“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” -Gandhi
While this quote from Gandhi is most commonly used to refer to the actions people take in their day-to-day lives, it is also very applicable to your business strategy. That is, the actions, habits, and overall culture of your company can play vital roles in forming the foundation for your business, and subsequently what it will achieve. This holds especially true when it comes to your business’ financial strategy.
If you allow for great habits to form in your finance department, you will find lots of wealth and success in your business’ future. After all, a solid financial team is going to be able to best optimize your expenses and revenue to generate the most profit. However, if you fail to lay a solid groundwork in your financial strategy, your business will feel the effects quickly, and struggle to boost profit and grow.
If you find your business in this position, remember that there is always an opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes and prevent them from causing major, long term losses. With that in mind, here are some great ways to effectively manage and organize your business’ financial strategy.
Utilize Technology Effectively
As it is an ever-growing industry, technology can play a vital role in your company’s success, and effectively utilizing it is a great way to ensure company growth. In particular, because of new developments in the financial technology industry (or FinTech for short) your financial teams have lots of options at their disposal to improve their strategy and become as efficient as possible.
One area of FinTech seeing consistent growth at the moment is online banking. Traditionally, finance departments had to meet with bank representatives at brick and mortar locations in order to check in on their company’s accounts. They would also receive a lot of paper bank statements, which contributed to office clutter and often be difficult to keep organized. With online banking services, however, the entire process has been effectively consolidated into one convenient package. All of the information about your bank account can be accessed immediately through your smartphone or tablet, allowing for faster management and better organization options.
Another piece of technology that can assist your company’s financial departments are mobile spreadsheets and other Google services. Spreadsheets make keeping track of your business’ budget and spending habits incredibly easy–and can be accessed from any laptop or device. Google also offers slides and word processing products, allowing you to write up financial reports and presentations and send them across the company without needing to print them.
Streamline Communication on Financial Teams
Facilitating high-quality communication between members of your finance team is crucial to success. Financial decisions oftentimes require fast reaction times, and therefore, if your communication is slow, you may find your company quickly falling behind when it comes to making important decisions. To improve your team’s speed, use email productivity tools such as SaneBox to boost productivity in your communications strategy. By doing this, you will allow faster dialogue between your financial teams, and facilitate better project management.
You should also consider creating guidelines for meeting management. In a recent study in Japan, four day work weeks were found to increase productivity, and this was facilitated through changes and improvements associated with stricter meeting requirements and guidelines. Meetings were not to exceed 30 minutes, and the general expectation was that you should not have a meeting over something that can be discussed over email.
Overall, setting effective communication policies and giving your finance team ways to effectively communicate are going to help boost productivity and help your business keep its financial strategy organized.
Set Standards and Expectations
If you’re looking for an effective management strategy to get your financial team on the same page when it comes to staying organized and productive, one goal you can set for yourself and your management team is to establish a mission statement and productivity expectations. While a mission statement typically lays out the overall goals and purpose of a company, you can establish one for different departments, and in doing so can create a goal setting and motivation mindset for the members of the department.
While it’s important to lay out expectations about how communication and organization should be handled, you should do so without micromanaging. Instead, give clear instructions about how work is to be done, and then provide the tools needed to get those tasks completed. Remember, your employees are going to be motivated to work hard because of great leadership qualities, not because you’re checking in on them every hour.
Always be Learning, Adapting, and Growing
Most industries are constantly growing and changing at any given time, and while it is important to be aware of external factors impacting your industry, you should also be conscientious of the internal factors that could be affecting your company. Other members of the finance department could be aware of the growth and profit trends that you should be implementing and how to optimize them for success.
Paying attention to the people around you and what they’re saying is going to be incredibly important for boosting your financial potential as well. Not only does it give you a leg up when it comes to a financial strategy, being your willingness to listen to your employees shows that you care, and improve retention rates. Retention rate is very important to business productivity, as more seasoned employees tend to be more effective at their jobs and boost the company as a whole.
Habits are vital to your business’ financial success, and therefore, creating long-lasting strategies and business habits with your finance team is going to be imperative as you grow as a business leader. While you may face stumbling blocks on your path towards success, having a strong foundation of effective financial strategies and habits is going to ensure you are able to get over these hurdles and achieve greatness.