Well, it is upon us, the new financial year that is. Now that Wimbledon, the British Open and the Tour de France are over, we thought this the ideal opportunity to present ten thoughts on what you should focus your attention on.
1. Refresh your vision of success
When was the last time you stood back and took an objective look at your business? Where are the opportunities for improvement and growth? Explore ways of optimising your business operations, or creating new or value added products or services for your current customers. Identifying and documenting goals and objectives to guide your business through the new financial year is a crucial step to improve your chances of achieving these objectives.
2. Don’t neglect administration
Creating an organised filing system for paperwork and invoices can take the headache out of credit management. Disposing of outdated paperwork and staying on top of sales ledger entries, credit notes and adjustments will help to prevent cash flow problems from occurring and ensure your business is organised and capable of achieving growth.
3. Go paperless
There’s a whole host of tools, apps and software hitting the market to keep the transition to a paperless business smoother than ever before. The move can also save a business a surprising amount of money.
Being a paperless company also improves your standing with customers concerned about the environment. It’s a way to connect with them and show that we’re also working towards a brighter future. It represents our commitment and caring nature and makes them trust us. This relationship is extremely important in the online world.
4. Carry out credit-checks
New business prospects are attractive in the current business environment. However, always ensure you carry out credit checks on new customers. This will allow you to identify trends in their repayment behaviour and avoid any payment issues in the future. Additionally, circumstances affecting existing customers are constantly changing, so it is also worth regularly reviewing their credit status.
5. Manage your customer relationships
Be sure to maintain open lines of communication between your business and its customers, ensuring that you continue to refine customer service standards. Are you actually meeting the needs of your current customers, or is there more that you could be doing. Conversely, are you focusing your attention on delivering more than your client wants, whereby these resources could be diverted to other parts of the business?
6. Ensure invoices are issued in a timely fashion
The timely issuance of invoices is the cornerstone of a healthy business cash flow. Invoices that are issued early and are diligently followed up will allow your debtors plenty of notice to pay their receivables and thereby improving your cash flow.
7. Monitor your competitors
Knowledge is power, and keeping track of who your competitors are and what products and services they offer will give you the power to stand out in the crowd. Keep abreast of news and developments within your industry and take note of any new trends. This knowledge will give you the knowledge you need to refine your competitive advantage and achieve growth for your business.
8. Get the best from your suppliers
Assess your current suppliers and confirm that you are getting the quality and value for money that the market permits. Regularly conduct comparisons from other suppliers to ensure that you are minimising your operating expenses.
9. Take time out
Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy and reflect on your successes along the way, as surviving in the current economy is a sign of success. Taking a well-earned break will allow you to renew your energy and focus for the year ahead. Employees too are at their most productive when they feel valued and acknowledged, so reward your team for
achieving their objectives with inexpensive staff events during the course of the year.
10. Meet with your accountant
It is surprising that many clients meet with their accountant once a year, when it is time to complete the tax returns. Your accountant is often best placed to compare your business with that of your competitors as a result of being involved with many similar businesses. The new financial year is the best time to invite your accountant out to visit your business. This is a key step to developing a productive and insightful relationship. It’s really important that your accountant actually comes out to your business so they can get a feel for the state of affairs.
We have developed a Business Diagnostic Questionnaire which examines your business in each of these areas, step by step. Please contact us at contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request can to refocus your goals and launch you onto your path to greater success.