Whether you’ve knocked 2018 out of the ball park or you are tired of being dis­ap­point­ed at year end. If you want to make 2019 bet­ter, this arti­cle is for you.

The biggest oppor­tu­ni­ty entre­pre­neurs miss isn’t the next sale. It is strate­gi­cal­ly build­ing a healthy bot­tom line. Why?  Because the most obvi­ous first step is missed.  Plan­ning for it.

By bud­get­ing you can achieve so much more than you ever thought pos­si­ble. I know what you are think­ing.  Bud­get­ing isn’t going to change any­thing. But hold on and read on.

Yes, a bud­get is a sim­ple con­cept. And yes, it does sound bor­ing.  But when done well, it is your finan­cial plan for the year.  It cre­ates focus, con­trols costs, influ­ences behav­ior and deci­sions, and iden­ti­fies oppor­tu­ni­ties.  All of which lead to a robust bot­tom line.

Here are the 6 sim­ple steps to an effec­tive budget:

One.  As the CEO, iden­ti­fy your big pic­ture goals, such as sales, mar­gin and net income.

Two. Engage your lead­er­ship team, with­out dis­clos­ing your goals. Ask them to iden­ti­fy their big goals for their divi­sions. Ask them to also deter­mine what new invest­ments – such as tech­nol­o­gy, new peo­ple, new prod­ucts, etc. – are need­ed to achieve those goals.

Three.  Step back and see if your lead­er­ship teams’ goals are big­ger than yours!  You will be sur­prised at how many times this hap­pens. If so, upscale your goals.

Four.  Turn over your big goals, big ideas, and new invest­ment infor­ma­tion to your account­ing depart­ment and/ or book­keep­er and ask them to trans­late it into finan­cial terms.

Five. Review the results, adjust and final­ize the bud­get.  Have the account­ing depart­ment or book­keep­er break it into month­ly budgets.

Six. Make it action­able. Pros­per­ous com­pa­nies review their bud­gets month­ly.

In your month­ly bud­get review, you’ll get a quick pulse on your busi­ness.  If you are on track, the dis­cus­sion will be short and include high fives, and keep up the good work.   If you are off track, you’ll clear­ly see where you are off plan. you’ll know who to talk with and can intel­li­gent­ly arrive at a course cor­rec­tion plan.

Noth­ing is more impor­tant than your bot­tom line.  Let go of all those pre­con­ceived notions or past ideas about why bud­get­ing doesn’t work and get start­ed today.  Plan your work and work your plan.

Plan now to make 2019 a year to celebrate.

To your prosperity,