Planning for Next Year's Finances

The next step is to take a "no-B.S." look at your finances -- What do your financial statements tell you about the condition of your company? Do you have the resources to conduct the marketing initiative you have outlined? Do you need to step back and go into survival mode until you can turn the business around? The market hasn't been kind to the construction industry these last few years, and you must be realistic about the steps you have to take and what you can hope to accomplish next year.

Review your three important financial reports - the Cash Flow Statement, the Income Statement and the Net Worth Statement. Know the Nine Numbers® for your business:

  • Cash Flow Statement - Beginning Cash, Cash In/Out, Ending Cash
  • Income Statement - Sales, Costs, Profit
  • Net Worth Statement - Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

Go here for a refresher on the Nine Numbers®

Build your budget for next year.

Yes, I know that it is time-consuming.

Yes, I know that the real-world will tear your budget apart during the year.

But here is the truth. The discipline of building a budget will make you a better manager. The thought that you put into the process will highlight problems that you will run into during the year. And it is a lot better to deal with those problems now instead of being in the middle of them before you recognize the dangers.

Now, remember -- this is finance and not accounting. We need meaningful numbers, not precision. "Wide-brush" what you think your revenues are going to be. Use ratios to calculate expenses. What we are looking for is a problem to stick its head up, so we can address it now.

  • Does it look like you are going to have a slow month in March?
  • Is there going to be a large capital outlay in May for insurance premiums due to the April audit?
  • Is a crush of business in July going to cause a cash flow problem in August?
  • Do you have a manager intending to retire in June?

All of these factors should show up in the budget, and your answers to them should be planned now.

For some help in building your budget, look at these pages --

Clean Up the Financial Accounts - This is a good time to check the balances on all outstanding loans and reconcile your loan payments over the last year. You will need to do this to establish the interest amounts for your tax return, anyway, so clean this slate for the year.

Along with your loans, reconcile your bank accounts and credit card accounts, for the same reason. You want to go into the next year knowing where you stand financially.

Go to the Year-End Checklist membership page


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