Strategic Planning Blog Posts

  • Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    December 15, 2018

    Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    What are the ingredients needed to make a successful business? You need a good idea, a lot of hard work, and a product or service that people actually want. But what happens when the business has been up and running for a few years? The ingredients evolve. You need innovation and growth while avoiding pitfalls and disasters.

    While innovation and growth are certainly important for long-term success, most businesses fail due to avoidable disasters. Most of these issues revolve around one thing -- money. Without it, most businesses fail and fail fast. To overcome these disasters, there are a few critical business tips you need to know.

    Business Advice For Successful Entrepreneurs

    What makes a successful entrepreneur? Keeping your books in check so you can take advantage of that big opportunity when it comes. Finding an experienced CPA is your best bet, but there are a few things you things you can keep an eye out yourself. These include:

    • Profit margins. At the end of the day, every entrepreneur is out to make a profit. If you notice your profit margins slipping, take a step back and figure out why.
    • Accounts receivable. If you have too many customers with delayed payments, it makes it almost impossible to keep growing. Stay on top of unpaid invoices.
    • Cash flow. Plain and simple -- if you don’t have enough cash to get you from month to month, you won’t have a business for long.

    CPA Services With Solutions

    Running a small business is no easy task. Product innovation, customer service, and time management are all crucial components that push a business forward. At BIG, we know how important your business is to you. That’s why our experienced CPAs not only have years of accounting experience, but most have run their own businesses as well.

    Because of this unique experience, we can offer in-depth services that will help your business grow. These include:

    • Accounting & Administrative Tasks
    • Business Mentoring
    • Strategic Business Planning & Consulting

    Avoiding financial pitfalls is essential for success and BIZ can help you avoid them.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Education Planning: 5 Compelling Reasons You Need It

    November 15, 2018

    Education Planning: 5 Compelling Reasons You Need It

    Education Planning: 5 Compelling Reasons You Need It

    According to College Board, the average cost of tuition for a private nonprofit four-year school for the 2018-2019 school year is $25,830. That’s up over $7,000 from ten years. Public four-year schools and public two-year schools continue to rise as well.

    With the rapid increases in college tuition, it’s essential to start education planning soon so that your child can obtain the higher education they deserve. With a well-designed strategy for education planning, you can reach your education funding goals and reap the benefits. While gaining a job might be the immediate goal to be desired with higher education, the benefits extend far past just a job.

    Why It Is Crucial To Plan For Education

    Planning for education is a crucial step to afford the rising costs of college tuition. But one often overlooked aspect is why your child will benefit. Sending your child to college is more than earning a degree at the end of the program. In fact, college graduates have 5 distinct benefits gained from a college degree:

    • They make more money
    • Doors are opened for more opportunities
    • Quality of life increases substantially
    • The ability to make a difference
    • Freedom

    Education planning makes it possible for your child to take advantage of all of this.

    Financial Advisor In Ohio

    Finding a financial advisor locally that has your best interest in mind is no small task. At BIG, we know how important a child’s education is. When you come to us, we’ll:

    • Create a timely, diverse college investment strategy designed around your financial resources, child's age, risk tolerance and projected educational costs
    • Explain tax credits and deductions that can defray education costs, and the tax implications of education-related investment and savings decisions
    • Recommend ways for the student to become involved in the planning process and contribute to the education fund
    • Keep your plan updated to reflect changes in your employment situation, investment options, savings plans, financial aid requirements and tax laws

    Education planning is essential to stay on top of rising tuition costs.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Why Cost Benefit Analysis Is Critical To Business

    October 15, 2018

    Why Cost Benefit Analysis Is Critical To Business

    Why Cost Benefit Analysis Is Critical To Business

    Are the actions you’re taking worth the cost? That’s what is at the heart of a cost-benefit analysis. The thousands of decisions we make on a daily basis can have long-term consequences and benefits to your business. While most of these are inconsequential, big decisions shouldn’t be left to your intuition.

    A cost-benefit analysis can be done to not only assess the monetary cost of a new project, but also calculate certain intangible items such as location and opportunity cost. Understanding the full cost of a new endeavor makes it much easier to decide if the benefit is great enough to proceed.

    Cost Analysis Benefits:

    When performing a cost-benefit analysis, the more factors that can be considered, the better. Benefits should include all direct and indirect revenue sources as well as the intangible benefits such as:

    • Increased production capabilities
    • Improved employee safety
    • Increased sales from customer goodwill

    By carefully observing and analyzing all possible costs and benefits associated with a project, you can properly determine whether it makes sense to move forward or to step back and review the project. If a review is needed, you can determine if there are adjustments that could be made to either decrease costs or increased benefits. If none of those conditions can be met, scrapping the project is usually the most viable options.

    Profitability Analysis Is Just As Important

    A cost-benefit analysis is a great tool to determine whether a project is financially viable. If you reach a decision to proceed when the benefits the costs, a profitability analysis is your next step. A profitability analysis can predict sales and profit potential among several factors including location, age groups, or product types. The resulting information can be used to make important decisions such as:

    • Eliminate products that create a loss
    • Reduce costs for loss-making customers
    • Increase sales in profitable segments

    A cost-benefit analysis can give you the yes or no, but the profitability analysis will show whether the proposed project has long-term viability.

    A cost-benefit analysis is a critical component for long-term success in your business and BIG can help get you there with our team of experienced professionals.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Turn Around Management: What Your Competitors Already Know

    September 28, 2018

    Turn Around Management: What Your Competitors Already Know

    Turn Around Management: What Your Competitors Already Know

    You had a phenomenal fourth quarter. First quarter? Not such much. Second quarter comes along and you feel like you’ll never get back to where you were. When you are in a position where you are bleeding money, the future doesn’t look great for your business. But when you’re in the green and have a positive cash flow? Everything is different. You can start focusing on both the long and short-term goals that will drive profit for your business in the years to come.

    With Turn Around Management, you’ll learn how to formulate and implement the turn around initiatives required to take you from bleeding red to positive green in the shortest time possible. While this is effective, it’s also very detailed to make sure you make the turn around as quickly as possible. This only happens with an in depth operational analysis.

    Operational Analysis Benefits

    The operational analysis is the core service in Turn Around Management. To make sure all areas are covered, its split into three phases:

    • Short Term Tactical Analysis
    • Mid Term Tactical and Strategic Analysis & Implementation
    • Long Term Strategic Analysis & Implementation

    Each phase focuses on a specific time frame in order to maximize results. The first phase is the most extensive phase as you’ll analyze recent financial and operational performance, develop a short term tactical business plan focused on aggressive management of A/R, inventory, A/P, and non-core assets, and much more.

    The goal of Phase 1 is to get your business back into the green as quickly as possible. Phase 2 and 3 focus on optional mid-term and long-term actions that can be taken to correct the course if needed. These are used to maximize the chances of long-term success for your business and will be reviewed frequently to maximize effectiveness.

    Strategic Analysis Offers A Competitive Advantage

    Strategic Analysis can offer your business a competitive edge and BIG can help. We’ll help you develop a strategic plan and implement a re-engineered, redefined leaner business model that is focused on profitable and sustainable growth. A strategic analysis can also help explore other bank options such as refinancing to help free up some additional capital.

    Regardless of the size of your business, profitability should always be the goal. With an in depth strategic analysis, you can stay ahead of your competition by:

    • Conducting customer revenue and profitability analysis
    • Identifying inefficiencies and hidden resources
    • Identify short, mid, and long-term strategies to help your business thrive

    With Turn Around Management from BIG, we’ll help get you from red to green as quick as possible.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • 7 Tips for Business Finance in 2017

    December 28, 2016

    Plan Now For The New Revenue Recognition Standard

    The changes required by the new revenue recognition model are quickly looming – but most companies have not started their preparations. Given the new processes your organization may need to implement, the time to begin planning is now.

    Plan for New 2017 Tax Return Deadlines

    For the 2017 filing season, Congress agreed to change tax return filing and extension deadlines for partnerships, corporate entities, and information return forms. Don’t forget to update your calendar!

    Plan Cybersecurity Protection

    The average cost of a data breach in 2016 was $7.01 million. While you may not be able to prevent breaches entirely, you may be able to mitigate cybersecurity risks by involving all of your company’s departments.

    Consider Strategic Outsourcing

    A virtual CFO or controller can assist with financial processes and budgeting, thereby helping you more efficiently run your business. This benefit is just one of many that your company can reap from outsourcing your accounting functions.

    Plan for the Unexpected

    One-quarter of all small companies hit by a major storm permanently close. Be proactive against unexpected natural occurrences by disaster-proofing your business.

    Document Governance

    A code of ethics, document retention policy, and whistleblower policy are three governance policies that all companies should put in writing. Some of these policy details may vary depending on the needs of your organization.

    Maintain Financial Separation Between Company and Owner

    For business owners, keeping personal and company finances separate offers many benefits – including simpler tax preparation and a streamlined IRS audit process. We can advise you regarding 10 “seeds” to plant for financial autonomy.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Ohio Business Performance in 2015

    October 28, 2016

     We wanted to share with you this great infographic on business performance in Ohio from 2015.

  • Strategic Business Planning in Cleveland

    August 29, 2016

    strategic business planning

    Encouraging Effective Management Accounting


    Most discussions about managerial costing turn into comparisons of different costing methods & approaches. Previous costing solutions historically skipped the fundamental work for assessing their effectiveness against a set of concepts. Actually, it isn’t uncommon for the results from competing methods to point to contradictory decision alternatives. In the past experts have gone back and forth trying to push their preferred method without a principled basis to ground their approaches. This can be dangerous for achieving accuracy to support decision making.

    A good example is the use of simple activity-based costing. This method fails to consider the nature of costs. ABC lacks capacity information as well. The confusion is based on whether capacity resides in resources, activities, or both. Activities don’t have capacity of their own, activities merely consume resources.

    The profession must embrace a managerial costing principles based approach to cost modeling. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we are promoting a one size fits all approach to cost modeling or that every organization should perform cost modeling in the same manner. What it does mean is that managerial costing professionals can now assess how closely aligned their cost models are to the principles outlined in the Framework. If we collectively embrace these principles of managerial costing, then ultimately we must believe that principles are good for the profession and should be integrated into our practices.

    If we agree that establishing principles will encourage the revitalization of our industry, then we must dive deeper into understanding the principles themselves.

    Causality is the basis for all inferences in the scientific method. It is appropriate and essential, to apply causality to managerial costing, and as a principle it is the basis for discerning truth in cost modeling and its decision support information.

    This isn’t to say that management accounting is a science, but decision science, which managers apply in their optimization efforts, is dependent on cause-and-effect insights. The Framework defines the principle of analogy as “the use of causal insights to infer past or future causes or effects.” Thus analogy “applies when insights are used and inferences are made about known cause and effect relationships.”

    Given that these principles are self-evident, cost models that are consistent with causality and analogy would naturally provide information that aids managers’ decision making needs. Most current methods don’t consistently follow causality. As a result, they don’t produce efficient & reliable cost modeling solutions nor the clear, causal insights that decision makers need to perform their most important work.

    As an example, the CPA exam still teaches students to allocate all overhead costs from manufacturing support into one main manufacturing cost pool. This means that fixed overhead can no longer be analyzed in a meaningful way. Fixed and variable costs aren’t separated. These issues plague management accounting. These problems are even worse when we consider that textbooks defer to GAAP principles rather than principles needed for internal decision support when teaching traditional standard costing. They teach some adjustments from GAAP for management analysis but don’t teach any principles for internal decision support.

    The 2012 survey indicated that the availability of investment funding in relevant cost modeling technology wasn’t a significant financial constraint for most companies, but companies were reluctant to invest in new cost modeling methods. We believe these survey results may reflect increasing levels of regulation that have created commensurate amounts of uncertainty, effectively stalling investment.

    This may indicate a lack of proposals to justify improving cost information or the possibility that accounting and finance professionals lack the knowledge to provide an effective cost information solution. One approach already exists: resource consumption accounting, that has the ability to encourage the healthy promotion of management accounting’s role. This principles-based managerial costing approach completely conforms to the Framework but is now sparsely employed in practice. The 2012 survey reveals the gap between managerial costing’s problems and the practices needed to effectively achieve improved results.

    For more information on Strategic Planning Click Here.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • BIG Joins with COSE to Mentor Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs on Strategic Planning for Success

    May 20, 2014

    Jim Bonvissuto, President of Business Improvement Group, Inc., discusses joining with COSE (http://www.cose.org/), or the Council of Smaller Enterprises, to mentor entrepreneurs interested in purchasing, starting, or operating a business.