As the recent horrifying aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has reminded us, it is so important that there be those of us who are prepared, willing and ABLE to respond in the midst of tragedy.

And it is my firm opinion that small business owners represent the great hope of our economic engine, and our capacity to respond well.

So I want to provide some “big picture” encouragement today for small business owners, and how they can grow. The world needs you laser-focused on your goals, so that you can be that great engine of response when the time comes.

But it’s not *just* for responding well, it’s also for the designing and architecting of our very lives. To live the kind of life we want, we need something to be shooting for! It’s not just the world that needs your focus … it’s your family too!

However, many of our goals are nebulous and difficult to think about because they appear far away and out of reach. To someone who has never earned more than $100,000.00 a year, “Build a million-dollar business” will seem like a monumental task. And so it’s difficult to envision a goal like that.

I have found one of the best ways to march toward my goals, is to record my “enough is enough” number. It’s the dollar amount that completely sets me free from financial stress and worries — and to be able to give when possible. Here’s a way to organize moving toward it…

Valerie McLaughlin’s
“Real World” Business Strategy Note

Goals: Enough is Enough
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder¬†

Once you establish your enough is enough number, you record it and keep it in front of you. Then, every day, every week or, least desirable, every month, you examine the bank deposits from all your businesses. And you take out a certain percentage for yourself.

When I first started my business, I was barely making a profit. My percentage had to be low. But I was quickly able to grow it.

After I take out my percentage, I divide the money into three pots: giving, spending and wealth.

My giving account is for charitable donations, and I make sure I’m reinvesting money into the community. I contribute with the expectation that I’m going to receive back what I invest, plus profit. I invest in charitable giving in the same way a farmer invests by planting seed corn in a field. That farmer anticipates a harvest that far exceeds what he planted. Same with giving. For you, this could be your church or any combination of charities and direct giving.

Next is spending. This is “mad money.” Cash I don’t mind spending on my grandchildren’s toys, nights out or anything I don’t need but really want. This way I feel directly rewarded for the efforts it took to make those deposits into the bank.

And finally, wealth. These are contributions toward my “enough is enough” number. Each time I make a deposit, I record it, compare it to my total enough is enough number and my monthly goal for enough is enough contributions. This focus on the bottom line helps me keep my goals in perspective.

The percentage you take out of your deposits and the way you distribute those funds among the three pots is a personal choice. I wouldn’t dictate percentage distributions to anyone. It is the daily, weekly and monthly emphasis on the goals that matters.

Also keep in mind that your enough is enough isn’t just about revenue. It’s also about keeping your expenses low. I often find that a smaller-size business allows me to be more effective and efficient.

Most important, this system marches you closer to the financial goal that really matters: financial freedom — and freedom to give when it’s necessary.

And don’t forget — we’re right here for you, if you need us: (410) 224-2600.

I would ask that you forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance–or simply send them our way. While these particular articles relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Valerie McLaughlin
(410) 224-2600