It is always easy to start a business, all you need is sufficient capital. The difficult part is maintaining the business and breaking even every month. Even so, if you are just aiming to break even, that is not a good sign. Most small businesses suffer from depleting profits which would eventually lead to closure. However, many times, it could be solved with the proper review of what issues are causing it. As such, we have come up with the 15 most common tips that can help your business stay afloat and even soar higher. Here is a quick tip – use check stub templates for your business.
Calculate the expenses incurred by the business
This is a fairly straightforward tip because if you do not calculate how much your business expenses are, you will not be aware of how much you need to set aside for expenses. So, first and foremost, you should do this if you have not.
If there is a chance for automation, use it
They say time is money and that is not wrong, if you can cut down on low-value processes by using automation to settle them, it is a worthy investment. With the extra time that you save, you can look towards putting it in worthier processes.
Reduce wastage wherever possible
While there is some resistance to going digital, it is the more friendly option for the company’s pockets and the environment. By reducing waste, you can cut down on the cost of waste clearance.
Keep track of time for you and your employees
To weed out low-value processes, you would need to keep track of how you and your employees use your time. One of the ways to do so could be to use a time tracking application and recording down daily activities.
Review your financial systems monthly
It is always good to look back on systems that have been set in place to analyze whether the processes are economically sound. If it is not, at least there is an indicator that the system requires change.
Cater to the convenience of customers
Customers are your number one source of income, so they are without a doubt, the most important factor that you should take into consideration. Keep processes simple and hassle-free for them.
Come up with a secure financial system
Let us look back on that financial system again. Has it been proofed against theft and fraud? If it is not, time to think of ways to do so to prevent waste of resources.
Focus on bulk purchases if possible
When you look back at sales, you would realize the profits only truly show themselves when the order is done in bulk as costs are lower with bigger numbers and profits also increase with bigger numbers.
Sell more top-selling products
Just like how a popular saying goes: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, if a product has displayed extraordinary results, you should shift your focus to it. You already know that it will sell and there is demand there, so that is where your money will be.
Always negotiate for better deals
While it is easy to get complacent and to settle in the comforts of a familiar supplier, it is also easier to get ripped off by the very same suppliers. Now, we are not saying that all suppliers function similarly but negotiating deals will keep rates more competitive which will be good for your business in the long run.
Ensure a comprehensive process for purchases
This is important advice for companies that are service-oriented like fixing appliances, for example. There are times when clients default on the service day which results in wasted trips meaning wasted costs. To prevent this, it would be good to incorporate penalties against such situations.
Retain customer loyalty by offering stellar service
This is another fairly straightforward tip applicable to all kinds of businesses. Reviews, in this day and age, matter a lot. They define the company and how well-received the company is by the public. So, it is always good to keep customers’ impression of the business positive. Going the extra mile to create an impression bodes well for the business as these customers can also provide referrals through word-of-mouth, which means free advertising.
Know when strategies are not working
Marketing strategies are essential when it comes to businesses. Otherwise, how would you get your name out there? But do not make the mistake of overzealously pumping resources towards every marketing project. There is bound to be a project that falls behind the rest, and when it does, you have to decide to pull the plug on it to save your bleeding wallet.
Focus on reachable and realistic opportunities
There is another saying that would be very applicable here: “there is no free lunch in this world”. Oftentimes when something sounds too good to be true, it is. Before you dive into a one-hit-wonder opportunity, take some time to do the necessary research on it. Weigh the costs and benefits, and learn how to assess the risks that it could potentially bring before you fall prey to it.
Always keep the big picture at the back of your mind
I will admit that this tip is often harder to achieve for smaller companies as you would be more preoccupied with balancing the scales on costs and benefits. However, to expand the business, it is inevitable that you have to practice being more forward-looking. This means to look at the bigger picture. You will have to visualize and create strategies that could aid long-term growth for the company like research and development or talent acquisition. These are some of the things you should set a goal for and strive towards once the day-to-day operations have calmed.
In conclusion, when it comes to smaller businesses, settling the nitty-gritty details will propel one further ahead although it does not seem like much at first. So, focus on the small things before you start reaching for the big ones.