manage their business with clearly defined financial controls become great at their business. And this allows for either significant profitability, growth, and consistency.

These financial controls may be developed by a third party, a consultant, a CPA, or someone that can help guide you in those areas of expenditures, insurance, how you manage the day-to-day cash of the business, and who has access to that cash.

If there are multiple owners, how do you determine distributions?

When do you distribute?

How do you manage the flow of information in and outside of your company?

How do you manage purchasing cards and credit cards?

These are areas you don’t have to be strong in, but these are the areas in which you should establish financial control.

With financial control you can provide comfort and have comfort because they communicate responsibility and ownership.

Do the hard thing, establish financial controls upon yourself and those that work in your organization.


To many people financial reporting is simply the task of sending a statement to their accountant or CPA at the end of the year so taxes can be done. But I encourage you to see it as telling the story of your business through financial reporting. Then when you prepare and present to your bank, to insurance companies, to clients for qualification, RFPs, bids, and to auditors it will have become part of your vision.

Internal reporting is used for strategic management on a regular basis, you need accurate, timely, consistent information; so, you can make the management decisions to perform at a high level and that should be a normal process. If you are not looking at your internal reporting on a regular basis, you are probably deficient in this area and not able to manage well.

With strong internal reporting comes understanding of third-party reporting. Your ability to communicate your numbers and show that you actually understand them shows that you have good financial management. It is imperative that for you to work through those numbers so you can truly understand how your business is performing. You need this reporting to demonstrate that your projections and your goals are consistent and achievable.

Being able to develop robust financial reporting processes and systems allows you to manage strategically.


Companies that exhibit strong performance in their markets are not sidetracked by the constant worries of cash management. The ability to understand how to manage each daily cash flow item is critical to managing your business at any level. And although we know this, we don’t always prepare for that.

For your business to move forward you will need to understand…

your cash flow cycle

your business and the industry you’re in

the funnel from your first sale or sales opportunity to closing that sale

your operations management execution and getting your product or service delivered

The process of how you bill for that and receive that money

It is going to cost you cash out of your accounts to manage and to provide for these costs before you receive money back for that product or service. And you need to be able to understand that so you can forecast six weeks to six months in advance what your cash will be needed for. I’ve seen many successful businesses with great revenues fail in this area and not be able to come out of the spin of a negative cashflow.

If your business is missing important payment dates, payroll, payroll taxes, etc. these are signs that the business is not financially managed well. Oftentimes it’s not evaluating the impact of your decisions on cash management. So, take time to map out the sales cycle of each sale and how long it will take from that first PO to actual collection. Then take this same approach with your cost and map that out on a weekly basis. Put it in a spreadsheet or something similar to help you identify what cash needs you’re going to have each week.

Once you do that, not only can you prepare for your growth, but then you can go to banks or financial institutions and map that out for them, and they can partner with you on a funding mechanism that best meets your cashflow cycle.

So, take time to focus on these six areas, map them and start measuring them on a daily basis. And if you can perform at a high level in your financial management, you’ll see more opportunities for success in your business.

And you can take THAT to the bank!

Donald is a business owner and entrepreneur with an uncanny affinity for financial and operational management. Aside from having held his CPA’s license, starting, growing, and purchasing several companies, and helping other business owners, he is also a closet freestyle rapper as well!
8 Components of Your Small Business Brand

8 Components of Your Small Business Brand

Building a small business brand can simultaneously be both a simple and a very overwhelming task. But let me be the first to say, “YOUR BRAND IS NOT ONLY YOUR LOGO AND COLOR PALLETTE!”

Your brand is everything you do; whether it’s how you manage your finances, how you interact with unhappy customers, or what your social media posts say and look like. That is your brand. Your business’s brand is what people think, say, and feel about your brand.

And as such your company’s brand identity is instrumental when working to grow your small business. Without a strong brand that people can buy into, it doesn’t matter how well your operations run. It doesn’t matter how many leads come down through your sales funnel. Your business won’t be as successful as it could be if your business is not staying true to its brand identity

So, here are 8 absolutely necessary components of your Brand’s Identity:


BRAND DEFINITION is literally what your business is — who you are, what you offer, and to whom you your products/services are offered.

Have you ever gone to a website and read about what a company does for pages and pages? You scroll indefinitely, and with all of that information you’re still unsure what that company DOES.

Don’t be that brand.

Your brand definition should be the foundation of your brand identity. A well thought out and stable brand definition should be 100% clear to anyone who comes in contact with your brand. This may seem like a given, but it’s often communicated in an over-complicated way. This makes ”what exactly do you do” the first hurdle in the introduction of your brand to anyone that may be listening. Don’t make it a hard one to get over. Keep your brand definition as clean and concise as possible.


BRAND VALUES are the ideals that your brand identity represents.

What do you stand for? What specific beliefs do you hold about how business ought to be done? Whether your brand values are based around quality products, reasonable prices, or sustainable business practices, these are the things you believe in, that you want your customer (and of course employees) to believe in as well. Many consumers care about doing business with like-minded companies, so make your brand’s values known.

Not only should you make them known, you need to make them part of how you do what you do. You can tell people you care about sustainable business practices all you want, but if you are not showcasing what that process looks like out in the open, then it is doing no good at all.


BRAND PROMISE is the guarantee that you’re offering to your customers by doing business with your brand.

Your brand promise should be adopted by every one that represents small business’s brand in every part of what they do. It ought to come out naturally in your messaging (preferably as one of the first things your audience reads), how you talk to and interact with customers, and your dealings with vendors. Your must align your brand promise must be aligned with both your brand values and your brand experience (to be discussed later).

You don’t want to be lied to. So being promised something that is not delivered makes us feel betrayed and we will avoid that interaction at all costs in the future. Don’t put your brand in a position to (whether knowingly or otherwise) lie to your customers about what you can do for them.


BRAND IMAGE is the visual face of your business — its “look and feel.”

Your brand image is made up of all of the elements used to visually communicate your brand definition. These can include your logo, brand graphics, colors, fonts, and images. Having a well-designed and well-defined brand image will make your company memorable, help define its personality, and greatly improve its public perception.

Is your brand image a strong one? Is every part of your brand’s image supporting your brand identity? If not, or you’re not sure, Vision+Brand can help with developing, refreshing, or strengthening your brand image.


BRAND DISTINCTION is  the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your brand identity.

Distinction with a well-defined USP is what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Today’s consumers are constantly bombarded with brands every single day on commercials on tv radio and music streaming services, ads on social media, billboards as we drive, in the aisles of every store we shop in. They need to know how to organize them all in their minds. When you’ve got a clear USP that distinguishes you from the others, such as an exclusive feature, special benefit, or unique personality or distinct point of view — and you communicate this clearly to the consumer — your brand identiy then holds a special place in the consumers’ minds, and they will remember you.

Remember, it’s not enough to just be better, you need to be different.


BRAND POSITION is the position in the market held by your brand identity.

Your brand’s market position helps the consumer know how to think about your offerings, especially when there are many other businesses offering the same thing. Do you offer a premium choice for the consumer, with high quality and a high price? Is your high level of quality matched with a medium price, making you a high value option? Perhaps you’re the economy choice, which for some is a lucrative place to be.

Understanding your brand position focuses around three elements: Consumers, Capabilities, and Competitors. You will need to get ag rip on three things.

  1. Understand what your customers want
  2. What your brand’s capabilities are
  3. And how each competitor is positioning their brand.


BRAND MESSAGING is the voice of your brand— what you say, and how you say it.

We all see this brand messaging in action every time we watch a commercial on tv. All of the funny insurance commercials with caricatured personalities, exotic birds, anthropomorphic reptiles and the like. They’re funny, rarely if ever serious, and always tout the same short recognizable brand promise.

Brand messaging refers to things such as your tagline, positioning statement, brand promise statement, key messages, and marketing and social media copy. Messaging strategy is an important part of brand building. The talking points you use and the writing style you adopt help define your brand. The personality of your brand should show forth in your messaging (whether it be serious and knowledgeable, or fun and entertaining). Your messaging is used to invite consumers in on an emotional level. It should always be relevant, consistent, and true to your brand.


Brand Experience is the journey your customers take when interacting with your small business’s brand.

How you deliver your offerings is critical. The experience your customers have with your business solidifies their opinions and contributes to powerful word-of-mouth advertisng. You must create an engaging customer experience from acquisition to closeout. To do this you must do two things. First of all, ensure the quality and performance of your offerings. And secondly improve the process of interacting with your company to align with your overall brand identity.

Our resident nerd on call, Tylor, or as he likes to be called, “Mr. T” (but no one does it), is our in house brand story expert. Content creation and marketing are his super powers, but he helps wherever he is needed. More specifically though, he is an avid TMNT and Marvel fan as well as a collector of vintage video games. Also you can thank him for any movie references made in our collateral. (He’s out of control)

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