A version of this article was first published at DesignGood’s blog.
If you’re like most, you started your business because you’re passionate about what you offer and how it helps other. Naturally, this makes for a creative, exciting, and passion-fueled business! Which inherently puts you aligned with your business, to a large degree, from your business’ conception.
However, those feelings of goodwill don’t always extend to all aspects of your business–especially when we start digging a little deeper and talking money. So today I’d like to start a 3-part series about business financial alignment and how you can start creating it for you and your own business.
Right about now, you might be thinking “Um… business financial alignment?!! Is that actually a thing?”, or “How is that different than energetic alignment with my business?”
I get it. Creating alignment with your business finances is not a common topic. (And I’m on a mission to change that.) But having business financial alignment–and conversely, having a lack of business financial alignment–makes a huge impact to your business.
Think of it this way: in today’s world, a business can’t exist without money. You need sales. You’ll have expenses. Money needs to come in and go out–ideally in differing proportions.
So, I’d like to ask, even if you feel fully aligned with your business services, products, culture, staff and customers… Does an awesome business really matter if you can’t make the numbers work? Or sustain yourself? Or feel confident about the future?
From working with hundreds of business owners, I think the answer is you can likely make things work in your business for a few years. But eventually, lack of business financial alignment will come to a head, revealing itself through burnout, bitterness, or the perpetual cycle of feast and famine. This is why, as business owners, we need to conscientiously create financial alignment.
If you’re not sure that you’re financially aligned with your business, or if you’d like to start exploring what this means, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I feel genuine appreciation with each sale?
- Can I fully take in that a person has entrusted me to provide them with my service (or product), and that, in exchange, she has given me something of value?
- Do I fixate on hiring and spending cheaply?
- When it comes to making business-related purchases, do I actively appreciate what this purchase does for my business? Or, do I spend more time focusing on things like how expensive it was, or how I now have less money in my account?
- Do I understand accounting basics so that I have a clear understanding of where my business is at?
- If not, am I willing to start asking questions and become more financially literate?
- If my business’ sales suddenly skyrocketed, do I have a plan for what I would actually do with that new income?
- Do I have a business revenue goal?
- What about business profit goals?
- Do I differentiate profit from my revenue?
- Are my business financial goals based on what I see others doing?
- Or are my business financial goals based on something I’m emotionally connected with?
- Do I generally see “more” as the answer to most of my financial problems?
- Do I purposefully think about how I’d like my business to grow and what I’d like to be doing?
- Metaphorically speaking, do I tend to give away my financial ownership to others (such as a spouse, partner or financial advisor)?
- Do I have any financial reserves?
- Do I rely on those with more expertise and authority to make big financial decisions for me?
- And, perhaps, most importantly, do I believe that my business can (and will) sustain my desired life?
These are just a few questions to get you started thinking about business financial alignment.
Possibly, after considering these questions, your responses might make you feel that you aren’t where you want to be. If so, don’t worry. I believe that each of us have the power to change. In fact, I know from working with many businesses in dozens of industries over the past 10 years, that every person has the ability to create business financial alignment. But, like all important and lasting changes, it’s a journey and begins with awareness. 🙂
In the next post of this series, we’ll address how to start creating business financial alignment. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the rest of this series or any new info, make sure you sign up here.