Being an entrepreneur is tough. As a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs, we see that all too often when we meet with a new potential client. Some common entrepreneurial frustrations that can be addressed are:
- You feel like you are working too hard. As an entrepreneur, you know the work isn’t always easy but you should not expect to drive yourself into the ground. If you are grinding through without a plan, there is a better way.
- Your business isn’t growing fast enough. You have goals and aspirations, but can’t seem to get the business there. An external advisor can often provide perspective and input into what may be happening with your business.
- You’re not making enough money. If your sole driving factor of owning a business is to make a lot of money you will find that it will not be long-term sustainable. However, that doesn’t exclude you from trying to make a nice living from your hard work.
- You’re running out of cash. This is the biggest fear of most entrepreneurs. Cash is king and if you don’t have it you are going out of business.
- You’re not having fun in the business. Business isn’t always going to be fun, but you need to be passionate about and enjoy what you do. If you don’t you’re going to have a hard time pushing yourself through obstacles and overcoming adversity.
The best way to avoid these frustrations is to have a trusted advisor and financial strategy that includes forecasting, budgeting, and planning for cash flow. When you have a plan and accountability partner a lot of those problems will go away. You’ll also be able to tackle problems with less stress. The keys to our process in working with entrepreneurs are to:
- Make sure you have up-to-date data that will help you understand where you are. If you don’t have data you don’t know if you are making good decisions.
- Analyzing trends to determine where you are going to be. Is where you are going to be where you want to be? If so, how do you ensure you continue there? If not, how do you positively influence it?
- Conducting regular meetings to discuss 1 and 2 and to build in accountability. You need someone to make sure you are doing what you say you are going to do in a timely manner. Lost time can be the downfall of an entrepreneur and a business’s success.
- Help entrepreneurs set and achieve goals. What are challenging yet realistic goals? How do your strategies and financials align with those goals?
- Be there to help you tackle major challenges. No one needs to tackle the tough stuff alone.
We know that most people think of CPA firms as compliance and backwards focused. It’s an important part to what we do, but not nearly as valuable as helping entrepreneurs plan for the future. We hope that this article has helped you know that you are not alone and that there are trusted advisors that you can turn to.
Caroline Montgomery, CPA (NC License Number 39017), MSA, is tax manager and partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. The most rewarding part of what she does is helping business owners and individuals achieve their goals, all while working with a dynamic team that is growing quickly. The firm focuses on a proactive approach by encouraging clients to minimize taxes via income tax planning and projections, or by focusing on other areas of their business as part of the firm's Virtual CFO services. The firm also offers tax preparation, fraud and forensic accounting and tax issue resolution services. She moved to Wilmington in 2014 and started at the firm in 2015. Caroline graduated with her her undergraduate and graduate degree in 2010 from East Carolina University. She is actively involved with NourishNC as their Treasurer and enjoys volunteering with various organizations throughout New Hanover County. In her free time, Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and dog, Mason, as well as travelling and going to the beach.