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Business generally revolves around two major focal points—making money and saving money. If you can keep profits up and keep overhead costs down, then you have yourself the makings of a successful business. Even if it seems like your business’ finances are in good working order, though, you should still consider giving them a check-up. A thorough look at your expenses and a little forward thinking could be just what the doctor ordered to keep your finances running smoothly.
Take a Closer Look
Most business owners tend to focus their efforts on the big-ticket items when they look at their finances, but there are many smaller things that go overlooked. This is especially true of items that are set on an automatic billing system. There could be a substantial amount of money that you are losing every month because of small items that add up. It may not seem like a lot at the time, but cutting small expenditures can accumulate into big savings over months and years. Go over your weekly and monthly expenses with a fine-tooth comb and try to eliminate anything that is excessive or no longer useful.
Keep Money Coming in On Time
This may be a statement of the obvious, but getting customers to pay on time can play a big role in keeping your company in the black. There is nothing more problematic than having to follow-up with customers to make sure that you are receiving payments. Nobody likes hounding customers for money, but there is a likelihood that you can do things to save yourself and them some hassle. The solution to this problem may much simpler than you ever imagined.
The first thing to check is to make sure your invoices are clearly itemized and totaled. If the customer has to sort through the invoice to make sure they are being billed correctly, then it is going to cause a hold up. Double check to make sure invoices are being addressed accurately. Sending the invoice to their P.O. Box when it should be going to the main office (or vice versa) or forgetting an office number could be causing unnecessary delays. You might even consider eliminating the paper work completely. By setting up an electronic payment system, you allow clients to pay with a click of the button (and it is environmentally friendly, too).
Get Some Help
Many business owners overlook a valuable set of money-saving resources, and they show up for work every day. Unless you employ a colony of drones, your employees can be an excellent asset when it comes to improving the day-to-day operations of the business. They spend a great deal of time working in their specific area, so it may pay off to ask them if they have any ideas on how to cut costs and streamline business. You might even consider offering incentives to employees who provide ideas that you may implement in the future.
It would probably also be helpful to enlist your accountant to take a look at your expenses. Depending on whether or not you have an in-house accountant, it may be a matter of spending money to save money. That being said, a professional eye can be very helpful in seeing where money is being lost and how it might be better spent.
Your business is constantly changing, so it is good to be aware of where your money is going at all points in time. You probably do not need to do this thorough of a check-up on a weekly basis, but it helps to take a deeper look once or twice a year. If you can stay on top of it, then you can be saving time when you do a thorough analysis and be keeping your costs down all the time.