"And the beat goes on................"
Here are three questions you should be asking yourself every month - or even more often. You probably already have them on your radar, but if not, perhaps you should.
1. What else can we be doing to maximize our cash flow over the next six months. Doubtless your annual budget includes projections as to cash flow on a monthly basis. But, particularly for smaller and mid-sized organizations, we all know that these projections are often overly optimistic - and sometimes unrealistic. There is a tendency to estimate income from performances and exhibitions, donors and other kinds of earned income on the high side. And too often, we include grants not yet awarded. That's a problem. And cash flow is a different animal than overall income, as many organizations find themselves in trouble at different points during the year when the cash flow isn't what was anticipated. It's not unusual for organizations to fail to meet the estimates, and end up pushing deficits into the next year. So cash flow management ought to be an ongoing issue.
What, if anything, can you do to maximize cash flow - everything from increasing earned income, fundraising events, merchandising, ticket sales to increasing donor support. Not easy I know, but simply avoiding continuous consideration of the challenge won't yield any results. And it ought to be a concern of everyone in your organization.
2. What else can we be doing to increase our positioning within our community. How can you foster and facilitate collaborations, partnerships, garner media coverage, increase visibility and publicity and do all the other things to enhance public awareness of your organization, and take advantage of the intersections and relationships within your community. In many respects, this impacts your fundraising activity. The higher your community profile the more doors that may open to you.
3. What else can we be doing to better equip and prepare our staff and people to be the very best they can be. What are you doing in terms of professional development, training, education, as well as motivation and maximizing the way your staff communicates and works together. We live in a fast paced business environment and the challenges are constantly changing. So should our levels of expertise and skills.
These three areas - money, and specifically cash flow; your positioning within your community; and the preparedness and capability of your staff - are the critical components of your success, and they need to be on your mind all the time - and not just when your make up an annual budget, revamp your strategic plan or hold some retreat. Too often, we are aware of the needs in these areas, but we put consideration of what might be done on the back burner for, at best, periodic consideration. They ought to be a constant in your mind.
Brainstorm regularly and deal with them as ongoing necessities. And you ought to involve everyone on your staff in the process of generating ideas that might help you in these areas. You never know where a great idea will come from, and inclusion of everyone is yet another way to build staff self-esteem and morale. You will find it to your advantage to do so.
Have a great week.