Stuck In Startup: 11 Ways To Overcome Budgetary 'Analysis Paralysis'
For a company just starting out, the balance sheet can be both a motivator and a fear factor. Since the budget is almost always the dominant consideration for a new business, it can be easy for an entrepreneur to get locked in “analysis paralysis” while reviewing financial statements.
How can a new business owner balance budgetary caution with realistic action and expenditure to get out of “analysis paralysis”? To help, we asked 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council to offer their best advice for avoiding excessive anxiety about money, even when it seems to be constantly in short supply.
1. Make Giving A Part of Your Budget
What I’m going to suggest is probably one of the last things you’re considering. Give. Make giving a “budgetary” priority. Choose a cause or charity you believe in, and know that the financial support it receives from your business helps to make its mission possible. This commitment will encourage you to create ways to increase revenue instead of seeing your money in short supply. - Dr. Shanequa Fleming, Perfect Solutions Consulting Group, Inc.
2. Create An End State Statement
When money is tight, setting financial stretch goals isn’t enough; you need to create an End State Statement—a vivid, verbal snapshot of what your business looks like when it's successful at a definite future date. Identify qualitative and quantitative metrics and add in descriptions of successful interactions with customers, employees and vendors. Paint that picture and focus on it constantly. - Gregg Ward, The Gregg Ward Group
3. Stop Thinking About Worst-Case Scenarios
Money is a mindset, and we become what we think about! So we simply need to think more about what we do want than we think about what we don’t want. Imagining the worst-case scenario is only “worry” if that is the only scenario we imagine. If we invest equal time in imagining the best-case and the most likely scenarios, we have gone from “worry thinking” to “strategic thinking.” - Jeff Klubeck, Get A Klu, Inc.
4. Think Investment, Not Expense
You can view money in a new business one of two ways: as an expense or as an investment. The best way to look at money is not transactionally, as a daily expense, but rather as a long-term investment. By keeping the long-term picture in mind, the money that you outlay in the beginning can, and usually will, be made up in the long run. Begin with the end in mind, not only focused on the now. - Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
5. Follow Your Budget Process
Avoid overanalysis by setting up a well-defined budget process—and then follow the process. Coordinate budget input from your management team early in the year. Next, have your CFO provide you with a quarterly review of the budget to actuals. Use quarterly reviews to validate assumptions and mitigate risks going forward. Focus on the process, and spend the rest of your time delighting your customers. - Cheryl Amyx, 4CEO, Inc.
6. Work On Your Business, Not In Your Business
People spend time working on their business instead of running it. When you run your business, you need to generate sales and positive cash flow to cover expenses. Quit working on your spreadsheets and pull yourself out of employee mode to see the big picture. The more you focus on the right activities to generate revenue, the more your business will grow. Your focus and mindset equal results. - Drew Aversa, MBA & RYT, Aversa Strategies
7. Plan Early And Exercise Discipline
Much like everything else in business, planning helps eliminate a lot of uncertainty, including the angst in financials and budgeting. Combine early preparation with appropriate expert advice and virtually all doubts will be removed. From there on it is a simple matter of discipline to stick with the prepared budget and overcome the temptation to make decisions that would interfere with the budget. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
8. Leverage Expertise
For many business owners, the financial side of the business is daunting. That’s when leveraging a finance expert can help you to understand where the business stands financially, the break-even threshold and the profit margin you’re dealing with. Having a finance-oriented partner to help navigate these complex waters can take the fear out of finance and help focus your efforts in the right direction. - Tracey Grove, Pure Symmetry Coaching and Consulting
9. Give Your Business Oxygen
Cash flow is king, and managing money is essential for any new business. Focus on revenue—the oxygen for your business—and your business will survive. Sales is water, and operations is food. Too many focus on operations and expenses when they should focus on sales and revenue management. Create the time and space necessary to thrive by concentrating on what’s essential—oxygen. - Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, LLC
10. Do Your Research And Trust Yourself
As a new business owner, spending any kind of money can be scary, but it is vital to growing your business. When it comes to making investments, do a little research on the expenditure and learn to trust yourself. Not every decision you make in the beginning will be the right decision, but it will always lead to the right ones. Either way, you and your business are growing in the process. - Jennifer Armstrong, So Simple - Life & Business Coaching
11. Focus On Your Vision
The sole purpose of financials is to inform decisions regarding the path to your vision. If you keep looking down to decide where to put your next foot, you will lose sight of where you are going. Yes, look at your financials. Use the information they provide. Then look up and reconnect with your vision. That is where you need to focus. - Brian Gorman, TransformingLives.Coach