Running a business is hard work. Whether you are a lone ranger or heading up a huge company, there are so many factors to control to ensure that it all runs as smoothly as possible and you don’t experience burnout.
Regardless of the sector or industry you are in, something everyone out there has to get to grips with are finances. It is essential that we get the right financial processes and effective techniques in place for profits to be maximised while balancing our own quality of life.
Here, I look at eight practices that successful businesspeople employ repeatedly to help them reach their goals. Take a good hard look at how these habits can help turn your business around to make it a streamlined, money making machine that allows you to live your life to the fullest.
1. Prioritise Account Management
When we start a business, so many of us get behind the idea of it so much so that it is easy to get lost in the vision and so easy to forget about practical matters like finance. Make no mistake, crunching the numbers to help you stay in the black can be dull, but it is essential too. Without it, you simply won’t have a vision to chase. So take time out of your diary each week to catch up on all financial matters. Schedule a meeting in your diary or block out a few hours on a weekly basis solely for the purpose of ploughing through any financial matters like sending out invoices or paying expenses. A Harvard study found that the average CEO spends 62.5 hours a week working, so managing your time as a business leader is the key to success.
2. Get your family involved
Many people understandably want to keep their work and home life separate. However, family businesses make up some of the most successful companies in the world. If you lean on your family for support, you may find an even better way of running your business. Businesswomen like Anne Nisbet have spoken frequently about how family businesses are the best poised to give back to their communities through charity and other initiatives. Some family businesses even take it one step further, such as Alyza Bohbot and her company City Girl Coffee, which was founded with the aim of promoting gender equality in their own industry and beyond.
3. Leverage Financial Technology
One of the reasons that so many of us put off doing our financial admin is because it is more time consuming than we feel it should be. While allocating a set time each week to do your financial admin will help you stay on top of things, leveraging financial software or financial technology is also key. Find platforms or apps that help you streamline your financial work, but also take the time to learn the software you do use inside out. Make sure you have chosen the right one for your firm and know exactly how it works so that you can leverage it to its full potential.
4. Check With Fresh Eyes
In business, you have to be accurate. If numbers, facts or figures are wrong, the decisions you make as a consequence can have harmful and negative effects on your business. As a result, check your work. Again, this is time consuming and laborious, but one way you can help make it more efficient is to check your work with fresh eyes. So once you have done your admin each week, go over it a few days later to check your work. That break will help you pick up mistakes more easily and far more quickly.
5. Consistently Review Your Margins
One of the decisions that you will be able to make from your accurate financial forecasting and planning, are areas where you can improve your profit margins. Making a healthy profit, and making that profit as big as it can be, is at the heart of any company. For that reason, successful business people consistently review their figures to see where they can make savings or increase output to help with those important profit margins.
6. Return To Your Business Plan
The use of a business plan is crucial. It helps keep business owners on the straight and narrow without getting distracted from their ultimate goal. Plus, your business plan should have a large portion of it dedicated to finances and how outgoings versus incomings are going to work. It is good practice to refer back to it as a reminder of where you want your business to go and how you are going to get it there.
7. Knowledge Is Power
There are many initiatives and laws in place that can materially improve your chances of running a successful business. Take some time to get to know them. Knowledge really is power and, with it, you can implement changes to your business to make the most of what you are already doing. While it can be easy to get bogged down in the detail of things like government and local council doctrine, simply having an awareness of information will be a huge helping hand to your company.
8. Seek Funding
In addition to making the most of what policies are in place to encourage business growth, at certain points in a company’s life, it will most likely need an injection of cash. Outside investment is a way that you can make your company grow when, without that funding, it will plateau even though it has the ability to expand. Don’t be afraid of seeking funding from the various sources of capital available to you. Do, however, ensure that you seek the right type of funding for you and your business.
While I have touched on money a lot in this article, it is by no means the be-all and end-all. Simply put, if your business’ finances are in order it gives you time to focus on other aspects. If you are making money hand over fist, you will be less likely to burn out and you can give back to your community, help your employees grow, and ultimately find a way to revolutionize your business and live your life to the fullest.