Ten Actions You Can Take to Strengthen Your Business

Tony Schweier

Tony Schweier, Clark Shaefer Hackett Company
April 2016

Run through this checklist to position yourself and your company for success.

Every business owner should complete these items today, and repeat them annually.

  1. Create a budgeted income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. Craft them to be month-by-month or quarter-to-quarter for better results than annual versions.
  2. Evaluate your business balance sheet. Do you have sufficient working capital? Have you appropriately matched short and long term assets with short and long term debt?
  3. Assess your current business lines objectively. Decide what should stay and what should go.
  4. Identify three people in your business to mentor and develop this year, and then do it.
  5. Prepare yourself with a list of the “next five in” and the “next five out.” If your business grows beyond your expectations this year, what are the five skills, positions, or people you would add to continue the momentum? Likewise, if your business falters, what skills, positions, or people can you eliminate to keep the business in good standing?
  6. Revisit your succession plan and disaster recovery plan. Be sure the right people and systems are in place in the event the unexpected happens.
  7. Scrutinize how well you have protected your own future, and that of the company. Are your investments, insurance coverage levels, estate planning documents and the like up-to-date and in good order?
  8. Examine your personal financial position. Look at your level of debt compared to your income and asset base. Is it appropriate? Do you have a personal budget and are you willing to live within it?
  9. Consider one thing you would change about yourself, and write out your plan to accomplish that change. You are the greatest influence on your business, and when you improve so does the company.
  10. Draft a strategic plan, either very basic or quite detailed. Simply answer, “what is going to be different about my business at the end of this year? Set your goals, identify your path, and boldly take the journey.