Yet we all know how hard it is to balance the books and keeping profit margins healthy. But how many companies fail to see the money that slips through their books in their day-to-day operations?
Managing Director of ComplianceAssist, Darren Hickman, gives us his top five tips to stop your business falling down the financial moneypit.
1. Keep a check on the technology
One of the first things a company will invest in is technology be it software, computers, web servers or more advanced technology. However, it is also one of the areas that needs maintenance and can be outdated quickly. Looking at Software as a Service (SaaS) can be a cheaper and more effective way of keeping up to date with latest equipment and software, without the investment.
Cloud technology has made previously expensive software and storage of data far more efficient and is a safe and secure option. Make sure you look at the best options for your company and read the provider’s small print in terms of your liability if data or equipment is lost or broken.
2. If you have happy customers, ask them to shout about you
One of the most costly lines on an expenditure report can be marketing and promotion. With the rise of social media and the Internet, everyone and anyone can be your advocate, helping you to raise your profile and supporting your sales pipeline. 90% of people trust recommendations from other people they actually know, well ahead of any other source, meaning that if they are positive about your brand, it can be a credible endorsement.
Ask your customers and suppliers to post comments, tweet and endorse your company on social media sites, write reviews on Internet sites and likewise do the same for them to help share the cost of promotion.
3. Keep your staff happy
Keeping your team happy is one of the best ways to save money. One of the highest costs to any business is recruitment and training up of employees. Making sure you keep good team members is the most cost effective way to growing your business
And this doesn’t always mean paying them more. Investing in their happiness – by rewarding them with extra responsibility, better working conditions, more flexible ways of working or added value benefits such as gym memberships or leave early Fridays – could be the way to maintaining a happy and efficient team.
4. Look on the Internet for free downloads
The Internet has created a virtual business library. There is a lot of free software available online from accounting through to image sharing. Spend some time looking for solutions which can make your company more streamline in its operations and which can add value.
Ask your colleagues what obstacles they have and seek advice on line. In the majority of business cases, there will have been someone else who has experienced your issue and will have a way of helping and shared it online. Sign up to forums with like-minded businesses and use contacts on LinkedIn for advice and recommendations. At ComplianceAssist we give potential customers the opportunity to download forms and help guides free of charge to support them with their compliance systems.
5. Keep a check on your employees and suppliers.
Employees and customers are the backbone of a business. When they are happy, your business can’t fail to grow. The flipside of this is when customers or employees aren’t happy or worse still, aren’t who they say they are, they can seriously damage your company’s reputation and bottom line.
As businesses grow, so does the interest in it from competitors, auditors and unfortunately criminals. Making sure you are not vulnerable to financial crime is key whatever size your business, but particularly as it becomes more profitable.
Ensure you have systems in place from the beginning to check who you are employing and who you are doing business with. Specialist companies such as ComplianceAssist offer customer screening including anti-money laundering, financial sanctionsand identity verification amongst others. Ensuring you know that customers have a good track record of paying their suppliers and that employees haven’t been involved in any previous financial crime could be the different between your company financially sinking or swimming.
Whatever business you are in keeping control of your finances is the key to success. Common sense ideas, looking after your assets including employees and making sure customers are at the heart of what you do is the way to really ensure that you avoid the business moneypit.