Business, Strategy
The Imperative for Growth: Bridging the Profit Gaps

In the dynamic world of business, companies are consistently striving to enhance profitability and sustain long-term growth. However, one of the critical challenges they face is the presence of hidden profit gaps. These gaps, often unnoticed, can stem from various inefficiencies and underutilized assets, leading to suboptimal financial performance. This article aims to shed light on these profit gaps, illustrating common examples and providing a roadmap to effectively identify and bridge them.

Typical Areas of Profit Leakage

Profit gaps can be elusive, often rooted in operational inefficiencies or misaligned strategies. Recognizing these areas is crucial for any business aiming to optimize its financial health.

  • Missed Cost-Saving Opportunities: Consider a local bakery that hasn’t explored bulk purchasing discounts for its ingredients. Or a small tech firm still paying for redundant cloud storage services.
  • Inefficiency in Processes: A classic example is a boutique with a manual inventory tracking system, leading to overstocking or stockouts. Or an advertising agency still manually logging client interactions, prone to errors and inefficiency.
  • Pricing Strategy Gaps: A landscaping business might be underpricing its services due to an incomplete analysis of overheads. Conversely, a freelance graphic designer could be overpricing and losing potential clients.
  • Failure to Adapt to Market Changes: A local bookstore might be slow in adopting e-commerce, missing out on broader market reach. Or a taxi company not embracing app-based ride-hailing services.
  • Underutilization of Resources: An example is a small hotel with underused conference spaces or a manufacturing firm with idle machinery during off-peak seasons.


Detecting Profit Gaps: A Structured Approach

To stay ahead and uncover these hidden gaps, businesses need a systematic and analytical approach:

  • Gathering and Analyzing Financial Data: This involves collecting comprehensive financial records and scrutinizing them for unusual trends or discrepancies.
  • Process Assessment: Examining current operational processes for inefficiencies and redundancies is key. This might involve observing the workflow and identifying areas causing delays or excess costs.
  • Benchmarking and Industry Comparisons: Comparing one’s business metrics with industry standards can highlight areas of underperformance.
  • Market and Strategy Analysis: Understanding current market trends and reassessing business strategies can reveal new opportunities or highlight ineffective practices.
  • Prioritization and Action Plan Development: After identifying potential profit gaps, it’s essential to prioritize them based on impact and feasibility, followed by devising a detailed action plan.

Bridging the Profit Gaps: Practical Measures

With identified gaps, businesses can now implement strategies to bridge these gaps:
  • Cost Reduction Initiatives: A restaurant might renegotiate contracts with food suppliers or a small retailer could streamline its supply chain to reduce logistics costs.
  • Process Optimization: A consultancy firm might automate its client onboarding process, while a local florist could integrate a POS system for better inventory management.
  • Pricing Strategy Overhaul: A freelance web developer might re-evaluate their hourly rates in line with market rates and client expectations.
  • Exploring New Markets and Diversification: A children’s toy shop could expand into educational toys, tapping into a new customer segment.
  • Empowering Employees: Training staff in a construction company on efficient resource usage or introducing incentive programs for cost-saving ideas.
  • Regular Monitoring and Review: Implementing a system to regularly track key financial metrics, like a small gym monitoring membership renewals and class attendance rates.

A Continuous Journey Towards Enhanced Profitability

In conclusion, uncovering and addressing hidden profit gaps is a continuous process, crucial for sustaining business growth and profitability. It involves a mix of financial vigilance, strategic operations, and embracing a data-driven culture.

Need Tailored Financial Strategies?

If you’re looking to deepen your financial insight and apply strategic measures for financial optimization, Ansid is here to help. Our team of experts is equipped to transform your financial operations into a robust growth driver.

 

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Analytics, Business

Recent insights from Gartner project a pivotal transformation: by 2026, an estimated 65% of organizations will transition from relying on intuition to implementing data-driven decision-making strategies. This evolution underscores a growing awareness in the business community: leveraging data analytics is not just a trend, but a critical factor for sustained growth and competitive edge.


Historically, the realm of data analytics has been largely confined to specialists — data scientists and IT experts. This exclusivity often resulted in a bottleneck, preventing vital data insights from reaching the very people who could benefit most — the business decision-makers. The solution? Bringing data analytics into the hands of every business user, irrespective of their technical expertise.

This article delves into the advantages of this democratization and offers practical steps for integrating it into your business operations.

Advantages of Broadening Data Access

The concept of democratizing data analytics involves extending the reach of data insights to all team members, transcending technical barriers. This inclusive approach fosters a culture where data-backed decisions become the norm, benefiting the entire organization.

  • Informed Decision-Making: Empirical evidence beats gut feeling. Universal data access enables employees to make choices that are in line with overarching business objectives. Consider Airbnb’s strategy: by centralizing data and streamlining access, they have optimized their pricing models and enhanced user experiences.
  • Boosting Employee Engagement and Innovation: When team members are encouraged to use data in their roles, they feel more invested and empowered. This not only elevates productivity but also sparks innovation.
  • Efficient Problem-Solving: Immediate access to data means quicker identification and resolution of issues, leading to smoother operations and increased efficiency.


Strategies for Widening the Data Pipeline


Expanding data analytics access involves more than just opening the data floodgates. It’s about making data comprehensible and actionable for every team member.

  • Invest in User-Friendly Data Tools: Self-service data platforms with intuitive interfaces allow non-technical users to analyze and visualize data effortlessly. Features like drag-and-drop functions and interactive dashboards are key.
  • Data Literacy Programs: Equip your team with the basic skills to understand and interpret data. This can be achieved through a mix of workshops, e-learning modules, and interactive sessions.
  • Establishing Data Governance: Implement guidelines for data handling that ensure integrity and compliance, thereby building a trusted data foundation.
  • Cultivating a Data Sharing Culture: Encourage inter-departmental data sharing to dismantle silos and enhance collective problem-solving. Netflix serves as a prime example, with its open data access and collaborative environment.


Turning Data Insights into Business Actions


Democratizing data is merely the beginning. The real power lies in translating these insights into concrete business outcomes.

  • Align Data Efforts with Business Objectives: Ensure that your data analytics initiatives are tightly interwoven with your business goals.
  • Effective Communication of Insights: Data is only as powerful as its presentation. Use clear visuals and narratives to make data comprehensible and impactful.
  • Integrate Data into Daily Decisions: Encourage and support your team in using data insights for routine decision-making.
  • Appoint a Data Champion: Designate an internal advocate for data-driven practices to lead and inspire the organization.
  • Implement Data-Driven Dashboards: Utilize real-time dashboards to provide immediate insights into key metrics and trends, aiding in swift and informed decision-making.


Conclusion: Harnessing Data for Business Excellence


By embracing data democratization, businesses, particularly SMEs, can unlock immense value: enhanced decision-making, streamlined operations, and innovative growth. This not only strengthens financial performance but also heightens customer satisfaction and market positioning.

Eager to explore the full potential of data analytics for your business? Reach out for a no-commitment consultation and discover how to elevate your business to a data-empowered entity.

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Analytics, Business, Finance, Strategy

For any business, from startups to established entities, tracking revenue performance is more than just a financial measure; it’s a vital indicator of your business’ health and direction. For small and mid-size businesses in particular, understanding the nuances of revenue fluctuations is critical.

In this piece, we dissect the concept of revenue variance – the gap between your projected and actual revenues – and explore the factors influencing these differences.


Exploring the Causes of Revenue Variances

Understanding why revenue variances occur is fundamental in mastering your financial landscape. These variances are often the result of key factors – usually referred to Price, Volume, and Mix (or PVM):

  1. Pricing Changes: Your revenue fluctuates when the actual selling price of a product or service differs from the expected price. A product expected to sell at $50 selling for $45 causes a negative price variance, while selling for $55 leads to a positive one.

  2. Sales Volume Fluctuations: If you projected the sale of 1,000 units of a product, selling 800 results in a negative sales variance. Conversely, surpassing the target leads to a positive variance.

  3. Product Mix Variability: The composition of high-margin and low-margin items sold influence overall margins from revenue. Selling more high-margin items than low-margin ones can positively impact your revenue due to differing profit margins.

These variances provide a basic-level understanding of your revenue performance. However, for a more comprehensive analysis, delving into a broader spectrum of internal and external factors is crucial.


Diving Deeper: Beyond Numbers

Understanding your revenue’s ebb and flow requires examining a range of internal and external elements:

  1. Economic Climate: Economic ups and downs significantly impact consumer behavior. In prosperous times, customers might indulge more in luxury goods or premium services. However, in economic downturns, a focus on essentials becomes more pronounced. A strategic approach during these fluctuations involves aligning inventory and pricing strategies with the economic climate.

  2. Event-Driven Variations: Special promotions or product launches can significantly sway your revenue. For a successful event, like a new product launch in your electronics store, understanding the factors contributing to this success is as important as identifying the causes of underperformance in others. This might involve choosing the right partners and having a contingency budget for unforeseen expenses.

  3. Product Portfolio Dynamics: When you have overlapping products, understanding how to allocate resources effectively is key. Revenue analysis can guide you in focusing on more profitable or strategic offerings.

  4. New or Discontinued Lines: Introducing or phasing out products can create ripples in your revenue stream. Analyzing these impacts helps in reallocating resources effectively and exploring new opportunities.

  5. Currency Fluctuations: For businesses dealing in international markets, like a Canadian firm exporting to United States or Europe, currency movements can significantly impact revenue. Understanding these variances is crucial for strategic planning.


A sample variance attribution analysis using PVM would look like this:

While the overall sales performance appears positive, with a 20.7% increase compared to the prior year, a closer examination reveals underlying areas that require attention.


The negative volume variance suggests that the company may need to reconsider its sales strategies to attract and retain customers. Additionally, the negative mix variance (indicating a shift towards lower-margin products) highlights the need to optimize product portfolio and pricing strategies to maximize profitability.


Conclusion: Tailoring Your Revenue Analysis Approach

There’s no universal formula for analyzing revenue variances. It involves delving into the details – not just the overall figures but the intricate aspects of each revenue component. This comprehensive approach is essential for small and mid-size businesses aiming to understand and leverage their revenue dynamics fully.


Need Expert Guidance? Contact Ansid for Tailored Assistance

Navigating through the complexities of revenue performance can be challenging. If you’re looking for custom strategies and insights to optimize your revenue, consider reaching out to Ansid. Our team of experts specializes in providing customized solutions that cater to the unique needs of small and mid-size businesses. Contact us today to explore how we can support your business in achieving its financial goals.

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Business, Finance, Strategy

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, Ansid’s Grow2Thrive™ represents the pinnacle of financial transformation and profitable growth. This proprietary methodology, developed through years of expertise in finance, strategy, operations, and technology, is tailored to foster transformational changes in your business model and financial operations. This sets your organization apart from the competition and charts a course for sustained profitability.


Grow2Thrive™ is structured into four strategic stages:

  1. Rapid Assessment: An initial deep dive into your financial health, involving stakeholder interviews, financial statement reviews, and identification of profitability gaps and areas for efficiency gains.

  2. Growth Roadmap: Crafting a bespoke action plan that details specific steps for boosting profitability, prioritizing actions for immediate impact, and ensuring stakeholder buy-in for a unified approach.

  3. Transformation: Adjusting your business model, realigning costs, retooling processes, and guiding change management across people, processes, and systems.

  4. Normalization: Ensuring knowledge transfer, training people, and implementing KPI/Scorecard Reporting for ongoing monitoring and adjustments.

At Ansid, the aim is not just to provide a plan, but to empower your team to carry forward the transformation, ensuring that every stage of the process contributes to your overarching goal of profitable growth and efficiency.


If you’re poised to leap into a new era of financial efficiency and market competitiveness, Ansid is ready to collaborate, understand your unique challenges, and guide you through every step of the Grow2Thrive™ journey.


Contact Ansid Today

Don’t let your business fall behind in these fast-paced times. Contact Ansid now to discover how the Grow2Thrive™ methodology can revolutionize your financial operations and set the stage for your success. Together, let’s transform your financial functions and pave the way for a future of growth and profitability

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Advisors, Business, Finance, Strategy
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a critical member of any organization’s leadership team. They are responsible for managing a company’s finances, creating financial strategies, and ensuring the financial health of the company. However, not all CFOs are created equal. There are good CFOs and bad CFOs

Here are key differences between a good CFO and a bad CFO:

1. Strategic Thinking
A good CFO is a strategic thinker who understands the big picture and can develop financial strategies that support the company’s overall goals. They analyze financial data and provide insights that can help guide decision-making. In contrast, a bad CFO focuses solely on the financials and doesn’t understand the broader strategic objectives of the company. They may also lack the ability to communicate financial information in a way that non-financial stakeholders can understand.

2. Risk Management
A good CFO is proactive in identifying and managing financial risks. They anticipate potential problems and develop strategies to mitigate them. They also work with other departments to ensure that risk management is integrated into all aspects of the business. In contrast, a bad CFO may be reactive and fail to identify risks until they become major problems.

3. Communication Skills
A good CFO is an excellent communicator who can explain complex financial information to non-financial stakeholders. They also understand the importance of transparency and provide regular updates on the company’s financial performance. In contrast, a bad CFO may be poor communicators who struggle to explain financial information to others in a way that is easily understood.

4. Operational Efficiency
A good CFO is always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the company’s financial operations. They streamline processes and implement technology solutions that can help the company operate more efficiently. In contrast, a bad CFO may be resistant to change and fail to implement new processes or technologies that could benefit the company.

5. Ethical Standards
A good CFO operates with the highest ethical standards. They are transparent in their financial reporting and ensure that the company is in compliance with all relevant regulations. They also establish a culture of integrity throughout the organization. In contrast, a bad CFO may engage in unethical practices such as misreporting financial information, which can lead to legal and reputational problems for the company.

Conclusion
A good CFO is an essential member of any organization’s leadership team. They are strategic thinkers, proactive risk managers, excellent communicators, and are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the company’s financial operations. In contrast, a bad CFO may lack these essential skills and could potentially harm the financial health of the company. By understanding the key differences between a good CFO and a bad CFO, companies can make informed decisions when selecting a CFO for their organization.
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Analytics, Business, Finance, Strategy

Finance transformation is the process of improving and modernizing the financial systems, processes, and capabilities of a business or organization. This can involve a wide range of activities, including adopting new technologies, streamlining financial reporting, improving budgeting and forecasting, and enhancing risk management practices.


One of the main drivers of finance transformation is the increasing complexity and speed of business operations. In today’s fast-paced, global economy, companies need to be able to respond quickly to changes in market conditions and customer needs. This requires robust and agile financial systems that can provide timely and accurate financial information.


Another key factor driving finance transformation is the need for improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness. As businesses grow and evolve, their financial systems may become outdated or inefficient, leading to increased costs and reduced competitiveness. By modernizing financial systems and processes, businesses can improve efficiency and reduce costs, freeing up resources for other areas of the business.


There are several key steps that businesses can take to successfully implement a finance transformation:

  1. Identify the key areas that need improvement: This can involve conducting a thorough assessment of current financial systems, processes, and capabilities, and identifying areas that are causing bottlenecks or inefficiencies.

  2. Develop a clear roadmap: Once the areas in need of improvement have been identified, it’s important to develop a clear plan for how to address them. This can involve setting specific goals and objectives, outlining a timeline, and identifying the resources needed to achieve success.

  3. Adopt new technologies: One of the most effective ways to modernize financial systems is to adopt new technologies that can automate and streamline processes. This can include implementing financial software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or cloud-based accounting platforms.

  4. Enhance financial reporting and analysis: Improved financial reporting and analysis is critical for making informed business decisions. By implementing new tools and techniques, businesses can better understand their financial performance and identify areas for improvement.

  5. Focus on continuous improvement: Finance transformation is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. By continually reviewing and improving financial systems and processes, businesses can ensure they remain competitive and well-positioned for the future.


Overall, finance transformation is an essential part of modern business operations. By improving financial systems, processes, and capabilities, businesses can gain a competitive edge, drive efficiency, and make better-informed decisions.

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Analytics, Business, Finance
“I am tired of getting pages and pages of reports from my Finance team,” commented this CEO of a large organization to me. “All I need to know is how my business is doing, and what changes I need to make to improve performance. Is it too much to expect,” he asked?

Finance teams love to work with and present lots of data.

Business owners and decision-makers on the other hand care about the data but are more interested in outcomes and understanding drivers of those outcomes.

Herein lies the expectation gap.

Their head of finance used to present results to the executive team, walking through a 30-page reporting package full of tables and graphs.

How did the executive team respond? Yawns. Lots of yawns, in fact.

The CEO brought in Ansid to change this.

The 30-page package was replaced by a crisp one-page summary of: why the performance was as it were, identifying the underlying drivers of revenues and costs, and a recommendation on what needed to change to deliver profitable growth.

The monthly meetings thereafter changed to a data-driven discussion to develop and implement clear strategies and actions.

Are you getting real insights and answers to your business questions from your Finance team?
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Advisors, Business

The need for independent or “outside” board members in a public corporation is well understood; its importance for small to mid-size, privately held business, not as much.

In this whitepaper, we make the case that a well-curated board of directors and/or board of advisors can be as important and useful to profitably growing a small to mid-size business.

In fact, a #BDC study suggests that independent boards could help increase revenue growth by 3X and productivity by 18%.

The paper also covers key actionable insights on how founders and CEOs of a small to mid-size business can leverage expertise of independent board members and how to go about setting up their boards.

Click here to download the full whitepaper.

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Business, Cash Flow, Thrive30

🚀Don’t just survive, but thrive. 🚀


Most entrepreneurs understand how vital cash flow is to the smooth running of their business.

Many still face cash flow challenges; some can be expected, yet others such as COVID-19 pandemic cannot be foreseen.

This CEO reached out to me a few weeks ago.

Her business had been successful for many years but as the pandemic hit, customers began delaying payment of invoices and the deal pipeline started drying up.

With only a few months of cash runway, she was in a difficult spot.

But there are always opportunities in challenges.

My advice to her was to respond quickly and decisively as follows:

➡ Tap into government incentives to ease up the immediate cash crunch;
➡ Build cash flow scenarios identifying variables that affected revenues and costs;
➡ Renegotiate payment terms with customers and suppliers;
➡ Re-imagine the business model to identify new revenue opportunities; and
➡ Perform a line-by-line review of costs to optimize based on the new business model.

Businesses that navigate disruptions better not only survive but thrive during and after adversity.

What changes have you made to your business during the pandemic?

Check out our Thrive30 program to help you navigate these challenging times.
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Business, Cash Flow, COVID-19, Finance
🤔Let people go during COVID-19? Or NOT?

Business leaders have lately grappled with this question a lot; many still are.

Their hearts and minds are conflicted.

They care about their staff and don’t want to let them go..

But, if they don’t, the business may not survive.

Here’s are five steps I suggest:
  1. Take advantage of as many government incentives as possible to improve cash flow and reduce business impact;
  2. Review core assumptions of your business strategy. Is it viable during and post-COVID-19?
  3. Pivot if necessary, and do so quickly;
  4. Identify staff that do not align with the business moving forward;
  5. Say goodbye to staff to a level that sustains business and not for the sake of just making more money.

If you’re a leader in a business impacted by COVID-19, what would you do?

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