Most businesses fail because of financial shortfalls. In economic times such as being experienced in 2009, this factor has become more important.
In 2009, business owners and managers need to focus more fully on the financial aspects of the firm.
"Financial Survival in 2009: New Disciplines for Weathering the Storm" is the topic of a new white paper to help entrepreneurs, especially owners of privately held companies, through a tough economy.
Authored by Bruce Mallory, managing partner of Platinum Group, the benefits of deeper due diligence among small business owners are presented for earlier anticipation of problems, such as banking issues, major customer loss and cash flow problems.
Key to better navigation and course corrections, especially in an economic downturn, is an integrated financial planning model, according to Mallory.
This is a computer-based forecasting program -- tailored to each business -- which is built around a series of assumptions and allows for tracking actual results against these assumptions. The benefit: more timely feedback to make better decisions and weather extreme marketplace changes.
"It is our experience that most entrepreneurs rely too heavily upon sales figures to build a budget and measure their performance," says Mallory, whose firm helps companies in critical transitions such as troubled companies and those experiencing difficulty moving to the next level. "Better financial projections require greater discipline on the part of owners and managers to get beyond thinking that 2009 sales will be flat or merely down by 10 or 20 percent."
Ideas for deeper due diligence include discovering what is going to impact a company's top 20 customers in 2009 and ways to reduce banking needs with vendor and product strategies.
The white paper addresses key business trends in 2009, especially in the first quarter, where business owners can use this planning model to gauge potential "red flags" and know when to implement Plan B. It also includes a first-quarter exercise for determining cost reductions needed for break-even cash flow.
The white paper is available at http://www.theplatinumgrp.com