Financial Challenges of 2018 (and how to meet them)

Financial Challenges of 2018 (and how to meet them)

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With the New Year already here, what are the big issues and priorities facing your business in 2018?

According to a recent article in CFO.com, financial priorities of CFOs for the coming year include “survive disruption,” “raise prices,” “increase margins,” and “drive a culture of data” (others listed are “execute crisply,” and “invest for growth.”

In other words, the priority areas CFOs expect to be dealing with next year are to a large extent the same ones they have been grappling with for the past few years.

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Personally, I look forward to working with companies and clients to increase their profitability and cash flow, both as a consulting CFO and through The Profit Beacon.

I’m also looking forward in 2018 to the publication of “The E-Myth Chief Financial Officer,” the new book I’ve been writing with Michael E. Gerber, author of the E-Myth series who is known as the “World’s #1 Small Business Guru.”

The book has been a labor of love.

We wrote it to better equip small business owners to tackle the many challenges CFOs face.

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Our topics relate directly to some of the priorities CFOs see on the horizon for 2018. For instance, for “surviving disruption,” we explore three signs a company must change course: financial warnings, changing markets and making management decisions with a contracted mindset.

Change is hard.

It is the job of the CFO (or the small business owner acting as his or her own CFO) to lead the charge. It’s up to us to anticipate and respond to resistance to change, and to quantify the reasons why the company and everyone in it must change.

Want to raise prices? We explain how to justify price in terms that make sense for the customer and that generate appropriate profitability for the company. Need to increase your margins? We explore how to calculate your gross margin, plus some traps businesses can fall into that can leave them with inadequate profits and margins.

It’s no surprise CFOs ranked driving a culture of data among their top priorities for the coming year. Every decision we make is based on data, so we must make sure that data is sound.

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In “The E-Myth Chief Financial Officer,” Michael Gerber and I share six ways to assure you are using data correctly to maximize efficiency and cash flow, and minimize chances for problems.

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When you look ahead to 2018, what are your top priorities for your business? What challenges do you expect to face? What systems do you have in place to help you not only “survive” but thrive in the face of disruption and change?

My New Year’s wish for you, and for CFOs everywhere, is that we are agile and open minded to meet whatever challenge we face in the year ahead.

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