Entrepreneurship is not only the freedom to create, act and grow a project, it is also the desire to master a few techniques to limit the risks inherent in any initiative.
There are, in the mind of every entrepreneur or leader, two areas to explore and dig to know all the secrets:
His job first: the mastery of its codes, its practices, its stakeholders, the ability to select the skills to strengthen the teams and ensure the development, expansion and growth of results by improving performance.
In parallel – and this is the reason why no business leader can no longer exempt himself from a minimum of financial culture today – the precise measurement of the consequences that “business” decisions will have on the economic balance of his business. .
Knowledge of financial rules is to business development what mastery of the rules of the game of chess is: the ability to anticipate the moves to be made and to assess the risks incurred.
Of course, as organizations grow, they acquire specialists: financial directors, treasury managers, management controllers, accountants. But, despite their expertise, the business manager cannot renounce enriching himself, in this matter, with a skill and a sensitivity allowing him to fully understand the ins and outs.
A company is a living body that moves, evolves and grows. Its blood flow is represented by the financial flow. At each stage of its operation, money irrigates its various functions and actions: purchases, customer receipts, staff remuneration, current expenses or investment expenses, everything is converted into money. And when there is no more, the company dies, except to benefit from a transfusion in the form of an injection of equity or borrowing.
This is why mastering the rules of the financial game is essential because, in addition to the imperatives of profitability measured in the Profit and Loss Account and of which everyone knows the mechanisms today, it is also necessary to know those of the balance sheet, which are much less familiar.
Knowing what to do with your resources, how to allocate them, to obtain what return; being able to measure the stability of one’s equilibrium, to evaluate the effects of apparently necessary but always uncertain investments, constitute the bases of corporate finance. They are as useful for assessing future performance and risks as those of the Profit and Loss Account.
Beyond internal flows, the resources of what is now called “corporate” finance must appeal to the manager who wants to grow his business, especially when the markets are stagnating or even declining.
So why not take advantage of opportunities for external growth? It is no longer reserved for large groups. Provided you know the few essential rules and get good advice, it is within everyone’s reach.
The increase in shareholders’ equity is also part of the support tools for growth, whether by receiving investment funds in its capital or by issuing on the stock exchange – there are active markets for SMEs -. Of course, when you share your capital, you also share some power. But financial health is priceless.
Here are some of the reasons that militate in favor of financial competence for business leaders. Satisfied customers, enthusiastic staff and healthy finances remain the primary goals of a leader who wants to grow and succeed.
Let’s conclude with this humorous line from Oscar Wilde: “When I was younger, I thought that money was the most important thing in the world, now that I’m old, I’m convinced of it”.
Alain GoetAlain Goetzmann, Coach and Consultant in Leadership & Management