The Finance Division – Figures Don’t Lie, Two Plus Two Equal Four

When it comes to the financial area of a business, figures don’t lie! In other words, half of the communication problems are eliminated by the simple fact that people are working with figures in finance and accounting departments. Two plus two equal four. You can’t misinterpret that! Well, may be verbally, but not on paper.

Just yesterday, I was talking to a “hyper” person on the phone. She talked fast, going from one issue to the other all in the same sentence. She gave me a fax number where to send some information. She gave it all in one breath without pause and continued on with another subject.

I had to ask her to slow down to give me a chance to write down the number, repeating the area code, then the next three digits, which she acknowledged to be correct, then I repeated half of the next four digits, pausing for her to give me the last two, which she did and which I repeated as I had heard it.

When I faxed the information, the fax did not go through. I called her again and it turned out I had the last two digits as 25 instead of 35. But, when I repeated “25”to her which I had written down, she said, “right”. So figures can be misinterpreted verbally.

But not the figures that are calculated by adding machines and computers. Like I said two plus two equal four, not five. So the communication problem is non-existent in financial figures. One can manipulate them but that’s done by humans, not calculating machines.

One of the biggest problems in small business is proper financial and business planning. In larger organizations, this is a normal part of the operation; usually companies have hired people who include this area of the business as part of their job. Because of the nature of the corporate beast, the financial institutions expect and demand this obligational necessity.

When I teach starting a small business, I’m always amazed at the amount of people who “dream” of starting a business but don’t give any thought to putting a business financial plan together. Then, half the class quits within the first few weeks as they see what they hadn’t thought about. They are disappointed at the need to start a business.

Only the serious ones stay on and appreciate what they learn through the exercise. Even if their dream may have to be delayed, they now have concrete figures to work on. They are the effective communicators of tomorrow. They are the ones who will succeed because of their continuous personal improvement, growth and self-discipline.

Once you have the financial figures on a projection, you can manipulate these numbers to fit your goals. If a hundred thousand dollars isn’t enough to start the type of business you’re thinking of, then you will have to figure out how to raise the money or cut back expenses.

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