Small business plans for 2017

Ensure your small business has a plan and goals moving into the new yearWe’re already almost halfway into January, and whilst small business plans for 2017 may have been put into place by some business owners, others may still be catching up following the Christmas break – with good intentions to get down to business planning but having not yet got around to it!

It seems daunting looking at the whole year ahead, but breaking it down into manageable chunks and putting in place processes early on to ensure business runs smoothly and that objectives are achieved, makes the task somewhat easier.

Monitoring cash flow

This is a must for all businesses of all sizes throughout the year, but it is worth reiterating and having in place some good processes to ensure that cash flow is monitored is a wise move. Having a clear cash flow forecast in place that can be monitored in line with small business plans will help with smooth operations and cater for any seasonal fluctuations in supply or demand – ensuring funds are there when needed the most. Cash is king in business, and cash flow can notoriously make or break a business in tough times.

Keep on top of invoicing

Time and time again small businesses fall prey to cash flow issues because of not invoicing promptly, not understanding or finding out about client payment processes, in order to follow the processes carefully for prompt payment. For instance, when dealing with firms that operate a purchase order system, it is often a requirement to include a valid purchase order number on the invoice for that work. This way, the invoice corresponds with agreed work that has been logged on a system as agreed, and payment should be smooth. Taking the time to find out about client payment terms is vital to ensuring prompt payment.

Business owners should also feel free to call and check receipt of invoice, put in a reminder call as the payment date approaches, and call again on payment due day to ensure it is being processed.

Consider technology

For those businesses that have not yet adopted any kind of software to manage their accounts, now could be the time to explore the options. Technology is all around us, designed to make our lives easier. Whilst it may seem that learning how to use an accounting software system involves major downtime, the truth is that time invested in getting to grips with such software can reap rewards in the future. Automating time-consuming financial functions can free up business owners to concentrate on other areas of the business, such as growth. There are many accountancy software packages available. At Adams Moore, we have introduced Xero – one of the best systems on the market for tackling everything from easy invoicing (including generation of recurring invoices) and expense logging, to GPS mileage tracking and bank reconciliation.

For advice on small business plans or accountancy software, call us on 01827 54944.