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How do you keep your team focused and aligned?

Do you feel that everyone on your team is driving toward the same goals as you are?  When your team makes key decisions, do they align to your top business objectives?  Does your team understand the impact they have on your business?  Here are four strategies to help you keep everyone on the same page and working toward the same goals.

1. Develop simple, clear and measurable goals
Develop clear and measurable goals for your team. As a business owner, what do you hope to accomplish? Identify 3 – 5 actionable, realistic, and measurable goals for your team to focus on. These can be short-term goals which focus on the next 1 - 3 months, or long-term for the year. Beyond a year, goals lose their value.  

2. Share your goals with everyone
Once you have your goals set, communicate them to the entire team so everyone is aligned. Far too often, the business owner or management team establishes goals, but fails to communicate them to the team effectively. Everyone on your team should be able to list your top 3 – 5 goals.
Let’s assume your goals for the next quarter are to win 20 new clients, increase days cash on hand to greater than 30 days and lower expenses by 10%. Using CashFlowTool, you can quickly create custom dashboards which highlight key metrics about your business and share the dashboard with key members of your team. Here is how:

  1. Create a new dashboard and give the dashboard a clear name, for example “Q3 Goals”
  2. Add important cards to your dashboard, for example Days cash on hand, New customers, Monthly and Quarterly operating expenses to name a few. Remember, only add cards that help track your goals.
  3. Select “Invite” to share access to the dashboard. Enter your teammate’s email address and choose which dashboards they have access to.
  4. Once your teammate accepts the invite, they will see the custom dashboard you created. 
    Note: If your teammate does not have a CashFlowTool account, they can choose to create a new account. After the account is created, the business will automatically be available to them with the permissions you gave them.
Q3 goals dashboard

3. Review your goals on a consistent basis  
Goals should be reviewed at least weekly. Beyond a week, team members can lose focus and drift away from your top-level goals. Incorporate reviewing the goals in your weekly team meeting or weekly team status emails. If you are not communicating your goals and current results to your team weekly, it’s likely your team isn’t focused on them either.

Keep it simple:  If you review your goals weekly, you don’t need to go into exhaustive details each week. One recommendation is to develop a single PowerPoint slide which lists your top goals, and current progress toward achieving your goals over time. A single slide allows your team to see how your team is tracking all at once and is easier to keep up to date.

Another option is to display your custom CashFlowTool dashboard or copy & paste cards from the dashboard into your PowerPoint. This is a great way to help keep the team focused and spark discussions.

Tip: One of the most common questions asked when viewing any dashboard is how the values shown are calculated. Not knowing the answer to this question can quickly derail the team. You can see the formula used for each card in CashFlowTool by selecting the “Add Card” button from the dashboard screen and selecting the card. You can also watch the “Explain This” video associated with each card.   More information on calculations can be found here.

4. Help your team visualize your results
It’s easy sometimes to get lost in the details so being able to visualize what success looks like is the key. When people see what success looks like, they feel encouraged and motivated. Winning 20 new customers may require a lot of work, but what is the value to the company if you won 20 new clients this quarter?

CashFlowTool makes it easy to see the impact of adding new clients to your business in just a few steps. Let’s assume your business will win 5 new customers each week over the next 4 weeks. That’s just 5 new customers each week. Here is how to build a cash flow forecast which shows what this would look like:

  1. Launch
  2. Ensure your financials are up to date
  3. Select the Cash Flow Forecast tab
  4. Select the Customers tab
  5. Select Add Cash-in
  6. Enter a new manually recurring transaction (ie add a new customer)
  7. Estimate the incoming sales each month for the new client and then repeat #6 until all 5 customers are added
  8. Repeat this step 3 more times for the next 3 weeks 

Now switch back to the chart view and see the impact of adding just 20 new clients will have on your business. Review this chart with your team to show them the impact of adding new clients over the next 3 months. Each week update your forecast to show how your team is progressing. As your start to achieve your goals, you start to build momentum. And with momentum you will exceed your goals.

Goals are an important way to motivate and focus your team. They can be simple goals, but they must be specific and measurable. More importantly, you need to ensure everyone knows the goals that important to you and your business. CashFlowTool makes it easy to create custom dashboards which you can use to track your progress. You can invite everyone on your team to view dashboards allowing everyone to quickly track progress each week. Finally, you can use the cash flow forecast to see the impact of achieving your goals will have and motivate your team.

Get started today and achieve your goals!


CashFlowTool is a product developed by Finagraph. We're a technology company that's passionate about helping small business owners, accountants, and lenders deeply understand the financial health of companies. Finagraph’s trusted technology helps power services provided by companies including Moody’s Analytics, Jack Henry & Associates and leading banks. Learn more

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