How you answer them will shape what you do next
With the next year coming in just a couple of months, you all are working on your budget for 2018, right? If not, you should be. How can you get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are going?
What can make budgeting more compelling is crafting a simple set of understandings as the basis for your business. These understandings will help you build a simple business plan, which makes budgeting for the next year easier and more compelling.
Answer these questions:
What do I want to be doing besides working in my business?
This should be the most compelling question of all. Often, a business owner loses sight of all the things they would do if they had the time—those things that bring joy and pleasure. Rejuvenation, time with your family, your bucket list items: These are what should be addressed first of all.
What do I want my business to pay me in salary and benefits (so I can do some of the things besides running the business that I want to do)?
If you start doing business planning or budgeting for the next year without addressing what is in it for you, there is not much reason for getting that work done. How much money will you need to chase some of your dreams sooner than later?
How much net profit do I want my business to generate annually?
How much over the years?Net profit allows you to invest in building your business. Better software and computers, training for the staff, and new marketing tactics are just some of the things that can help with that.
Net profit can be taken out of the business. You can invest some of that money in buying rental property; many business owners do that to build wealth. Also, a business that produces decent net profit year-after-year is more attractive to a potential buyer.
What DO I want to be doing in my business?
Since you were crazy enough to start your business, you should be doing—or at least work toward doing—only what you want to do. That seems obvious, but in the heat of the moment (day, month, year or lifetime), some of us forget that.
What DON'T I want to be doing in my business?You start and build a business so you can do what you like to do. By getting clear about what you don’t want to do, you can start looking for employees who love to do those things.
Budgeting for these additional positions will allow you to (if not immediately, at least eventually) find employees to fill them.
How many hours a week am I willing to work in my business?
You are supposed to be the business owner, not a slave to the business. Set a limit on the number of hours you are working and live longer.
Think about it: What if you had a heart attack and your doctor said you have to limit your hours at work. What would you do? You probably would work fewer hours. Why wait until you have a heart attack to do that?
How many weeks a year do I want to not be working in my business?
Americans do not take enough time away from work compared with the rest of the First World. Vacations or staycations renew you. You get to live a bit instead of trying futilely to get done all the items on your never-ending to-do list.
Start small, with some long weekends. Then take a week several times a year. Build up to several weeks at a time. Then go for your bucket list long vacation.
Work to live, don’t live to work.
We will be celebrating the New Year before you know it. What do you want to happen next year in your life and business next year?
Plan and budget for it now. All we are talking about is the rest of your life.