Running a business requires a varied skill of multiple disciplines. Every business, irrespective of its industry, product, or category, stands on analysis and decision making on these domains. Enterprises have production, supply chain, marketing, administration, finance, marketing, and human resources departments.
Each domain of a business is a world in itself and has its own set of small and big decisions to be taken. Every department is crucial for the survival and elevation of the business. However, it is not necessary to have the entire departments as separate big existences in the company. In a smaller company, there is a lesser departmental structure, but each function mentioned above needs to be operational.
Many experts, entrepreneurs, and management consultants suggest that micromanagement is one of the root causes of businesses not growing. As there is little delegation, decisions are stuck at the upper management desk, killing the momentum of the functions. Therefore, it is crucial to have delegate functions and tasks to the employees and hold critical management decisions.
However, there are some areas where it is vital to be educated, experienced, and analytical enough to be a delegate, manage, and conduct work through others without affecting the progress. One of them is the financial skillset. Finance is the bloodline of any business. No matter how amazing the product is, what technologies you use, or how effectively you manage it, finance tells the real picture of it.
Whether you are a manager or a business owner, financial insight is fundamental to delegating, managing, planning, and supervising the business. Some managers or entrepreneurs get trained through degree programs like Online MACC, to learn the tools and trades of finance to conduct the financial doings of the business operations effectively.
Let’s take a look in detail, how financial skills are essential for any entrepreneur or manager:
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1. Bring Ultimate Focus on the Bottom Line:
We all understand that the bottom line is the real ratio or litmus test for any business’s progress. Honing financial skills bring focus to the core. It is natural for anyone to dwell in particular domains like sales, marketing, production, timely requirements, or client needs. But no matter what happens on the operational side, one eye needs to keep monitoring every impact on the bottom line.
Financial skills also provide perspective to connect all the doings of multiple departments and analyze such various parts of one engine. It helps managers or entrepreneurs pick out the areas that are not working well or need individual attention. For example, if your profit is going down, reasons would be either lower sales or higher cost of goods sold or any increase in business expenses. Once you identify it, you can go further deep in a particular area and investigate further. This skill set of zooming in and zooming out various cost centers can provide better insights into the health of the whole business.
2. Understand How to Analyze Each Department:
All the departments in a business are crucial but different from each other. We cannot evaluate two departments against the same metrics. Financial understanding provides the right tools and metrics to gauge the performance of any department. It can provide an analysis of whether the department is performing well or not? Which department is connected in which capacity to its execution? What should be the tools and metrics to evaluate it?
Sometimes companies choose irrelevant metrics to evaluate a department or even choose standard metrics to gauge each department against it. In this way, they miss out on analyzing the unique ways every department contributes to its profits. For example, if every department’s evaluation is against revenue targets, only the Sales team will be evaluated directly. However, one might ignore the costs of achieving those targets.
Hence, financial skills can enable us to identify the right metrics for each department, which appropriately measures their contribution to the company’s bottom line. Through enough data and the right tools, it is possible to measure departmental performance and define improvement areas.
3. Align and Interact Better with the Finance Department:
Most of the time, we term finance departments as “mysterious” or “cynical.” We consider them as pessimists who say no to every new initiative or project that we propose or seek their approval. People find them tough as they ask difficult questions and are not as enthusiastic as you are on your proposals. Sometimes, even entrepreneurs don’t like their finance teams.
However, this perception is not accurate. One of the primary responsibilities of finance departments is only to allow those operations, which are profitable and beneficial in terms of return on investment. Their goal is to prioritize only those elements which align with the strategic objectives of the company. Their decision making and analysis come from a position of data, relevant study, and not based on a whim.
Financial understanding will provide relevant insights and correct language, along with significant factors, to synchronize with your company’s finance department. Similarly, understanding their perspective will also help in designing relevant and beneficial projects which provide a better contribution to the company’s bottom line.
Understanding financial doings can also help managers and entrepreneurs to understand inflation, capital markets, borrowing conditions, and investment opportunities. However, it is essential to understand that businesses stand on their selling of products or delivery of service, but they cannot grow without financial acumen.
There are many ways to make more money in the existing business, which can only be exploited by gaining the right knowledge and executing the right financial strategies to increase the odds of success.
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