With a new year ahead you may want to take some time to think about what you could change or introduce into your business.
So what can you do to give your business a boost and get the year started on a productive and positive note? We have put together our top 5 tips to help you to keep on top of things this year.
1. Keep your books in order. This might not be the most exciting part of running a business but it’s certainly one of the most important! Without well managed accounts you’ll most likely struggle to know how much money you’re making or how much you’ll need to pay the tax man.
If bookkeeping is an area that you struggle with, why not pledge this year to make it an integral but manageable part of your business routine? Dedicate an hour at the start or the end of a week to review your bank transactions, log your expenses and manage your invoices. This will be more efficient and less daunting than leaving everything to pile up! Keeping your books in order will not only make your life easier but you’ll be able to see clearly how your business is performing financially.
2. Tax Return – Are you a small business owner? It’s likely that you’re one of the millions of people that has to submit a self-assessment tax return. When do you get round to submitting it? Is it done and filed with HMRC in December or Mid-January? Or did you have a last minute dash during the final hours of the deadline day?
Why not make it one of your new year’s resolutions to tackle the self-assessment as early as you can and submit it to HMRC with plenty of time to spare!
3. Customer List – Are there certain customers that you dread dealing with? And others who you’re pleased to hear from? Remember it’s your business and dealing with awkward customers isn’t necessary!
Take a look through your customer list and identify those who take ages to pay, those who argue and query every time you invoice them, or even those that are just difficult to deal with. Provided that you feel able to afford it, think about whether you could politely decline their custom and point them to another supplier.However, reviewing your customer list doesn’t have to involve getting rid of people. It could also mean asking those customers that you enjoy working with to recommend you to their friends.
4. Supplier List – In conjunction with your customer list, you might also want to review your supplier list. Think about all of the people you buy from, such as your accountant, phone provider, the printer who produces your business cards.
How good are their products and services? Do you have full confidence in them or are you continually checking for mistakes? Do they deliver on time? Think about all of these things and then question whether there is anyone else who could supply the same, or better quality of goods or services.
5. Chasing Payments – Are you a small business owner who hates chasing up money that you’re owed? You are not alone! Many business owner don’t follow up invoices quickly, often because they are worried about offending their clients. This is a dangerous mind set to have when it comes to business! You need to get the cash if you’ve done the work. Your business will suffer in the long term if you are constantly waiting for payments.
Try setting clear payment terms and make sure your customers know when they are due to pay you, and stick to these terms.
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