- Accounting and Payroll Service
- Best Metrics for Key Performance Indicators
- Best Practices for Invoice Factoring
- Cash Flow
- Extending Credit to Customers
- How to Identify a Business Partner
- Increase Cash Flow
- Money Saving Tips
- Purchase Order Financing
- Setting Priorities
- Small Business Decision-Making
- Small Business Lending
- Small Business Management
- Tech Tools for Small Business
- The Need for Optimism
New Year’s Resolutions for Business Owners
We have all been told year-in-year about making New Year’s Resolutions. Giving up smoking, losing weight, eating your vegetables…all good stuff! But what about making some New Year’s Resolutions to better your business?
Resolutions, if carefully thought over and properly planned, can be a powerful tool to boost your business in 2014. Let’s have a look at just a few resolutions you can make to get your business off to a flying start this year.
Get New Customers
Sometimes, we spend too much time looking after our existing customers; we look after their needs; we ensure that they are consistently happy and we are always looking for the next sale. However, we also sometimes forget that a percentage of customers will always drop off and before you know it, your customer numbers and sales are down.
Never forget that there is a new batch of clients out there who are desperate for your products, and all you have to do is ask for their business. So, to gear yourself up for a renewed campaign, think about these aspects of your business.
Take a fresh look at your advertising material. Does it look dated? Is it designed to attract new business? Do you do enough advertising?
Could you improve your networking skills? Find out if there is a business club or organization near you, and join! If there isn’t one nearby, form one on your own. It’s almost guaranteed that there are a great deal of like-minded business professionals near you who are seeking the same type of networking connection, and would happily participate. Get your business colleagues to a local meeting place and ask that they bring along one other business person from another organization to increase your networking diversity pool.
Ask your customers for referrals. If they’re satisfied with your service, then they should be more than happy to provide you with some introductions.
To help get started and give you direction, set a clear, achievable goal on how many new customers you are going to get each month.
Keep Your Existing Ones
In your quest to get more customers, don’t forget your existing ones. Yes, we did stress the importance of cooling off them and searching for new clients, but the key to success is balance. Resolve to call all your key customers at least once a quarter. You don’t have to try and get an order, just show that you have not forgotten them.
If you have recently launched a new product or service, have you told your existing customers? Are they totally up to date with your product range?
Think about introducing a loyalty bonus or gift. Reward those customers who have been with you for many years or have placed significant orders over the last year. Just say thank you for doing business with you.
Look at Your Expenses
2014 is looking to be a challenging year for businesses and a keen eye on your outgoings could help you. When did you last review your monthly expenses? Set a resolution to look at your overheads every month. Can you reduce your electricity bill or phone by either being more efficient or changing suppliers?
If you have a range of suppliers, have you recently re-negotiated terms? Are you still getting a good deal, or could you do better?
Resolve to look at your bank charges at least once a year. Does your bank offer you a competitive deal? What are their competitors offering? Also, check whether you are getting the best deal on all your insurance requirements. Go and see a broker, or spend some time online getting some quotes to compare.
Keep an Eye on the Cash
This year, resolve to keep a meticulous watch your cash flow. With a generally tightening of available credit in the market, you may find your larger customers squeezing you on payment dates. Make sure you get your invoices out on time and that overdue payments are promptly chased; the more latitude you give means less profits for you. If money is tight, consider purchase order financing, which is a short-term commercial finance option that provides capital to pay suppliers upfront so your company can avoid depleting your cash reserves. Growing your business should not be limited simply because of a few late-paying customers.
If you are facing a liquidity crisis, make sure you are making full use of credit terms offered by suppliers. Could you negotiate even more favorable terms? Even stretching the payments you have to make by two or three days could make a huge difference.
Remember, it’s cash, not just profit, that keeps your business going.
Have a Radical Re-Think
Are you hanging onto a slow-moving product from your business in hopes that it will “take off” next year? Rather than relying on a possible surge in sales, take the time to reassess your product and determine whether or not it’s worth the continuous effort to spend money on production despite seeing little return. Do you have suppliers who are constantly delivering late or have quality problems with their goods? If that’s the case, resolve to search for new suppliers to can deliver quality products on time.
Over the past year, have you been spending a lot of time chasing a potential new customer? You’ve paid for the lunches, paid for a night to the theatre, even nominated him to join your favorite club, but still no business. Is this year the time to accept that they may not do business just yet? Resolve not to waste your precious time and effort chasing no-hopers.
Focus on Growth
Business growth is at the top of the list for many, and invoice factoring is one of the easiest and quickest ways to do so without the need for a bank loan, since your own invoice accounts receivable are turned into cash. By accelerating your business’ cash flow, you provide your business with access to funds that would otherwise not be available during a “normal” billing cycle. Financing should never be a bottleneck to the growth and expansion of your business.
Commit to a Plan
If you have decided to take on one (or all)! Of these New Years resolutions, to give you focus and a goal to aim for, write them down. Prepare a plan listing all your resolutions and detailing the actions you have to take to achieve them all. Then, resolve to review your plan at least once a month.
PFG is here to help make 2014 your best year for business growth yet. Contact us to get started!