Yep, Spring has sprung (in Australia anyhow and OMG it’s a gorgeous time of year down under!) and so with the change of season maybe it’s time to dust off any cobwebs that may have started to fall on your business by this stage of the year.
The following tips can actually be used as a checklist, to make sure you’re on top of it all and continuing to take your business in the right direction…. and that’s forward, from strength to strength!
Let’s get your solopreneur spring clean started!
Accounting for Every Dollar and Cent (or Pound and Pence for our UK friends!)
Keep your financial records and bookkeeping up to date….
- Have an up to date budget and cash flow forecast.
- Manage your cash inflow and outflow
- be prepared for anticipated tax instalments and other payments.
- Do your banking regularly, both for security reasons as well as keeping track of your cash flow.
- Reconcile your bank statements regularly, double checking receipts and payments with your own records.
- Ensure that you receive, record and retain all tax invoices for taxable purchases to support your government tax requirements
Mind your money… it matters!
- Bill your customers early and often.
- Keep a detailed account of all your debtors and act promptly on overdue accounts.
- Consider alternatives to improve your sales terms, e.g. lay-by terms, payment terms, credit terms.
- Keep a detailed list of amounts that you owe. Your debts may build up without your knowing.
- Use payable credit terms to your benefit, increasing the effectiveness of your cash flow.
- If suppliers want to be paid early, ask about discounts for early payments.
- Manage your investment debt.
- Don’t over borrow. Keep some cash for rainy days.
- Don’t over commit your personal expenses.
Manage the little details which can become big ones…
- Use professional advisers as the money this costs is an investment, not just an expense.
- Watch trends in your business and the economy, review your business plan and update regularly.
- Regularly review your business performance and identify if you have met your goals.
- Review business insurance policies annually to ensure that coverage is appropriate
Sort out your working space, office routines and tech equipment!
The functioning of your office can be improved by making sure that:
- papers and electronic data are filed so that they can easily be found when needed;
- the mail is collected every day and sorted immediately;
- the office is kept clean, tidy and well organised;
- the phone and all enquiries are answered in a timely and professional manner.
- Identify the computer system and software, furniture and equipment that will improve efficiency.
- Regularly review the telecommunications system to take advantage of the latest technology and pricing policies.
- computer’s are regularly cleaned and keep software up to date.
- anti-virus software is loaded on every computer and regularly updated plus files and settings are routinely backed up and back-ups are stored in a safe and secure place;
- you have a reliable technician who can help with more complex computer and technology problems;
- the business has an email address; the correct phone, and email address are on all stationery; mail, email and message banks are checked and answered daily; clients and suppliers can always get through to you or a message bank.
Spruce up your sales process…
The sales process can also be improved by making sure that:
- there are systems in place to ensure that quotations and work are done on time and in a superior manner;
- there is quality, up-to-date information available on products and services;
- there are solid customer satisfaction processes and complaint mechanisms, and you use them consistently;
- records are kept of all sales activities.
Review and freshen up your marketing…
- Regularly review and update your marketing strategies.
- Monitor market trends and changing needs of customers.
- Adapt to their needs, because they won’t adapt to yours.
- Maintain a competitive price strategy.
- Look at what your competitors are charging and reflect your value in your marketing.
- Work out strategies to attract repeat business from both groups of customers.
- Reconfirm your unique selling proposition (i.e. a unique aspect of your business that will give you an advantage).
- Work on promoting your business through your customers.
- Develop advocate customers that promote your business.
- Look at offering add-ons or package your goods or services to meet your customers’ needs.
- Encourage follow-up orders and work by delivering promptly and always check the quality of the product or service delivered.
- Consider advertising in a group of co-operative to increase the effectiveness of your advertising.
Now you’ve made a checklist of the biz-related housekeeping tasks you can attend to, take advantage of the great change of season weather to get your solopreneur biz sparkling!