11 things to do each month to keep your business on the right track
A monthly checklist of simple actions, designed to ensure you can easily keep your business on track.
Time flies when you’re running your own business. Days can quickly turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months and before you know it another year has gone by. Sometimes you are so busy working on the day-to-day tasks that it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
Small businesses like yours conduct countless accounting procedures each month such as managing expenses, billing, cash collection and supplier payments, whilst also maintaining the payroll and overseeing employees. The list of tasks can sometimes seem never ending.
This monthly checklist has been designed to ensure you keep your business on track. Although it may initially seem like just another job to do, reviewing a monthly checklist can reduce accounting errors and ensure you have a handle on the financial status of your organisation at all times. So in the long run it can save you a lot of time and money.
Good financial management is essential for all businesses, whether they are giant multi-nationals or sole traders. In either case, knowing the financial state of your enterprise, in real time, is what will keep you afloat and help you to grow.
- Step back and do a financial overview
What do your numbers look like this year? More importantly what are you going to do for the next quarter or six months to do even better? Pull together (have your Finance Manager do this) a simple action plan and cash flow forecast for the next six months – you may be surprised at what you can afford to invest in.
- Call your clients who owe you money
Ask them to settle your invoices quickly. You can even call before invoices are due to make sure everything is OK with them, then chasing money feels like customer care.
- Review annual sales
Look at what type of sales you’re making and where they are coming from to see if you can spot trends and increase sales to existing customers by cross-selling. Don’t forget to review your conversion rates in your sales funnel, and be sure to compare each sales person’s conversion rates individually so you can spot any issues early.
- Keep a close eye on stock
Take action to reduce slow moving stock and generate some cash – don’t just leave it in the warehouse to rot. Also ensure you have enough stock of your best sellers, don’t let your customers go elsewhere because you couldn’t fulfil their order – you may never get them back again.
- Review your cost base
Take a really close look at your cost base, make sure every investment is giving you a return.
- Start measuring
Create some KPI’s (key performance indicators) for each area of the business, and start measuring – you need to make sure everything and everyone is working as productively as possible – squeeze that lemon!
- Make customers remember you
Do something simple yet creative to get yourself in the front of their mind. Show them that they are important to you and that you appreciate their custom.
- Review your online presence
Make sure you’re easily accessible online and review your website. Actually take a look at how many people are viewing your website, what they are looking at just before they buy and more importantly where they are leaving your site. Spread the word on social media – don’t keep good news to yourself, tell the world. It’s quick, easy, effective – and free!
- Keep on top of industry news and competitors
Make sure you know what is going on out there… keep on top of new trends and technology. Keep a close eye on your competitors and be quick to react if you need to.
- Keep your data safe
Data within your company can contain confidential information about your customers as well as internal information – keep it safe and make sure your customers can trust you to do so.
- Talk to your advisors and to your business community
Bounce ideas off people who don’t have a direct interest in your business to get some objective advice and open your mind to trying out new ways of doing things.
Almost everything on the checklist above can be made a lot easier with the help of up-to-date accounting software such as Xero. You might also be interested in our recent blog ‘How automating data entry can save you time and money’.
To obtain the full benefits from your accounting software you also need to make sure that you are working with a switched-on accounting professional who can help you set up and use the system in a way that is relevant to you, enabling you to fully understand and analyse your management information in real time.
To access the support you need and for more tips on how to get (and keep!) your business on track contact us using the button below and one of our local experts will be in touch.