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5 smart resolutions all businesses should make in 2016

04/01/2016 / Comments 0

5 smart resolutions all businesses should make in 2016

The New Year provides a great opportunity for businesses to take stock and improve their performance – and where better to start than your most important aspect, your cash flow.

So, if you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution but are struggling to generate some solid, achievable ideas, we could have the answer.

Here are five smart resolutions your business could adopt in 2016, along with additional resources to help you actually accomplish them.

1. Spend more time focusing on cash flow

We’ve said it before, and here we are saying it again: cash is king! But, whilst most business owners know this, money management still often gets overlooked. And, as a result, cash flow problems have become a leading cause of business failure.

Unfortunately, as we go into 2016, there are many cash flow challenges approaching for businesses to face, including pension auto-enrolment, the National Living Wage, rising business costs and the continued pressures of late payment.

So, if you want your finances to shine in 2016, it’s time to take action and spend more time concentrating on cash flow.

Cash flow forecasting can be an excellent tool for businesses to monitor their money and put plans in place to cover any unexpected cash flow gaps. But, for the process to be successful, businesses need to dedicate adequate time and resource to keeping it up to date.

Take a look at our absolute beginners’ guide to cash flow forecasting for tips on how to improve your financial management.

2. Benchmark your existing funding

With all the exciting opportunities that the New Year could bring your business, it’s more important than ever to make sure your funding is working optimally for your company and its evolving needs.

As your business grows and changes so will its funding need, which is why it’s important to regularly benchmark your funding and ensure you’re getting the most for your business.

Securing a more suitable facility for your needs could help you to capitalise on new business opportunities, manage money more effectively, pay suppliers earlier and get ahead of the competition.

When assessing if your funding facility is right for your business there are many things you should consider. Here we look at the top four to help you find the perfect match for your business.

3. Familiarise yourself with the range of funding options which exist

Throughout 2015 alternative finance products such as asset based finance and crowdfunding went from strength to strength – a trend that looks set to continue throughout 2016, as more and more businesses realise the benefits of different funding facilities.

Even if you’re not looking to change your funding facility now, with the funding market constantly changing it’s increasingly important to make sure you stay in the loop so that, when the time comes to apply, you’re not overwhelmed by the options and can make an educated decision that will work for your company in the long term.

Our essential guide to funding products explores many of the popular finance options available to British businesses and their benefits. Take a look to see if your business could benefit from a more robust funding strategy.

4. Refine your business plan

Does your company have a business plan? If so, when was the last time you reviewed it?

Many businesses write a plan when starting out and then, as their company grows, it gets forgotten about. But, to maximise its value, your business plan should be a living, breathing document that grows with your business.

When done right a business plan can help you to clarify your idea, identify potential problems, establish goals and measure your progress. But when it’s not it can hold your business back from reaching its potential.

So, if your business plan has been neglected it could be the perfect time to revisit and update it so that it continues to reflect your business’s purpose and its goals.

This guide explores how to write the perfect business plan to maximise your company’s chances of success.

5. Get tough on late payment

Despite government attempts to curb the problem, late payment remains a challenge for SMEs.

With extended payment terms putting pressure on cash flow and restricting growth it’s important for businesses to do all that they can to tackle the issue and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Whilst effective credit control can be time-consuming, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. After all, there’s no point providing goods or services if you don’t get paid for them.

And many businesses simply can’t afford not to get tough on late payment in 2016. Without money in place to meet day-to-day commitments, businesses can miss out on new opportunities that arise or even fall behind on payments of their own.

But credit control doesn’t need to be a daunting process. There are many steps businesses can take to help protect themselves from late payment and increase the chances of getting paid on time, every time.

Will you be adopting any of these resolutions? Or do you have suggestions of your own? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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