Business, Entrepreneur, Startup

Business Finances: How To Manage and Streamline the Process

Knowing how much you should be spending and how much you should be getting paid is vital to any organization. You could end up with massive debts if you do not keep a close eye on your working capital, which can be disastrous for both your business and your personal life. Here are just a few ways to stay on top of your company’s finances to help you avoid getting into trouble financially.

Arrange for all outgoing payments to be made on the same day

If at all possible, try to schedule all incoming payments to arrive at the same time. This can stay on top of when money is going out and how much money you have left to get you through the rest of the week, month, or quarter. 

If you call and ask, most vendors and creditors will be happy to change the payment date for you. You may even be able to schedule your employee’s wages to be paid on the same day, making the process run much more smoothly.

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Outsource your supply chain management

If you have a lengthy network of vendors, you may find that paying each one individually takes up a significant amount of your time, and it also makes it very easy to overlook one. Consider hiring a supply chain management company to collect all of your bills and send them to you as a single invoice to streamline the process. 

You can then reimburse this invoice, and the supply chain management company will distribute the funds to all of your suppliers on your behalf, saving you a significant amount of time and effort.

Make sure you set up reminders for expected and incoming payments

It is important to make sure that your customers pay you on time. If people pay you on a monthly or annual basis, make sure their money is going into your account each time so you can follow up with late payers. When cashing in cheques, you should also set a reminder for a few days later to make sure that it has not bounced.

You do not want to get into debt as a result of being too permissive in chasing down payments. Make certain that if customers pay their invoices late, you charge appropriate late payment fees to cover any additional costs that may arise. You might also think about using direct debit software to make the payment process easier for both your clients and yourself.

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Use analytics to give you valuable information

Data analytics, also known as data science is a method of using computers to sift through massive amounts of data in order to uncover useful trends that can help you run your business more efficiently. Analytics can be used in finance to help you reduce your expenses and increase your income by detecting trends.

If you are a retail store, it may facilitate you in ordering the precise amount of each product to ensure maximum sales while spending the least amount of money. You can also download solutions to support you in collecting analytic data on your finances.

Make sure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities

Make certain that everyone is aware of their financial obligations. Who is in charge of keeping track of expenses? Do you do them separately and then combine them at the end of the month, or do you keep track of them as you go? Who keeps track of invoices, prepares tax returns, and files accounts? Who gets a budget and who ensures it is followed if you have multiple teams? Knowing who is accountable for what is critical in small businesses where people frequently cover multiple roles.

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Improve the accuracy of your inventory

During uncertain times, inventory accuracy is vital. Some businesses are swamped with excess inventory, while others are struggling to meet increased customer demand. If businesses don’t know what they have in stock, it can lead to lower sales, a poor customer experience, and financial instability.

As more businesses become user-oriented in order to reach more customers, financial inefficiencies can arise if inventory is not properly tracked across multiple channels. For example, if a customer is unaware that an item they wanted in store can also be purchased online, a sale is lost that could have helped a business move inventory that will soon be out of season.

Using inventory management software that automatically connects your in-store and online catalogs, you can stay one step ahead of your inventory levels.

Bill payments and invoices could be automated

Instead of having to complete each bill and invoice individually, software can be used to generate them automatically. This can help you save a lot of time while also reducing billing or invoicing errors. You should also automate any outgoing payments to suppliers with whom you have a consistent contract, such as through a standing order or direct debit.

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Keep your business money and personal money separate

It is all too easy, especially if you own a small business, to have all of your business and personal funds flowing into and out of the same account. It may be simpler, but it is also the quickest way to get your finances jumbled up and fail to spot any cash flow issues before they become a bigger problem. By keeping them separate, and paying yourself a wage from there, you can keep a closer eye on things, and when it comes to doing tax returns and bookkeeping, it will make it a whole lot easier, especially if you are audited at any point.

Make sure you have adequate capital

Many small businesses do not have enough funds to get through the initial phase. To avoid this, make sure you have at least six months’ worth of living costs saved, as well as the amount you expect to need for the first six months of business expenses. Prepare as if you will not receive any business revenue at all – you may well find that this is the case for many new and emerging businesses. 

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Seek out financial help before it is too late

Waiting until your company is in financial difficulties before applying for business loans or other forms of credit is a common mistake. This is exactly the moment when you are least likely to receive financial support. Consider applying for a business loan while your finances are still in good shape. Instead of being used for rescue, the loan can be used for expansion or as an emergency credit facility. 

Make sure you know your worth

If you are new to running a small business and the complexities of small business finance, you might try to make a name for yourself by undercutting your competitors’ prices. Promotional offers are a great way to make a first impression, but being the cheapest option might just cause long-term financial problems.

Low prices imply a low turnover while you establish your market presence. As a result, profit margins can be razor-thin and cash flow can be questionable. If you already work in a traditionally low-margin industry, such as hospitality, a few unexpected expenses can spell the end of your company.

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Invest in the growth of your business

Aside from paying yourself, it is critical to save money and look for opportunities for growth. This can help your company grow and prosper and move in a positive financial direction. Small businesses that want to keep growing, innovating, and attracting the best employees must show that they are willing to invest in the future. Small businesses that want to continue growing, innovating, and attracting top talent must demonstrate a willingness to invest in the future.

Outsource your accounting and bookkeeping

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This will cost you money, which may seem counter-productive, but it will also save you a lot of time and aggravation, as well as ensure that your finances are in order and that everything is above board and legitimate. Make certain that your accountant understands your industrial sector and has the necessary qualifications and accreditation.

If you cannot afford the services of a professional accountant or bookkeeper, you should recognize the importance of scheduling time to complete your own bookkeeping, which, while not the most thrilling part of running your own business, is extremely important.

Organized and efficient bookkeeping allows you to stay on top of your company’s financial position and determine where and how you can reduce costs and spend to make your company more profitable and fruitful.

By following the steps above, you will be able to keep on top of your business finances and make the process of dealing with the money coming in and out of your company much more smooth and streamlined. 

What are your top tips?

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