We’re no longer at the start of the year and tax time will soon pass. After that will be a great time to put on your stethoscope to give your business an all-important physical. This exam requires taking time away from your routine to effectively gauge the progress of your company’s health and identify needed changes.
In doing this checkup, you’ll review finances and operations for potential opportunities and costs to cut. Give yourself permission to take a break from your everyday tasks to do the checkup. It could make a big difference to your business.
Perhaps, you’ll find a way to grow business and do fewer tasks, focus on the things that you care about most, and spend more time on business development.
Instead of a checklist of symptoms, here’s a checklist of parts of your small business to examine.
Goals and strategy
Is your business on track to achieve its goals? Do you need to change your goals or the business? Some small business owners and executives find the company’s direction doesn’t align with what they had originally envisioned.
Or you discover a better target market or a different use for your service or product. Whatever the changes, it’s time to update the business plan, goals, and strategy to reflect the changes.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. And you can’t measure what you don’t document. When documentation isn’t current, it could lead to measuring the wrong things.
Today, more businesses put a greater importance on having a strong accounts receivable process. It can make a difference in how much time you spend chasing down payments and dealing with cash management. When you cut time in trying to get paid, you spend more on revenue-producing work.
The better you manage accounts receivable, the faster you get the money others owe you. These 7 tips to stop late payments and 6 ways to get paid on time are good places to start they’ll help you with cash management. Another option to explore for getting working capital is accounts receivable financing.
This alone could have a big impact on your business. Ensure you have basic accounting procedures in place. In doing this, you’ll know your numbers so you can stay on top of cash flow. Numbers shouldn’t be a guessing game when it comes to your business.
Accounting apps have come a long way in simplifying much of the work. For example, they save time by automating the invoicing process.
You can have an accountant set up several financial statements for you and show you how to update them. This will give you the information you need within a few clicks.
Can you streamline your operations? Can you use software or other tools to automate parts of the process? Do you use multiple applications to do different jobs? Is it possible to integrate them?
What are your regular activities? Quotes? Paperwork? Can you automate them? Anything you can automate for paperwork saves on paper and printing costs.
What about activities that you do outside of your expertise? It could be more effective to outsource those instead of doing it yourself. Yes, it costs money. But if it takes you 5 hours to do something and an expert can do it in 30 minutes, wouldn’t you say it’s worth it?
No one wants to think about cutting staff. Here’s another idea to avoid that. What about switching them to part-time? (You never know — they may be thrilled with part-time hours.)
Are you on the best phone plan for your business? If your business pays for more than one phone, the same phone plan may not be the right one for every employee because usage and travel may vary. Another option is to negotiate a better deal on your contracts, leases, and rates.
Is your inventory optimized?
Can employees take on other roles? This doesn’t mean turning their 40-hour weeks into 60-hour weeks. It means maximizing their workday by having them help with the tasks that need doing. What about letting employees telecommute instead of leasing space? Here are some ways you can motivate employees to increase profits.
A business may bring in millions in sales, but it could grow more when it gives itself a checkup on a yearly basis. Be proactive. Don’t wait until the business needs CPR. Just like exercise improves a person’s health, doing a checkup of your business can do the same.
What other business parts should be included in a business checkup? Share it in the comments below.
If you need help with your accounts receivable and getting paid faster, contact us for a no-obligation call. (800-499-6179)
Image credit: Juhan Sonin