Strategic Planning Using Financial Models

Strategic Planning Using Financial Models

Uncertainty is a part of making business plans. But this should not stop you from creating strategic plans. This is where financial modeling comes in. Financial models do not make the future more predictable but it does help you choose between various options and prepare your business to navigate twists and turns as you implement your strategic plan.

What Is Financial Modeling?

Financial modeling is the act of building a conceptual framework that depicts where a business’ financial situation will be at some period in the future. It is based on real world information gathered from financial statements and market research.

When done correctly, a financial model considers all areas of a business’ financial performance and generates a three statement models, namely, income, balance, and cash flow . It uses clear, logical, and defensible assumptions in order to account for changes in business activity.

Who Should You Use To Prepare A Financial Model?

A financial model is a tool for your business that will be used to aid strategic planning. The person creating your financial model needs to have a strong understanding of accounting fundamentals and financial statement analysis, and ideally has knowledge of your industry.

What Happens After Creating A Financial Model?

While financial modeling can help a buyer feel more comfortable with your growth projections, it is only the first step in this process. You will want to use your financial model to determine the current and projected value of your company to see if it meets your goals. Next, you should detect areas for improvement or investment in your business, and develop a strategic plan for making this all happen.

Make sure to keep records of everything that goes into this process because buyers want to know how close you came to achieving past projections, what actions you took when you deviated or exceeded projections, which members of the leadership team were essential to this process, and how they can take your business to the next level.

Financial model can be used to develop and enhance strategic planning initiatives. It addresses five components: determining if your business’ value is where you want it to be, revising projected vs. actual results, finding opportunities for improved performance, developing action plans to achieve results, and setting the current organizational structure to reflect your business goals.

Why Should You Regularly Update Financial Models?

It is a foregone conclusion that your financial model will differ from what actually happens as time passes and conditions change. And that is why it’s critical to update your financial models and overall strategic plan on a regular basis. Any deviations from the model must be taken into consideration and actions must be taken to correct the issue.

Tips To Clinch More Deals

Tips To Clinch More Deals

Following a set playbook might make it even harder to get sales, find new clients or hit targets. With the changing environment businesses need to be dynamic to keep up with the demands of the target audience.

Given below are some tips on how you can effectively sell your product or service repeatedly.

Social Media Is Important

Using social media platforms only for your personal life is naive especially in an era where people turn to the internet to find information regarding a person or a business. Your social accounts must contain information regarding your personal life and your business. Strike a balance between the both these aspects.

Remember to stay away from politics as you are dealing with a large and varied audience. Stay away from any form of negativity and post helpful articles and videos. Always stay consistent and this will bring in more people.

Case Studies And Feedback

Providing proof or evidence has become highly important in today’s world. People often claim to be experts and pretend to be the best. Clients often need evidence and customers today perform a fact checking before they even approach a company.

This is where collecting feedback becomes important. Ask your customers to provide you with an honest review of their experience with your company.  Collect their photos and post their feedback and reviews on your website, blog and social media. Such a case study will help you stand out in your field.

Pricing

People believe that higher prices mean better clients and higher profits. The problem is unless you are providing a high end service and you are a high end brand you cannot charge a really high price.

You need to charge the right price considering your product, your brand, your presentation and the overall value of your work provides. When you are just starting out it is ridiculous to set a really high price. But overtime you can build up your brand and through research you can raise your prices.

Charging the right price at the right time is key in sales. You should align your price with your level of business.

Presentation

Always be at your best and build a solid positive reputation regarding your company. Positive reviews and a brand name will bring in more clients.

Consider the way you are projecting yourself to the outside world. Study what you post on social media. Be aware of social problems and get involved in causes that are dear to you. Be a socially responsible organization that is known for its employee welfare, customer service and overall reputation.

Consistency

Consistency is the key to success. Keep your social media up-to-date and also constancy meet clients and set up meetings. Follow ups is also important. Even though it’s a slow progress, keep moving down the sales pipeline.

With persistent efforts you will see the desired results. Keep doing your best and improve your business process and operations along the way to become the best in your market.

Are Multiple Choices Always Good?

Are Multiple Choices Always Good?

It is often believed that more choices are better. Businesses believe in offering a variety of products ranging in colour and models in the hope that it will attract customers. It is easy to believe that more options and freedom of choice make customers happy but this is far from the truth.

Choices Are Overwhelming

When you give people a multitude of options they become overwhelmed. If at all they do make a choice, they often contemplate about what they had to “sacrifice” or not choose when they made their decision. They wonder if a different decision would have made them happier. This leads to unhappiness and never being fully happy with their final choice.

This applies to buyers as well. When you offer more choices to a buyer, chances are higher that he will not buy anything. Too many options lead to anxiety and inevitably, inaction.

Making a decision is a mentally stressful and emotionally taxing process. Considering the varying factors, while making a choice, makes the entire process even more difficult. That’s why buyers find it easier to say a no than saying yes to any one of the options.

Choosing Should Be Easy

Make the entire buying process simple by cutting down your offers. Give your buyers single choice. It should be whether they should buy something or not. In every scenario you must ensure that the decision to purchase is made simple, easy and quick.

Eradicate and remove all unnecessary factors that might prolong or distress the customer. It most cases, it the vast number of options that scare away potential customers.

Simple Yes Or No

Simplicity of choices must be seen even in your marketing and sales messages. Let people make a simple choice within a limited time period.

This does not mean that you offer a single product every time. Consider your target audience and their budget and income. The idea is to provide three different levels of service to accommodate people with varying budgets and needs. This is also called “Olympic Factor Pricing.”

This is especially important when you are selling high end or costly items. It need not be taken into consideration with cheaper products because more products only complicate the process and the complication is not worth the end result.

Simplification Is Key

Reducing your options can also be applied in your marketing strategies. When you want people to share your content online, provide them with lesser options. Choose one or two of the best platforms that appeal to your audience and do not clutter your site with other icons and options.

The same can be applied for e-mail marketing.  Do not overwhelm customers with innumerable offers and choices through a simple e-mail. Instead, stick to one major offer which the customer will be automatically drawn to.

Keep your homepage and websites relatively simple and user friendly. Do not bombard potential clients with your latest products and news. A simple website will be easier to navigate and let buyers make their decision.

All in all, if a business wants to improve its sales it must take away the customers’ freedom of choice by removing options. This will make customers happier and earn you profit in the long run.

Handling The Dreaded Task Of Layoff

Handling The Dreaded Task Of Layoff

Technology improvements, financial downturns, and business model shifts – these are all common challenges that may prompt you to consider laying off employees.No one wants to go through layoffs. But, it happens, and in a lot of cases, it is necessary for the survival of a business.

Here are 5 tips to consider when laying off an employee.

1. Let Employees Know Where They Stand

An employee should not be surprised that he or she is being fired. Rather than simply commanding folks to pack their things and leave, respectful employers explain the reasons behind the layoffs. Whether the employee is not performing up to the standard or does not fit within their team, you need to be clear about the problems.

Provide precise details about issues such as customer complaints, improper behavior during meetings, missed deadlines or failure to meet sales targets. Meet the employee and give them examples of problems regarding performance or behavior.

2. Go One-On-One

Notify the employees of the decision in private before the word is out. They should be told respectfully, behind closed doors. Allow them to take the news and figure out what they are going to do with it before they have to face their co-workers.

3. Allow For Goodbyes

Standard layoff policy seems to require terminated workers to leave the building immediately, but that is often not necessary. In most cases, it is recommended that folks be permitted a chance to say goodbye to coworkers. And there is absolutely no need, under normal circumstances, to have someone escorted to the door by a security guard or supervisor.

Keep in mind that terminated workers are recent employees, not ordinary citizens. When possible, it is even better to let workers transfer their responsibilities in an orderly way, perhaps training others who will take over their former jobs.

4. Ease The Transition

Ease workers’ transition to other employment. For example provide resources to help laid-off workers find jobs, register for unemployment benefits or return to school.

By providing outplacement services, you are helping folks in your community and generating goodwill with the people being let go and those remaining. 

5. Remember The Remaining Workers

With fewer employees, it is more crucial than ever to maintain productivity and keep your company running. That is why you cannot neglect the workers who are left behind–often with high levels of concern about their job security and new tasks they may be asked to undertake.

Mention clearly about job duties and expectations, especially if workers will be asked to take on tasks earlier handled by others. Furthermore, talk about each employee’s performance and what led to decisions about who to keep and who to let go. These discussions help people understand what they can do to keep their jobs. And if there is a chance there will be future layoffs, it is fair to let employees know you will continually evaluate the situation. 

Tips To Boost Your Sales Revenue

Tips To Boost Your Sales Revenue

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Increasing sales revenue is a key process of developing a company successfully, but doing so is not so easy. To make matters more complicated, increasing sales does not always lead to an increment in revenue. This makes even the best advertising techniques fall short of serving towards the business objectives for profit and growth.

But if effective marketing is not enough, what is a business supposed to do to increase their sales revenue and promote healthy growth?

Here are some tips to increase your sales revenue,

1. Map Out Your Current Processes

Most businesses have an informal sales process, where everyone sort of knows what is supposed to happen and who does what.

The first thing you will want to do is plan out these informal processes to get a formal understanding of all the steps to making a sale.

 2. Define Your Key Performance Indicators

Writing down your processes will allow you to track prospects as they advance from one step to the next. This will allow you to estimate how many leads successfully move through your pipeline. You will also know how long it takes to finish a sale on average from start to finish.

 3. Follow-Up And Measure Performance

Conducting sales meetings are a good way to ensure a regular analysis of sales data. The purpose of the meeting should be to decide what possibilities are in the pipeline and how leads are moving through the process.

Your key performance indicators can also be used to estimate individual performance. Employees usually appreciate the transparency of understanding how they are judged. It can also be a great way to encourage friendly competition within your team.

 4. Use Technology To Simplify Monitoring

Your next step should be to centralize all your client and contact information. This database can be in a simple form of a spreadsheet, but as your business grows, you will probably want to spend on customer relationship management software.

 5. Start Forecasting Your Sales

You can think of your processes as a funnel or pipeline. By measuring your progress rate at every step, you will be able to determine the inputs you need to accomplish your sales goals.

 6. Develop Your Competitive Advantage

The customers need a reason for buying your products or services, in terms of the benefits, results or outcomes which they would not get from purchasing from your competitor.

 7. Increase Your Sales

After you have planned your processes and set a prediction, it becomes simple enough to increase your sales.

Two ways to do this are to,

  • Increasing Your Average Order Size (sell more products)

Consider granting discounts for larger orders, free shipping for orders over a certain threshold, or upselling and cross-selling items.

  • Improving Your Conversion Rate (sell more frequently)

you can also tweak your sales script, create offers that are more appealing and provide additional training to your sales staff.