What is your 3 year plan?

Date: 21 August 2013

Where would you like your business to be in 3 years?

A great question.  A simple enough question.  The infinitely more difficult question is "HOW".  How to get the business to that point?

Most business owners could quickly describe what the end point would look like; increased profit, improved cash flow, increased business valuation, trained staff, and better systems.  All great objectives.

The difficult question is HOW, over say the next 3 years,  does a business owner get their business to that point?

Colin Dunn,  an author and business advisor thinks he knows where to find the answer and start the quest.

Colin believes "most business owners significantly underestimate what is possible in their business.  Their growth plans are incremental because they have not been enlightened as to the true potential".

In his view "over the past decade there has been a trend for business owners to hire coaches to provide guidance and strategic input.  Unfortunately many businesses have been poorly advised by coaches who simply don't understand the numbers".

So Colin, the answer to the HOW question is not with the business coach, apparently??

But we accountants are not immune from implied criticism either.  "As an accountant,  you owe it to yourself and your clients to get much better at helping clients understand what is possible" declares Colin.

If business coaches don't know HOW Colin, then where is the answer found?  Show me the money!

In his view the answer lies with the business owner.  Give them the right forum,  say a planning day,  and the business owner will discover dormant growth opportunities and understand what is possible. 

In particular the starting point for any quest for improvement is what are the components of the business model.  Break down the profit model into its various components so that you can "determine where most leverage resides".  The HOW is found "in a solid grasp of the key drivers" of profit and cash flow. 

This is where the accountant has the edge,  according to Colin Dunn,  because they are naturally close to the numbers. Old fashioned management accounting providing the focus to achieve growth. 

So there is a future for us management accountants, after all!!!

Want to know more?  Give me a call.  

Peter Tolan, Business Advisory Service  peter@tva.co.nz

Read more about Colin Dunn

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