Reimagining Business Finance: How a Holistic Approach Can Help You Improve Your Business
Updated: Aug 18, 2021
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “business finance”? Is it money or getting revenue and sales? That’s what many people commonly think; however, finance is more than just numbers. It is deeply tied to our purpose and operations, so much that your financial statements can tell you if your purpose and profit are misaligned.
In this episode, we talk about viewing business finance in a holistic way. We also examine why we need everyone in our team to become finance ambassadors. Creating this change can bring huge returns to your business, including company culture, purpose, and more. Any mindset shift starts with you, so get out there and take action!
If you want to learn more about the holistic approach of business finance and finance ambassadors, then this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
Understand why we need to change the way we view business finance.
Learn how business finance is connected to everything in our business.
Discover the power of finance ambassadors.
Visit Christina Sjahli’s website for more insights into business finance on the Her CEO Journey podcast series.
Chat with Christina and set up a time here!
Download this action guide to guide you in reimagining your business financial process using the holistic approach.
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek
[02:10] Why We Need to See Business Finance Differently
Usually, people think of money, revenue, and sales when they think of business finance. This is often seen as an independent department, process, or person.
However, we need to have a holistic view of business finance when we want to grow our business.
Finance is not just about money; it’s a process intertwined with everything in your business.
“Finance is not about money. Finance is not about revenue, sales, expenses, financings; finance is not a standalone process. Finance is actually just a process, a process of data gatherings that happens to have the dollar signs that represent what we call money. Finance is a tool like marketing and sales that can help businesses create a better world."
Take finance as a tool, just like marketing.
Your financial statements and forecasts should align with your purpose.
[04:55] The Golden Circle
Simon Sinek talks about the three circles that make up every business.
These are your why, how, and what.
We apply the concept of the Golden Circle to business finance. Reimagine the Golden Circle, but using business finance this time.
[06:42] Connect Business Finance to Your Purpose and Operations
Your ‘why’ or purpose needs to be clear to your team and external partners. This is the innermost circle.
“This ‘why’ guides the decision-making made by you and your team. You must be clear with your why and share it with everyone in your business, internal as well as your external partners.”
The outside circle is your business activities. They are the decisions made in terms of marketing, branding, and capital raising, among others. They inform the middle circle.
The middle circle is your business finance process. You can see what works and what doesn’t work based on the business decisions on the outside circle.
“I put business finance in the middle circle because the way I think of it, your business financial numbers only mean some things if it ties into your purpose. It also means that finance is not a stand-alone process. It is a middle position between your purpose and the other business activities.”
The Golden Circle explains why business finance is not a standalone process. It should be aligned with your purpose and operations.
[9:24] Everyone in Your Team Needs to Be a Finance Ambassador
Finance should not be kept secret in the business. This is very important when scaling your business.
“This means finance is not a secret, and it shouldn't be a secret. It definitely [is] not for the eyes of the founders alone.”
People are often called to become brand ambassadors, but they should also be finance ambassadors.
For example, your sales team can do credit checks and explain why sales have changed.
People need to understand the financial implications of their actions.
The more you remind people about their role as finance ambassadors, the better your results will be.
[13:15] The First Step a Founder and CEO Can Take as a Finance Ambassador
Everything starts with you as the CEO or business owner.
Take the first step of financial transparency and discuss your financials with your team.
Actively listen to feedback and make decisions aligned with your purpose.
[14:04] Results of the Mindset Shift
Changing your view about business finance can help you see misalignments faster and earlier.
By encouraging your team to become finance ambassadors, you empower them to take control of financial implications and decisions.
Having financial transparency will lead to a culture of open communication and accountability.
“An ambassador is a person who acts as a promoter of a specified activity. So it can be [a] brand, it can be finance. If everyone in a business can be a brand ambassador, the same can apply to finance. The only difference is the mindset shift.”
“I believe businesses must have purpose and ways to balance purpose with profit. I see profit as the byproduct of purpose, not the ultimate goal.”
“Whatever changes [are] made in the middle or outside circle, it always comes back to the purpose—the center and smallest circle.”
“The holistic approach of business finance gives the positive ‘why’ of collaboration with purpose at the centers, and results are profit for the greater good of all stakeholders.”
“There is a misconception out there that the finance responsibility [is] not in the same way as brand responsibility. And honestly, I argue the opposite. I argue that everyone in your business is responsible for the business finances the same way they are responsible for the brand.”
"Reason number two: because everyone in your business is a finance ambassador, then you are actually empowering them to help you take control of sustainability and profitability as one big team instead of creating fear toward financial numbers.”
Enjoy this Podcast?
As business owners, we tend to see finance from a limited perspective. But if you understand why business finance is important, then you can become finance ambassadors for your business’s growth! If you enjoyed today's episode of Her CEO Journey Podcast, then hit subscribe and share it!
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