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Jannie Rossouw - How to improve longevity in business

Running a business is exhilarating, but it often comes with its fair share of uncertainties. Achieving peace of mind in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship requires a strategic and multifaceted approach.

 

In this article we will explore some key elements which, if addressed diligently, will improve sound business and management practices creating a more robust and resilient enterprise.

 

1. Risk Management: Shielding Your Business from Uncertainties

Business risk is the potential for adverse events or uncertainties that may harm an enterprise`s

objectives, performance, or reputation.

 

A prudent way to address risk management is to develop a Business Risk Register. Such a register highlights the probability for an identified risk to materialise as well as the impact it will have on the business. A remedial plan of action and assigned responsibilities will enable the business to respond timeously when risk mitigation actions are needed.

 

2. Financial Planning: A Solid Foundation for Stability

Diligent financial planning practices and implemented solutions will stand us in good stead when disaster strikes (flooding, theft, fire etc.) or an inevitable event happens (death of a business partner, the loss of a key person etc.) which may have a detrimental impact on business continuity.

 

The value of an Accredited Financial Planner as part of the “Specialist team” of the business is of critical importance to ensure that the personal financial planning needs (risk, saving and investment) of entrepreneurs, the protection of business assets (short term insurance and business continuity protection) and the provision of employee benefits (retirement, healthcare and funeral cover) are addressed.

 

3. Measuring KPIs: Navigating with Clarity

Sometimes we look at Key Performance Indicators (KPI`s) as elements which have value to our

accountant. We see it as somewhat theoretical. These key metrics are the drivers of business

success and can pro-actively inform our strategic and operational decisions.

 

Each business and industry have unique nuances w.r.t. KPI`s. The most generic KPI`s usually focus on tracking new business inflows, conversion rates of new business quotations, financial ratios critical to a specific enterprise, the ability to measure the number of products and the monetary quantum of sales made to existing clients as well as the metrics associated to the improvement of financial margins. Make it a concerted effort to identify the KPI`s relevant to your enterprise with the input of your accountant and obtain industry best practice benchmarks.

 

4. Pursuing New Opportunities: The Power of Diversification

I meet many entrepreneurs who own and operate profitable businesses. On closer inspection I find that the continued existence of the business is linked to a handful of core clients which exposes the business to an elevated risk should one or more of these clients fall away.

 

The fact of the matter is that most businesses have a layer of fixed costs which need to be funded as a minimum requirement. The departure of a core client(s) should not put the ability of the business to fulfil its financial obligations in jeopardy. A dedicated effort should be affected to procure new clients if this test is done with a downside outcome.

 

The fundamental question is what your (and that of your business partners) definition of success in your business is. For some entrepreneurs it is merely to vest and maintain an ambitious lifestyle business. Determine how many clients (read income needed) the business needs to meet your personal aspirations and the financial gains needed to service business obligations.

 

5. Building Reserves: Safeguarding Against Economic Turbulence

Entrepreneurs are inclined to re-invest surplus cash into their businesses as they uphold the opinion that it is here where the best ROI can be achieved. Although this is a reasonable assumption, a business also needs access to incumbent cash reserves to float the business in dire situations (think the aftermath of the C19 pandemic). Once your finance facilities are exhausted in such circumstances, it becomes more difficult to increase or even extend it.

 

There are multiple investment instruments available to consider in which cash reserves can be

accumulated. Your accredited financial planner will be able to provide more information on the

topic.

 

6. Managing Business Continuity: Ensuring Resilience

The planning of business succession is a critical building block in vesting business resilience, yet it is an element which is mostly neglected or left to the wayside to be addressed sometime in the future – which mostly never happens.

 

Pro-active planning is needed to ensure a seamless transition for when a current business owner

wants to opt-out of the business (e.g. retire, selling of shareholding). Financial provision should also be made to fund the buy-out of the shareholding of a deceased or permanently disabled

shareholder.

 

In conclusion

There are no guarantees in life and business. An enterprise is an income generating vehicle which is in the service of its owner(s). There are many unknowns and even less certainties in business. Thinking about and addressing these pointers will improve the longevity of your enterprise to weather the proverbial storms, ups and downs which is par for the course.

 

Contact information if you have any questions about this article and/or need business advice and guidance.

 

Jannie Rossouw

Mobile: 082 560 4149

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