To inspire more entrepreneurship that endures beyond the initial pain points of the first few years, accounting professionals should extend themselves to offer value that goes beyond the generated financial statements.
That starting and operating a successful business is challenging is a given. It is a point that all can agree upon. Within that challenge comes the opportunity to define success and for the new entrepreneur, the bottom line of profit, the black or red, often leads to a sense of failure and reasons to quit. How can accountants inspire hope, creativity and long term success? By working with entrepreneurs to provide insights that go beyond the balance sheet. Here are some ways you can help.
Calculating Return on Time Investment
It has proven difficult for entrepreneurs to convert the time spent networking, making calls and developing curriculum into numbers. And for the new or developing business, that time investment is often quite significant. Your proficiency with numbers can be applied so they entrepreneur will see that, even though cash flow is not immediately realized, there is great value in the work being done to develop, market and build the business. There is value in investing time wisely to create the foundation for a
thriving business in the future.
Showing the Value of Experience
The perception of a business that has operated for 6 months is very different from that of one that can state a life span of multiple years. Entrepreneurs must be made to realize that every year they stick out the process of refining their business is another year of credibility built up and additional marks for longevity and perceived expert status. The statistics prove that the longer you remain in business the more likely you are to have a thriving, long-term business.
Sharing what works
As an accountant you are the curator of many things and among them are ideas. You, no doubt, work with multiple accounts within the same profession of varying levels of success. You have access to ideas that have worked well and others not so much. Consider being a source for creative, tested solutions that can be shared with your new, up and coming businesses. By no means is it being suggested that you trample on your promise of confidentiality. You can, however, give a young business a fighting chance by
helping to inspire and create movement with ideas that work.
Planning for success
The days when accounting professionals only met with their clients once a year at tax time should be long gone but unfortunately it persists. No business can operate or plan adequately with the provision of only annual reports and it is critical for the small business owner to have information on a consistent basis to head off losses and to plan for change where needed. By meeting with business owners at regular intervals throughout the year, you can help entrepreneurs to avoid costly mistakes, confirm the viability of action plans, analyze investments under consideration, and so much more.
The accounting professional is the entrepreneur’s CFO. You are on their board of directors whether or not you or they realize it. You have a vested interest in their success and bring needed expertise to the discussions that must be had in order to build a business that stands the test of time. Remember, your client may not naturally lean towards numbers and calculations so it is up to you to bring your best ideas
and invaluable service to them and deliver it in ways that they can understand and implement.
Your role goes beyond numbers and can be the inspiration an entrepreneur needs to go at it another day.
Hadriana Leo, CCS
Money Navigator at Crescendo Financial