Last Saturday was fun! The first Right-Brain Business Plan workshop in the UK!! Woo-hoo! A whistle-stop ride through the main parts of the Right-Brain Business Plan at full speed, which meant by the end of the day some people found it was hard to stop! Some were still adding images to their Big Vision collage even as we were trying to leave.
On reflection, one of the things that struck me most about the day was everyone’s emotional response to the Financial Planning part – or Managing the Moola as Jenn calls it. I bought some Christmas crackers to lighten the mood and shift everyone’s energy before we dived into this bit. So we told the awful jokes, ignored the silly hats and marvelled at the tiny gifts we all received (I got a miniature roll of sellotape – ha, ha – very appropriate for someone encouraging everyone to create their business plans using collage!). But behind all that, this seems to be the area that elicits most dread, limiting beliefs and cliches “I’m just no good with money”, “my turnover is so small it’s not worth doing...” etc.
Like it or not though, we all have to deal with money on some level every day, probably for the rest of our lives, so it stands to both reason and emotion, that changing our relationship with money for the better will have a strong impact on our lives and work. And sometimes it doesn’t take much at all to get this going. So, we started with a Moola Map – a simple money-in, money-out exercise using nothing more than coloured sticky notes and a piece of board or card to stick them on… (p106-112 of the RBBP book). It took just 15 minutes to get the basic numbers in for everyone- we didn’t touch a spreadsheet, we didn’t turn a computer on, we didn’t even use a calculator. I think we mostly had fun..
Yet, we took an important business financial step – from here, it’s easy to enter all the numbers into a simple spreadsheet and let a computer do the arithmetic. What if I charged more for that? Or did more of those? Or gave that one away free but sold more of those as a result? Another 20 minutes’ focus and another valuable tool emerges – a cashflow forecast, (Rid the Red, Grow the Green! as Jenn calls them). You keep playing with it until the numbers make sense ie. until you make more money than you need to spend – a profit.
Yes, you can make it way more complicated than that if you’d like to. You can download complex accounting software, you can fiddle with and worry about the details for hours on end and you can probably use your phone and find an app for that!
But instead, you could just get on with it! running your business that is, with a simple financial map to guide you in the year ahead. You might not stick to the route exactly and it will probably need additions and changes as you map more territory as you get to know it – but that’s the point, you only get to know this stuff by experiencing it, navigating through it and creating an ever more useful self-guide as you go.
What’s your own experience?
Have you got a financial map for your business?
What tools have you found most useful around business finances?
Please share your comments below.
Fun and doable, step-by-step, week by week, at your own pace, for the next 6 months - think where you could be by then!
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