Making Your 2022 Business Projections
One of the most important tools available to the businesses in the Scandia family office is the power of planning. Annual projections can help assess the financial health of your company each year. Whether you are seeking funding from a family office like Scandia or any other financial backer in 2022 or simply planning your budget – projections are absolutely necessary.
Even if you have an accountant or accounting team, make sure that someone in senior leadership always reviews actuals. Look at your 2021 income and expense reports. In addition to looking for anything that stands out, this is an easy starting point to create your 2022 projections.
Are you close to landing a new client? Have you added to your sales team? Sit down with your staff and analyze what you expect whether it be an increase, decrease, or remaining flat. Income statements provide an estimate of the net income of your business. If you are a new business, reach out to partners like your investors or Scandia and we can help you put together a plan based on benchmarks from your industry.
Just as important as estimating your income is providing an estimate of expense in 2022. Is there a large project on the horizon? Perhaps you are purchasing a new building or performing renovations? Whatever the case may be, you can always look at your 2021 expenses as a starting point. Remember to include the expenses related to your salaries and benefits, day-to-day operations such as rent and utilities, cost of supplies and materials and any anticipated increases or supply issues, cost of services/software, and the maintenance and upkeep of your facilities, fleet and equipment.
Consider Market Factors
Are you in a volatile industry? Are you anticipating supply chain disruptions? Or maybe you will benefit from the current environment because you can continue to get products to market despite disruptions. Don’t forget to reach out to your suppliers and make sure you are prepared for any increases in the costs of goods or services.
Evaluate Assets & Liabilities
Perhaps 2022 is the year to pay off an outstanding business debt. Build in contingencies and funds for things like this or replacing aging equipment or upgrading software.
Every business should always have reserves for operating in case of an emergency or issue. How many months can your business sustain itself if there is a drop in income or disruption?
We hope you found these tips helpful. If you’d like to reach out to the Scandia family office for more info or to consider becoming a partner, press the Contact button above.
No-Cost Investments You Can Make in Your Company Culture Today
These days, company culture is at the forefront of recruiting and can be an important retention tool as well. There are easy ways to invest in your company culture in 2022. No, we’re not talking about ping-pong tables and free food. Company culture runs deeper than that and this topic is one we always discuss with leaders at the Scandia family office.
Review Core Values
It’s important to always be growing and evolving, especially within your business. Have you sat down with your leadership team to discuss values and value-alignment for the coming year? This can be as simple as reviewing your core values and asking your team, “Do these values still ring true for our company?” Identify ways your company does or does not reflect these values and make note of internal changes you can make to allow your business to better reflect your core values.
Don’t be afraid to include your team members – after all, they are important stakeholders. We’re not just talking about a brainstorming session. Find ways to keep your values at the top of your team’s mind. Regularly reflect on them in team meetings, have the values be accessible in common areas, email signatures, etc. Live them out in your day-to-day interactions with employees, customers, and vendors.
Core value development is one of the many areas the Scandia family office makes the relationship with our investments different than traditional capital resources.
Strong, open, and proactive communication will be key to a thriving company culture in 2022. Assess your current communication methods and look for new, creative ways to keep your team in easier contact – especially if you are working remotely.
Consider implementing tools like Slack, a workplace communication and task platform that has a free-to-use tier. Even if some of your team continues to work remotely in 2022, keep regularly scheduled video-conference team meetings to keep lines of communication open and strong. If your team was used to face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, keep that little sense of community going.
As you lay out the calendar for your business in 2022, look for ways to celebrate both big and small. Identify milestones you can celebrate as a company. For example: number of years in business, celebrating a number of projects or clients, recognizing revenue or profit goals, or even expansion of the team. Is one of your employees hitting a big milestone? Celebrate it! Did you land a big account? Successfully launch a new project? Why not celebrate as a team?
Find ways to surprise your team with celebrations of their hard work. Set goals and celebrate with them as a group as you reach them. Consider putting employees’ birthdays, work anniversaries, etc. on a calendar and make a point of acknowledging them – whether with an email for a work anniversary or an office celebration for a birthday.
There are creative ways to socialize, even when your team is working remotely. Consider implementing group volunteerism as opportunities to both encourage socialization and to give back to your communities. We have seen many successful businesses allow employees time off once a quarter or once a month to participate in group volunteer activities. From Meals on Wheels to volunteering at the local food bank, check out Volunteermatch.org to find opportunities in your area. In our experience as the Scandia family office, this type of activity can really make a difference for your team’s morale.
We hope these simple tips and ideas can help you plan out your 2022. Here’s to a great year and developing a positive Company Culture in 2022. If you’d like to learn more about the Scandia family office and possible investments, check out the rest of our blog posts or contact us.
New Year's Resolutions for Business Owners in 2022
Tax Planning & Anticipating Tax Changes
There is a lot of uncertainty about potential tax changes on the horizon - particularly in light of the Build Back Better suggested tax changes. Make sure that you anticipate any changes and prepare for them as best as you can. Talk to your CPA or tax preparer to make sure that your business is structured to reduce tax liability where it makes sense under the law. It’s never a bad idea to meet quarterly with your CPA to discuss any recent or upcoming changes. You’ll thank yourself for having these meetings well before your business taxes are due.
Consider New Benefits for Team Members
Let’s face it, the advent of Work From Home has changed the game when it comes to our workplace dynamics. Many of these changes allow employees to be more productive and the flexibility can offer those like working parents crucial time needed to help their children – something that can make for more productive employees in the long run. Consider adding benefits that can offer your team more flexibility and give you a competitive edge with hiring. Consider more flexible Paid-Time-Off (PTO) or a hybrid work schedule for parents. At Scandia, we have found unconventional, flexible approaches to PTO particularly effective at creating a strong company culture, improving morale, and increasing productivity.
Examine all of your systems and processes and look for ways to streamline or digitize these processes. Whether it be something as simple as implementing a workplace time tracking program like Kronos or something more complex – these changes can lead to an increase in productivity. Many software solutions do require upfront investment but gains acquired by productivity improvements can offset said impact.
Consider Other Sources of Funding
We saw many businesses, particularly small businesses, accept grants or federal incentives at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. While many of these grants are no longer available, perhaps there are still other sources of funding that you can find for your business. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and see if there is anything available that might fit your business model – many Chambers are eager to invest in local businesses, even small businesses!
Scandia is a family office and we pride ourselves on caring more about our clients than just dollars and cents. If you’d like to learn more about Scandia, click Contact Us and get in touch.
Simple steps to create a culture of communicating at your company
The Importance of Communication
Scandia Partners is a family-focused office. That means we are committed not only to dollars and cents (which we are) but to the individual goals and success of each of our businesses and their respective leadership teams. One thing we find is that in many cases, particularly with startup companies, internal communication among team members and from the top can be a challenge.
Some leaders and managers make the mistake of implementing a culture of secrecy and suspicion at the top. They believe that keeping individual team members in the dark about certain projects or the status of certain departments is a positive way of managing. Transparency and open communication are at the forefront of all of our businesses. It’s important to say more than you have an “open-door policy” -- you need to model this in your actions. Regularly scheduled group meetings, memos or correspondence can help keep the team in the loop about what’s going on.
Many of our businesses have successfully implemented internal communication tools. From e-mail newsletters to using a group-work app like Slack, if you make it easy for your team to communicate they will be more productive and efficient in the long run. Communication tools are not only important internally, but it’s also important to keep an open line of communication with customers. Make sure you have a plan for communicating building or business closures to guests via social media like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Keep an active list of current and former customers to send e-mail correspondence. Some of our businesses have even implemented text tools for things like reminders and surveys.
If you like what you’ve heard so far, check out our past blog at this link on building a strong company culture and consider reaching out. Culture and communication exist in tandem and can improve morale and longevity within your team.
How Customer Service Can Make or Break Your Business
One of the first things we ask potential partners is what their company values are. What is the culture within your business? And then we ask what their customers would say their company values are. Before bringing a new business into the Scandia Family, we go over our deep commitment to customer service and what it can mean for their business.
Customer Service is a make-or-break for any business. From big tech companies to startups from the service industry to anywhere in between, it’s the one link in the chain that can send ripples through your business. It all starts on the front lines with good training. Is your team empowered to solve problems for customers? Do you have a strong training program to help ensure that guests or customers are all treated in the same, positive way?
The word “empower” comes into play especially in times of addressing negative or difficult situations with customers. How you handle a negative customer experience reflects on the entire company. Negative experiences should be viewed as “opportunities” to create loyal customers by handling a difficult situation with grace and providing excellent customer service. We often find that if individual team members are empowered to handle some guest needs, it can resolve situations quickly and positively.
The type of customer service training we are talking about to yield the above results has to be consistent. What if we told you this training will not only help improve interactions with guests but also help you with employee retention? It’s true, investing in your employees and their customer service training will help keep them part of the team.
Don’t forget that a positive customer service culture comes from the top down. Don’t exhibit behaviors or interactions with customers that are outside of your customer service training. After all, your employees are always watching.
Let’s talk more about how Scandia can be not only a partner in your businesses’ financial success but also help you grow and cultivate your team. Contact us via this form and a member of the Scandia family will reach out to you promptly.
How do you know if a family office is right for you?
A Family Business Office Investment Strategy often looks very different than traditional firms. Our partners at Scandia know that we don’t view you just as dollars and cents, but as part of the Scandia family. Your success is our success and we’re going to work hands-on with you to achieve our shared goals for your business and revenue growth. So how do you know if a family office is right for you?
First of all, are you looking for a one-on-one relationship with your investors? Or would you prefer a more transactional relationship? Traditional funding methods like loans from banks or business lines of credit are a viable source of funding but do not provide much beyond that. At a family investment office like Scandia, you’ll find partners more interested in your success than just the bottom line -- though that is important, too.
Mentorship is a key part of the Scandia Partners family business office model. If you’re looking for one-on-one mentorship from proven leaders in business and product development, a family office is a no-brainer. Let’s face it, you’re just not going to get the same level of personal interest from a huge bank or firm.
If you’re looking for flexibility, a family office can provide that sort of leeway. Oftentimes, we understand where our partners are at in their business life cycle. Family business offices like Scandia are much more likely to provide flexibility with your goals and timeline in helping make sure you succeed.
Finally, make sure that your core values and passions align closely with those of the family office. Do these partners have a proven track record with a company similar to yours? Does a partner at Scandia have background and knowledge in an area that you know is a deficit for your team right now? We’ve found that when our partners are all moving in the same direction -- working as one family -- our businesses are more successful for it.
Startup Checklist for Your First Round of Funding
The first round of funding can often be make or break for a business. It’s important to have your “elevator pitch” ready like on Shark Tank, but so much more goes into the behind the scenes to put your best foot forward before potential investors. We’ve put together a tried-and-true checklist for preparing for your first round of funding:
- Prepping Your Business Plan: From venture capital firms to Family Offices like Scandia Partners, many potential investors will want to review your business plan before even offering to meet. Make sure that your Business Plan is up-to-date and offers a realistic roadmap for the next 30, 60, 90 days and beyond for your business.
- Business Legalities: The small details matter, especially to high volume investors. Ensure that all of your tax information is correct. Make sure that articles of incorporation have been filed if necessary and most importantly ensure that you have a legitimate EIN number registered with the IRS before accepting any funding.
- Financials: Review your financials with a trusted advisor, your CFO or tax professional prior to meeting with potential investors. Make sure that you include a capital plan with projections running through a variety of scenarios. Investors are looking more closely than ever at financials as we work through the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Equity Breakdown: Make sure you have a clear understanding of how much equity you are willing to give up in the company. Furthermore, make sure that any prior investors are well aware that you are seeking funding. It is crucial to come to the table with as much information as possible and know where you stand when it comes to what amount of equity you can make available to new partners or investors.
- Research: You know that the potential investor is going to look into you, your associates and your business history. Make sure you do your research as well. What types of funding do they typically provide? What are their core values? Strengths? Are they hands-on or hands-off?
Once you have prepared all of the above and done your research, ask yourself the ultimate question: “What investors best align with your goals and values?” There’s no need to approach a certain firm if you believe their values conflict with your own. When it comes to this phase, we hope you will consider Scandia Partners. We are a family-first company working hard with our partners to add value with investments, positive reinforcement and our decades of scaling businesses and growing profits. If this sounds like we might be a fit for you, fill out our contact form today at this link.
Investing In Your Own Business
Let’s talk about investing in your business. You might think, “Wait, I’m already doing that, aren’t I?” There are many more investments to make to ensure future success for your company than just time and money.
#1 Capital Expenditures - This is a crucial part of pushing your business forward each year. Do you have a major problem on your factory floor? Would investing in a new piece of equipment improve your workflow.? What about something simpler like upgrading your sales force’s computers or offering new tablets to help them on sales calls? Don’t forget that capital expenditures can pay dividends for you and your business in the short term and long term.
# 2 Investing in People - One of the most important ways you can move your business forward is by making an investment in your team members. Consider adding extra paid-time-off next year. Do you provide regularly scheduled feedback opportunities? What about training opportunities? Are you allowing your employees enough room to grow as you scale your business?
# 3 Invest in Your Marketing - Whether it’s as cost-effective as starting and maintaining a social media account to promote your business or as in-depth as hiring a web team for a complete website overhaul, marketing can be a make-or-break for your business. You’d be surprised how many potential customers, investors, or even suppliers will check your web presence prior to doing business with you. Make sure that you are putting your best foot forward and not letting any opportunities pass you by.
# 4 Invest in your Environment - It’s one thing to provide the tools needed to get the job done and a positive work environment, but what about where the work physically takes place? Are your offices as good as your service, products, or team morale? Investing in real estate or improving the daily life of you and your team members can make positive waves within your company.
We know how daunting implementing all of this can seem at times - that’s why Scandia Partners is here as a resource for our businesses. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business today.
Considerations Before Partnering With A Family Office
When a business hears about a “Family Office” investor, it may sound like the perfect fit for your company due to the individual approach tailored to you and the flexibility it offers. However, there are many key considerations to take into account before partnering with a family office:
- Family offices have the flexibility to invest how they see fit. But does the mission of the group align with yours? Are their values the same? For example, Scandia focuses on Research, Scalability, Max Benefit, Core Values, Long-term Investment & Mentorship.
- How successful has the family office been in helping businesses similar to yours?
- Do they offer expertise in a specific industry or company type? For example, Scandia has a proven track record of helping service and tech-enabled companies scale and is successful at commercial, industrial, and resort real estate investment.
- What does the family office offer that traditional investment firms may not? For example, Scandia believes in mentoring its partners. It helps new businesses avoid common mistakes and sets the business in the right direction. Mentorship helps to ensure maximum profitability and maximum benefit for all partners involved.
The above just scratches the surface of the questions you should ask about any potential investor, especially if they are a family office like Scandia Partners. And don’t be surprised if the investor also does research on you and your business. Be sure to be prepared to answer questions and know your business inside and out. It’s not like Shark Tank, but you can bet that many investors will only give you a certain amount of grace if you miss questions about things like financials or other key metrics of measuring the success of your business.
We hope that regardless of where you go, you find the right fit. We also hope that Scandia is on your radar. We have a proven track record of nurturing and growing businesses like Smart Rain and Rubicon Contractors. We would love to bring new businesses and services into the fold if it’s a good fit for the family. Learn more about our proven track record by taking a peek at Scandia Partners.
How To Pivot From a Difficult Investment Partner
When a business needs more capital to startup or expand, there can seemingly be an overwhelming number of options available. It’s important to decide early on who you will trust to make an investment in your business. Do the values of the investors align with your business? Is their vision of your company the same as yours? Is the investor behind the funding more interested in profit than the growth and expansion of your business? Perhaps most importantly, does the investor see your company as a risky investment? All these questions must be considered when choosing a trusted partner or entering the venture capital market because choosing the wrong partner or investor for your business can prove to be a challenge down the road.
The wrong partner can be the kiss of death for a business, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to pivot that you can consider:
- Sell Your Equity and move on: We know it might sound extreme, but if you’re like many of the entrepreneurs we have worked with, you’re full of great products, ideas, or services. If you can cut your losses after having difficulty with a private equity investor, sell your share and start something new.
- Negotiate to purchase equity from your partner: Perhaps you started your business, like many people, with a close friend or member of your family. Have things started to sour over the years? Is the operation of the business negatively impacting your relationship? Worse yet, is the relationship negatively impacting the operation of your business? It may be time to cut ties, or at the very least, establish a situation where you and your partner do not have equal equity. If you don’t want to purchase all of their equity, try working out a “silent partner” deal that might allow them to continue to see profits from the business but take a step back.
- Research your situation and pursue new funding: We have great resources here on our website. We suggest checking out “Tips For Choosing The Right Investment Partner” right now for tips on all of the different types of capital investments that you can pursue.
Scandia Partners is unique and we are proud of it. We have the ability to invest in people and businesses we believe in. With our expertise and knack for finding and growing successful businesses, we are looking for partners and potential partners who seek peace of mind. You can have peace of mind knowing that, with an investment from Scandia Partners, we believe in you and you are part of the Scandia family.