Owning a business means handling your share of curve balls. There’s always something that changes the dynamics of doing business — a shift in customer demographics, regulatory changes, or even a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic.
Whether it’s the way you connect to potential customers, how you serve them, or even the basic premise of what you’re offering them, finding ways to adapt to a changing environment keeps your business strong.
But you don’t have to do it all on your own. No matter what challenges come your way, your CPA can be a valuable resource to help you adapt to new conditions and determine which strategies are financially feasible.
How Your CPA Can Help
Creativity is critical as business owners assess evolving conditions and brainstorm appropriate responses, but sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between a crazy good game plan and one that’s just crazy. So how can your accountant help when you’re faced with difficult choices? Below are just a few ways.
- Evaluate your cash position. Keeping a close eye on cash flow is important in any economy. When the turf gets bumpy and cash flow gets tight, it’s especially important to dive deep into the financial data to forecast just how deep of a hole your business is likely to sink into. During the COVID-19 crisis, for example, CPAs helped thousands of businesses build financial models based on best-case, worst-case, and expected scenarios. And they helped them navigate to the other side by managing labor and operating expenses as a percentage of that reduced revenue, while taking advantage of federal assistance programs to ease the immediate strain.
- Quantify new revenue opportunities. Entrepreneurs know that a crisis can be an ideal time to find growth opportunities. But while business owners are often great at spotting these opportunities, they aren’t always so great at quantifying them. Perhaps you see an opportunity to make a strategic hire or take over the operations of a struggling competitor to open a location in a nearby market. Your CPA can help you project how much “launch capital” will be required for the new venture, as well as set revenue and profit margin targets necessary to cover the operating losses your business will incur before that investment reaches breakeven.
- Produce real-time financial data. Your ability to respond quickly to market changes can have a big impact on how well your company performs in the new environment, and reliable data is imperative for determining what’s possible and what’s necessary. You don’t want to be limited by outdated or inaccurate financials. Modern accounting solutions provide easy, ongoing access to real-time, actionable information you and your CPA can use to make sound decisions together.
Your CPA advisor knows your business and your industry niche, and can be both teammate and coach to help you overcome the challenge of the moment to return your business to health, growth, and profitability. But remember that good financial management requires the active involvement of the business owner. Even if you rely on your CPA for financial analysis, it’s important that you roll up your sleeves and dig into your organization’s financial data to give you a true appreciation for the changes you will need to make to return it to health, growth, and profitability.
When the going gets tough, an established relationship with a trusted business advisor is a valuable asset that can help you stabilize and reposition your business to win in any environment. Contact your CRI advisor to learn how we can help you keep your business in shape and ready for whatever comes across the plate.