6 things business owners can’t be bothered to do… but should!
28/06/2017 / Comments 0
As a business owner your to-do list is probably never-ending. There are so many vital tasks that need to be done – but who has the time or resource to do them all? And, let’s be honest, who can be bothered?
With so many important tasks to complete it’s not surprising that many of the less interesting jobs get pushed to the bottom of the list and forgotten about. But some of those tasks are more important than others, especially where your cash flow is concerned.
Here are 6 things all business owners should be doing, but not all do.
1. Switching suppliers
Whether it’s because they’re happy with their current provider or they just have better things to do, many businesses find suppliers and then stick with them, without ever considering if better options are available. But this could be holding businesses back and costing them money.
Even in long-term business relationships, it’s essential to constantly monitor the market to ensure that you are consistently getting the best results for your business and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Whilst historically your provider may have been the best, with new businesses popping up everywhere there might be new players in the industry that are offering more advanced or better quality services.
And, when it comes to renewal, suppliers often increase prices, so you could be paying inflated costs and getting no added benefits.
Once you’ve highlighted a better provider, the switching process doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming or risky and can make a huge difference to businesses.
2. Benchmarking funding
It’s not uncommon for business owners to secure funding and then stick with it. But as your business evolves, so will its funding needs and a facility that was once working might not be the optimal choice for your business now.
Whether it’s due to a lack of time and resource, comfort in the level of service being provided or even misplaced assumptions that there aren’t any other options available, many businesses don’t benchmark their funding. But, with cash flow key to success, the benefits of doing so cannot be ignored.
Securing the most suitable facility will help you to capitalise on new business opportunities and manage cash more effectively. This, in turn, can help you to pay suppliers earlier, be more competitive and free up cash to reinvest in the business.
To help you spot if your current funding is holding you back, here are 6 tell-tale signs that your facility isn’t working.
3. Reading the small print
With terms and conditions often resembling an exceptionally boring novel, it’s not surprising that many business owners skip over them and just click accept.
Seriously, who has the time to read thousands of words of legal jargon every time you download a software update, register for a service or order a product?
But terms and conditions are there for a reason, and if you don’t take the time to read the small print you’ll never really know what you’re signing up for.
Whilst the majority of the time this isn’t a problem, if you’ve accepted the terms and then find yourself unhappy with a service or product you could find that you’re stuck in a lengthy contract that you cannot get out of.
4. Updating your own terms
If you never read the terms and conditions you accept, when was the last time you read your own?
Your terms and conditions are a vital tool in safeguarding your business, so it’s important you regularly update them so that they continue to provide adequate protection for your business.
By clearly stating what you expect from the client and what they can expect from you, you are setting expectations that could help to limit disputes and avoid any potential surprises in the future.
Plus, in the event something does go wrong, by having your terms in writing you have solid evidence that you can produce in court if needed.
By regularly reviewing how your terms are working, you might even be able to spot some trends and try adjusting your processes in order to improve your position.
5. Writing a plan
Writing a business plan requires significant time, knowledge, patience and discipline. And even once you think it’s done it will need regularly reviewing and updating to remain effective. So why bother wasting time on it in the first place?
Well, a business plan is essentially a roadmap to success and, if done correctly, it can help you to clarify your idea, identify potential problems, establish goals, measure your progress and access funding.
Many potential lenders will decide how viable an investment your business is based on what they find in your business plan. Throwing one together at the last minute or not having one at all could be the difference between a yes and a no.
Need some help getting started? Take a look at our free guide on how to write the perfect business plan.
6. Cash flow forecasting
Cash flow forecasting is essentially a guessing game, and with businesses so focused on what they’re doing now it’s not surprising that planning for the future gets put to the back of their minds.
But with cash flow a key component of business success, the benefits of improving your money management should not be ignored.
Cash flow forecasting can help businesses to monitor their incomings and outgoings effectively and put plans in place to cover unexpected cash flow gaps. This, in turn, can help to plan new equipment purchases or business growth, identify if additional funding is required and even help you to secure it. So, putting the hard work in now could prevent future headaches.
To help you get started, here is an absolute beginners’ guide to cash flow forecasting to help improve your financial management.