The Financial Spring Clean

 

The weather is warming up and Spring is on the way, its great time for you to put some financial processes into action and start to look forward to the year ahead.

 

Your business plan/budget.

 

Keep this report in mind certainly every six months, ideally every quarter. Rolling the plan ahead and updating it with new ideas or processes you may have in place. I would also look at having a cashflow projection a year ahead, this will help you plug in cash reserves if there is a shortfall ahead of time. You will be better prepared for any challenges that await, if you see this all ahead of time.

 

Cash Is King

 

Keep your creditors and debtors up to date, I see far too many sets of accounts needing either tidying up, or money chasing from several months ago. This will keep you liquid if you are keeping the cash close to your chest. Make sure you have a fully usable process for keeping these up to date. Credit score new Customers if you are giving credit. Don’t be afraid to use outside help if some debts are getting hard to chase. By keeping this professional and not personal you are more likely to get a positive outcome.

 

Look at your processes

 

You can never spend enough time in tightening up your processes. Imagine you have moved your business from a couple of hundred thousand turnover to a million pound turnover business. If you havent addressed processes and improved efficiencies you will never cope with the increased demands. Delegate your time appropriately and keep training of your team at the heart of your business. As you grow you will be become more reliant on them, they are your future. Invest in them wisely and see the rewards, just like you would if you were buying equipment or software to run your business more efficiently.

 

Tracking your Sales

 

Are you tracking where your sales are coming from? How are businesses finding you? I always recommend you track at least the following

 

Where people are finding you

Long term customers/vs new business

Product/service segmentation

Average customer spend

Track every item of marketing spend you have, and make sure they are all working well.

 

Marketing Strategy

 

When was the last time you prepared a SWOT Analysis, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Your competition will be focused on this subject, you need to be one step ahead of them at all times. Dedicate at least a third of your time to marketing focus. Afterall you cant grow without increasing your new business. Track all of the spending in this area and drop what clearly isn’t working. Don’t ponder, this needs direct action.

 

Cost of Sales and Overheads.

 

Keep a close eye on your margins. Always track the service jobs you do, or check margins on the products that you make. It’s a good idea to keep timesheets and compare theses costs to the job originally quoted. This will enable you to quote better, and work on improving your margins, and in turn your profitability.

 

Overheads, keep a track of these. Some of these costs may be fixed, but that doesn’t mean that you cant make amendments if you need to. By knowing ahead of time it is worthwhile knowing your breakeven point. The point at which your sales match your costs, and any surplus is profit.

 

I hope you find these easy to follow steps and look forward to hearing from you as you develop your businesses and grow.  By managing your business as you grow you will be better prepared and find it easier to cope as the demands on your time increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is intended for information purposes only, you may have suggestions of your own.  it is not intended to be used to make all of your decisions but as a guide only.

Has your business got the potential to be a Franchise?

 

This question has been asked by a number of clients in recent months, so I thought I would share with you some insights into what is required if you are looking into this.

Questions to ask yourself.

Does your business make a reasonable profit?

Do your products or services meet a ready need in the market?

Could your business work in other locations?

Could others be trained to run a business in the same way as yours?

Are you keen to grow but concerned about losing key personnel?

Does it interest you to help others become successful in their own right?

Are you keen to grow whilst minimising the risk?

Are you keen to grow whilst minimising financial outlay?

Would you like to multiply your profits over the next few years?

Would you like to generate a substantial passive income stream?

 

If you are saying yes to most of these questions, then your business could have franchise potential. We have the contacts to hand who can assist you through this important phase.

 

Some of which are:-

Having a sound financial model with excellent documented processes will put you on the right road to make your business a viable option for others. Most networks look at a business being able to run at a turnover of more than £1,000,000 a year, as this has proven that the model is working and that you as owners are seeing success in your own right. That doesn’t mean that as a smaller business that this idea is pie in the sky, but it does make a difference on your selling price and advertising potential of the franchise.

 

We have found that by being able to at the push of the button knowing exactly where you are financially, you can plan for any number of opportunities. The important thing to remember is that whilst you are passionate about your product or service, others will follow suit. Keeping the motivation is a big part of these successful brands. Training and recruitment, and controlled growth and support. It doesn’t matter what type of industry either, we have seen the food industry, manufacturing and accountancy to name a few take on the franchise idea and make a big success. It is a faster way of getting your name out and improving branding and enables you to distribute on a national, multi national scale, and of course profitable. If you would like to hear more, come and book an appointment with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is intended for information purposes only advice from past experiences, you may have your own suggestions.  It is not intended to be used for all of your business decisions, but used as a guide only.

Happy with our work?

Our clients have been very loyal by giving us some superb references since we began trading.  In fact, a good proportion of our clients have come via the referral route.

So, it’s time for us to give something back.

Refer us to others for a £40 discount on this year’s fee

As an existing client, if you refer us on to someone who becomes a client directly as a result of your referral, we’ll give you £40 discount on your fees* for that same year.

Refer two clients who sign up with us – and you’ll get double the discount. Three clients and triple – so if you recommend others to us regularly, who knows – you may never have to pay one of our invoices again.

Just make sure that they tell us that you sent them!

To find out more call Nicola on 029 2065 3995 or email her asking for more information.

*at referral invoicing point.

Your year end can cost you more than you think

Preparing your year end accounts can be costly your business – and that’s before you’ve event considered the financial aspect.

In finding, organising and making sense of your paperwork and records, there are time costs, emotional costs (usually stress!) and work-life balance costs to consider.

15% off your year end with us

Cross Accounting Services can help on all fronts. We love year end and so as a thank you from us, we’re offering 15% off your first year end fees with us.

So, you get to spend time doing the things you love at a reduced all round cost – and we get to spend time doing the things we love, thanks to you!

Call Nicola on 029 2065 3995 and quote reference CA15 to receive your discount or email her asking for more information also quoting CA15 Closing date 31 March 2014

The Art Of Cashflow Management

Point 1

Always be aware of what you have in the bank Account

Point 2

Put together a short term cashflow 3 months and a longer term one 12 months

To put together the cashflow statement

Sales Income Put all you known sales turnover from your diary into the forecast Unknown your new sales turnover, use last years figures to guide you, in the absence of last year, use a realistic sales turnover.
Don’t forget VAT and keep it separate, as this money belong to the Inland Revenue
Other Income ie bank interest, dividend, insurance refunds.

Costs Cost of Sales this can be based on your average margin percentage

Overhead costs

Fixed and variable

Ie rent, heating, salaries, office costs
Bank loans and capital
The VAT return and Paye

Point 3

Update this daily or weekly, with actual figures, this will allow you to see in advance how your cash is being spent, and also if you need to fund the business. Or used for Capital expenditure and taking on staff. It’s a great predictor for being able to do operation things.

Point 4

If you see a dip in funds, make sure you know in plenty of time, as a six week window may not be able to be filled, whereas a 3 to 6 month window you can plan ahead, and build up cash funds to cover you over the slower time.

Point 5

Use other sources to save on cashflow Gain credit with suppliers Get your capital expenditure leased, or obtain a bank loan. This will also improve your credit score. You score goes up, when you are able to get credit.

Point 6

Keep this on track at all times, even when you are in a cash rich, situation. You might be wasting your money on low interest schemes. Look at saving in other areas.

Let it be used against bringing your tax bill down, investments in EIS schemes, Pension contributions.
Further investment that will give a better return. Capital expenditure. Website development.