Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Why Looking Forward in Your Business is So Important


While this Fleetwood Mac hit is actually about a breakup between two of the band’s members, there’s also an important message to learn about focusing on the future of your business instead of its past – especially when it comes to financial reports. 

Don’t underestimate the power of your reports

Most growing companies use financial reports only as a way to look back at how they performed. However, companies on the right track are using them to plan their futures as well.

You have a vision and goals for your business, but you might not have someone on your team with the experience to model out your reports and guide you down the right path. Putting these ideas to paper – and “beating them up” a bit – with the help of a Fractional CFO, results in more feasible goals you’ll be more likely to achieve. 

For instance, the Balance Sheet is one of the most misunderstood documents businesses have available to them. We find that nearly all the businesses we’ve worked with didn’t understand the power of this report and the importance of its accuracy when they came to us.

But it’s crucial to accurately know where you stand and where you can take your business in the future. Looking ahead, using your Balance Sheet makes sure that you have the proper cash flow to achieve your goals. Many people have grand plans, not realizing they don’t have the cash flow to support them.  

To avoid issues down the road, the right Fractional CFO will be able to: 

  • Ensure financial statements are correct and that you understand them thoroughly.
  • Design reports that support your company’s strategies.
  • Perform forward-looking budgeting and planning to increase the probability of success of new initiatives.
  • Develop “What if?” scenarios.
  • Identify trends and opportunities.
Look ahead in the right increments

How far ahead should you be looking? Planning for only the short-term or distant future won’t work – it’s vital to look at regular increments so you can adjust your plans when needed. 

Look at your future plans for these periods:

  • 5 years
  • 3 years
  • 1 year
  • 3 months

The key is to start with your five-year vision and work backward. This lets you break down goals into smaller pieces, making it easier to march toward your long-term vision.

It also makes sure your plans are feasible. Sometimes when you do the math backward, you realize you’re going to bite off more than you can chew, allowing you to readjust.  A Fractional CFO will have done this exercise many times before and can guide you through the process to make sure you’re being as realistic as you are ambitious. 

Plan your business’s future with the right information

If you’re not sure what your financial reports are telling you about your business and want to make sure you have the resources to reach your goals, it’s time to start thinking about tomorrow – like Fleetwood Mac says. 

Crown CFO can help you get on the right track. Our Fractional CFOs are experienced in guiding Kansas City businesses to better financial health. Contact Mike DeMaio at to find out how we can help your business.