Resource Alternatives Consulting

Smart Solutions for Small Business

Small Business Planning and Start-Up

Are you a small business owner or independent professional who wants to advance their business to the next level? 

 

Have you just launched your business and need help in developing the processes and procedures to meet your objectives? 

 

Do you have goals but you arenít sure how to reach them? 

 

Would you like to have one source to help you master those challenges?

 

Resource Alternatives Consulting

 

We add value helping our clients build successful businesses providing practical, comprehensive advice and support in the manner that best serves the business partner/client.  Most consulting companies focus on larger organizations.  Our target market is the small company or professional who has a great idea or product but needs help in setting up the business, evaluating and establishing procedures, workflow, understanding the financials, cash flow and projecting income and expenses or the organization who has been in business for several years and requires assistance in advancing to the next level.

 

We help the small business owner or independent professional make the critical business decisions on where to focus their activities to maximize resources and generate more profit. 

 

Operations, Planning and Development

  • Ownership Structures*
  • Business Laws and Legal Information*
  • Strategic and Business Plan Development and Review
  • Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat  Analysis (SWOT)

  • Start Up Capital Estimates, Budgets, Cash Flow Analysis, Revenue Projections
  • Marketing Plans and Implementation Support 
  • Development of Operations Manuals, Policies and Procedure Manuals
  • Documentation of Systems and Processes
  • Benchmarking and Business Performance Metrics

* Resource Alternatives provides legal and tax information.  We do not provide legal advice.  Always consult your attorney or CPA.

 

10 Questions to Ask Yourself about your Business or Practice:

 

Budgeting and Cash Flow

 

  1. Do I have a budget for the current year?
  2. Do I know how much and where my company spent money last year?
  3. Do I know what my cash flow looks like for the next six months, next year?

As a small business you may not think you need a budget.  Without some idea of your overhead and expenses you will have no idea how to price your products or services so that you generate a profit, or at least break even.  Creating a budget is not complicated.  You donít need expensive software programs.  Microsoft Excel comes with a budget template; if you donít have a computer you can even use paper and pencil. 

 

By creating a budget and reviewing it at least weekly you are able to track your expenses and manage them.  Taking it to the next step, reviewing last years budget and looking closely at where you spent your money allows you to make better decisions on this yearís budget items.  It is also important for you to know what your cash flow looks like, remember cash flow and profit are two different animals.  You can price your products so that you have a 35% profit, but your accounts receivable may be lagging behind your accounts payable.  You need to pay close attention to when your customers pay you.  If you know your biggest customer always takes 45 days to pay your invoices, without careful planning you may miss a payroll or pay your vendors late. 

 

Business Development

 

  1. Do I have specific plans for generating new business?
  2. Do I know where my business came from last year?
  3. Do I know who my customers are and why they buy from me and not my competition?
  4. Do my clients regularly refer business to me?

Sometimes, we begin to take business for granted.  It is easy to become complacent; we are able to pay the bills, even put some money back into the business.  We stop looking for new business, because we are comfortable.  When this happens, it is just a matter of time before the business is in trouble.  You need to have a defined plan for generating new business and you need to work your plan consistently.  By evaluating your existing customers and discovering why they buy from you,  you can devise a marketing plan to generate additional business.  Your existing customers can be your most cost efficient generator for new business.  Ask for referrals and provide incentives.  By rewarding your existing customers for referring new business to your company you are getting twice the value Ė satisfied existing customers and new customers who have already been sold on your products and services. 

 

As a caveat - if most of your business comes from just a few of your customers you should make it a point to broaden your customer base.  If one customer provides 50% of your revenue and they go out of business or choose to buy from a competitor your business will be struggling until you can replace that revenue.   

 

Policies and Procedures

 

  1. Do my employees know what is expected of them?
  2. Do I have written procedures and policies?

As your business grows you may find the need to hire additional associates.  The best way to get the most out of your investment in human capital is to make sure your employees know what is expected of them.  By developing clear and detailed policies and procedures and providing them to your employees you create an environment for success.  Providing your employees with written policies and procedures makes it easier for them to do their jobs efficiently.  Expectations are clear and when there are questions, it is an easy matter to refer to the policy or procedure.  Written policies and procedures give clarity and direction to your managers and supervisors on how to handle specific employment issues fairly and consistently.  The relatively small investment of time initially will save you much time in the future. 

 

Measuring Success

 

  1. Do I receive regular reports on sales, quality, budget variances, profit, customer satisfaction and employee performance?

You must set specific and measurable standards and goals for your business.  You canít measure success if you donít know what it looks like.  As you were preparing your budget for the year, you should have set sales goals, established quality standards for your products and services, and performance goals for your employees.  At a minimum, you should review your sales, budget variances, accounts payable and receivable, and P&L monthly.  By constantly reviewing your results and holding yourself and employees accountable you can and will achieve your business goals. 

 

 

 For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation contact: Resource_Alternatives@comcast.net or call us at 609 647-4647.