Here are ten simple management tips to help you maintain a successful business in good and not-so-good times.
1. Watch trends in your industry. Compare your business performance with your competitors and to performance in previous years.
2. Review your financial management. Timely accurate reporting is vital to the success of any business.
3. Ensure your budgets are current and regularly reviewed. If profit falls below what you had budgeted, prompt action is essential to reduce costs or boost sales.
4. Align your business development plans with your budget. Ensure they are practical and won’t put any undue pressure on your profit margin. If you can’t afford to do or buy something now, postpone it for when you know your business will be in a better financial position.
5. Ensure credit control is tight with prompt follow-up of overdue accounts. Make sure that your clients are aware of your trading terms up front and if you have any concerns, discuss it first or refer them elsewhere. No clients are better than clients who can’t pay.
6. Review your payments policy. Are you taking maximum advantage of prompt payment discounts? Or if you are unable to pay an account in full by the due date, talk to the supplier and make arrangements to pay it off. Keep the communication open and honest and fulfil your promises.
7. Review credit facilities with your bank. Are there better options available that could save you money?
8. Check inventories and ensure your stock turnover rate is at least equal to industry standards.
9. Review your market and your sales/marketing plans at least every three months.
10. Above all DO IT NOW! If things look bad, take action to correct the situation. Look for positive approaches to solving any problems; and for new opportunities to build your business.
These all sound pretty simple, but in the day-to-day running of a business it’s easy to let the simple things slide. For your peace of mind and success, do these simple things first.
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