We hope you enjoyed the first part of our business tips with Sean in Q1. We’re back this quarter with more insider information to help you start and grow a business by tapping into our director, Sean Husband’s knowledge. Let us know if there any questions you’d like us to answer next time and we’ll add them to the list!
Sean, what are your top three tips for starting a business?
1. Keep it simple:
Many businesses fail because the idea was too complicated in the first place. People like goods or services that satisfy a need or a problem. Making something too elaborate or expensive is going to mean additional costs in manufacturing and marketing and initially, it’s important to bring money through the door to reinvest. Start small and allow your business to grow organically. Don’t get too complex, keep it simple and give it time. Refine your initial idea until it’s the best it can and then expand your offering later on down the road when the timing is right.
2. Keep an eye on the cash flow:
Poor cash flow is the number one reason for business failure, so you can see how important it is to keep tabs on your finances. It’s a good idea to have a ballpark figure of your projected income and expenses before you embark on the business, just to ensure it’s a viable proposition. As your business progresses, you’ll be able to put more robust financial projections and tracking in place, such as cash flow forecasting, balance sheets, and other key financial KPIs.
3. Don’t underestimate a good marketing strategy:
It is so important to spread the word about your new product or service in the run-up to the launch and in those early stages. You will wear many hats as a start-up business owner and Marketing Director will be one of those. There are so many great free tools that you can use to create graphics, schedule social media posts and so much more. A good marketing strategy doesn’t have to have huge budgets behind it, but working smart and having a robust plan in place will do wonders for you in those early days.
Sean, what’s one quick task I can do to improve late payments from customers?
Take a look at your credit control KPIs. If you’re not sure what you should be tracking then take a look at a previous blog here. You might discover that you could tighten up your payment terms and see some immediate improvements in your debtor days. You might also discover that your Collection Effectiveness Index is not performing well. You might need to discuss your current debt recovery tactics with your team responsible, or if you’re already doing everything in your power to chase late payments then now might be the right time to look at outsourcing those stubborn cases to a third party like My Debt Recovery.
Sean, do you have any tips for submitting company tax returns or VAT returns?
Always submit as early as possible! You’re given a month and a week to submit your VAT returns and twelve months after the end of your accounting period to submit your corporate tax return. The sooner you complete the paperwork, the sooner you’ll know what your liabilities are and you can account for them across a longer period of time, instead of being hit with a shock and a big bill to pay and only a couple of weeks to pay it!
We hope that you have found Sean’s business tips helpful and let us know if you have any questions for him and the team! And if you need any help with your commercial debt recovery then reach out to our extremely helpful team today and they can let you know what options you have at your disposal to recover what’s rightly yours.