Saying Goodbye to 2021, Looking Ahead to 2022
Well, another year is in the books. Delta and omicron notwithstanding, business goes on, albeit in new ways for many companies. Now it’s time to look in the figurative rearview mirror as well as look ahead with optimism and a plan!
The first question to ask yourself is, “Was 2021 more difficult than anticipated and if so, why?” It could be an issue of financial or human resources, lack of planning, continuing effects of the pandemic, or unanticipated shifts in the business.
On the flip side, was there an aspect of your business or an operational area that you improved? And what are you planning to improve in the coming year? Take note of all of these as you head into 2022 with a fresh plan. Here are some aspects to explore.
Every business has cash flow peaks and valleys, and income drivers and draggers.
- Where are the areas to improve cash flow?
- Plan now for 2022 seasonal dips in sales or receivables, and how you will cover those
- Identify which expenditures you can cut without hurting operations
- Conversely, look at the income producers to enhance and optimize
Updated, accurate financial records are the underpinning of all your business planning. Waiting until now to implement an accounting system with good reporting does little for understanding how your business performed in 2021; but starting 2022 with a newly established system and solid record keeping will provide meaningful financial data you can use in the coming year.
Banking and professional relationships
The COVID-19 pandemic shone a bright light on the importance of having positive personal and professional relationships in difficult times. But for businesses, it is vital to cultivate a good relationship with your bank all the time—especially as you grow or encounter cash flow dips and need access to capital. Add a network of like-minded professionals who can support your goals to that list.
Another pandemic lesson is the need for operational flexibility. How well-positioned is your business to pivot as market conditions change? Is there flexibility in your services or the goods you produce, the way you market them, or to whom you sell?
We all know that the U.S. is in a hiring crunch, with many employers unable to fill open positions adequately. It’s hard to say how recruiting and hiring will go in 2022 but treating your team well will foster greater employee loyalty, enhance retention, and mitigate churn. Remember: it is less expensive to keep good employees than to replace them.
Today’s workforce seeks more flexibility regarding work hours, work from home or hybrid arrangements, and time off for personal needs. Teams value employers who are responsive to their input and make them feel valued in return. And given the last two years, couldn’t we all use a bit of fun time injected into the work week now and then?
(Share with us what you do for fun with your team—games, outings, virtual events, etc.)
At CFO Your Way, we wish all our clients and colleagues a profitable end to 2021 and a strong plan going into 2022.
We’re here to support you as you dive into your financials (or need help setting up a better system), and to create business efficiencies that improve operations. Contact us to discuss making 2022 your year to shine!