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Profitable growth is your priority as a business owner, but sometimes it’s hard to see the way forward. Planning a profitable future for your business can’t be done overnight, but there are a few steps you can take today to get started:

1. Define your top strategic goals

Most goals that relate to profit require working on them over a long period of time. To make sure you don’t lose sight of what you’re working toward amidst the daily grind, define clear and measurable goals so you can track your daily progress.

For example, let’s say you set a goal to gain 240 new customers by the end of 2020. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to tally up your new customers and come up short, you can break the goal so you can continually track your progess and make changes to your strategy. In this case, you’ll want to gain 20 new customers each month. If you come up short, you can try a new lead generation technique next month or readjust your targets.

2. Create a vision for your business

Balancing your goals against a long-term vision can help you be more aware of how your business is growing. Visualize where you want to be in three years, seven years, and ten years. Write down your visualizations and check them against your goals to make sure they align. If they don’t, try readjusting your goals before you readjust your vision.

Include financial visualizations. How much revenue is the business bringing in? Do you have new revenue streams? What do your customers look like?

3. Retain existing clients

When you’re growing a small business, it’s always tempting to focus entirely on bringing in new clients. After all, that’s what “growth” is all about, right?

Although bringing in new clients is always essential in a small business, it’s equally important not to overlook your existing client base. There are a few benefits to serving clients you’ve already helped. First, they already know and appreciate your work. Second, there’s less onboarding and communications. And third, you can develop valuable long-term relationships that take less resources and effort to maintain than bringing in new clients.

Cater to your existing clients by offering them new or add-on services. Create packages that will serve them better, and reach out on a regular basis to maintain the relationship. This will help with overall revenue growth, but it will also greatly improve your cash flow while you try to hook those new clients.

4. Create recurring income

Financial growth depends on stability, and the best way to stabilize is by creating recurring revenue. In many cases, this means packaging your products or services differently or including add-on options. For example, if you’re a website designer, you could also sell monthly maintenance services that include website updates for a small monthly fee. Your clients have the benefit of a website that doesn’t get outdated, and you add stable income to your business.

5. Track your progress

If you aren’t tracking your growth, it’s hard to pinpoint where your successes are coming from. Although your business will have strategic goals and long-term visions, it’s sometimes necessary to shift these as circumstances change. For example, if your goal is to turn your solopreneur business into a million dollar company with 3 employees within 5 years, you’ll want to look at which revenue streams, clients, and projects can help you do that so you can focus your energy and attention there.

One of the best ways to do this is through QuickBooks Online. This is a powerful bookkeeping and accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. If you already use QBO to track your financial data, you can take that tracking one step further by adding categories and tags to your transactions. For example, if you wanted to see where most of your revenue is coming from (B2B or B2C or specific industries or types of people), you could easily track that in QBO and pull it up in a simple report at the end of the year. Then you can use that report for future planning and goal setting.

Download the QuickBooks Online Optimization Checklist to learn more about tracking in QBO, or reach out to us directly to book a QuickBooks training and setup session in Edmonton or online.


Jeff Schwan

Jeff established Schwan & Associates CPA to bring unique “cloud-based” accounting services to small and medium-sized Edmonton businesses. Inspired by the quality time spent with his family, Jeff’s goal is to put more time back in the hands of the busy entrepreneurs who strengthen Edmonton’s business community. With 10+ years of experience in diverse management roles, Jeff has acquired a strong set of leadership and mentoring skills. He is, and always has been, an educator at heart. He knows the value of spreading knowledge, investing in people, and continually learning.

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