Money worries can affect every small business owner, whether it’s fretting over keeping clients on board or feeling uncertain about your cashflow.
If you find these things playing on your mind then you’re not alone.
So I’ve complied a list of what I believe is keeping you awake at night and I’ve called it my 12 Financial Worries.
Worry No 12. Funding marketing efforts
Remember when you first thought of starting your own business, everything seemed pretty simple? (So what happened?)
If you’re anything like most people, then you probably discovered pretty quickly that business life can often be more complicated than a spreadsheet alone can convey.
And lets be truthful once you started thinking about your outgoing costs, marketing can often take a back seat. BUT marketing can be crucial to a business and under this headline I’m also talking about networking, which is simply marketing you.
I’m not a marketing expert but I can help by taking the time to understand your business, the quirks of your particular marketplace and the needs of your customers. We can then offer advice, provide alternatives, and help resolve (or anticipate) any problems.
Worry No 11. Unexpected tax bills
Funny how everybody is really helpful until you hit the odd problem or two….
Be honest, there are times for most businesses, no matter how long established or well run, when all is not well. With Self Assessment only coming around once a year it can be easy to forget how big a sting tax bills can be. There can be a hundred different reasons, many outside your direct control (you know the sort of thing, the Chancellor announces a new tax on small businesses, which directly affects you – oh, and it’s implemented from midnight tonight). And suddenly you have to find the money to pay your taxes.
So where do you go for help if things start to look a little worrying?
We think you could do a lot worse than talk to us. Sometimes, someone with a fresh eye can have an entirely different perspective on a problem. Much of the expertise our clients value lies in our ability not only to solve problems, but to anticipate and plan for (or preferably avoid) potential difficulties.
Having said that, we can’t perform miracles, so the earlier you contact us the better; rather than considering us as a last resort. Better still, get in touch now, while everything’s fine (sneaky eh?) After all, the more we know about all aspects of your business, the more we can probably help.
Worry No 10. Investing in new ideas
When you’re running a business, its tricky enough keeping things afloat – let alone stressing about bringing new ideas into the mix.
And lets be honest everybody thinks it’s a bright idea but then they don’t have to finance it…
Genius, someone once said, is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. One sometimes wonders if he or she had been talking to a certain breed of bank manager.
Now to be fair, there are some very imaginative, open-minded, and fair bank mangers out there. But to give any of them the opportunity to demonstrate these qualities you need to have done your homework. Turning up with a good idea on how you can improve your business rarely means leaving with a generous overdraft or loan.
Which is where we come in. We know that in the white hot heat of your new idea, preparing a business plan might seem a bit of a chore, and that a spreadsheet alone can never convey how brilliant your idea is. But it is a necessity to make sure your business doesn’t come a cropper, after all the hard work you’ve invested so far.
We’ll work with you on managing your existing business and with the investment in future projects, on a basis which suits you.
Even genius needs a little help occasionally.
Worry No 9. Finding Funding
While there are a number of schemes out there, finding the right one for you, applying for it, and actually succeeding in securing the funding can be a long and difficult process.
Though whether or not you need funding depends on where your business is and what plans you have, and people often tell us that talking to certain accountants can seem a little, um, daunting.
(Ever had the feeling you’d get the advice you needed if only you could guess what the right question was?)
So whose fault is this?
Well, to be honest there’s no simple answer to that. (We all know that there’s not much in business that’s ever that simple).
If you don’t understand 100% every comment or bit of jargon most people – say your printer – uses, it probably doesn’t mean the end of the world. Trouble is, when you’re looking for guidance on funding you need to be sure that you’ve found an accountant who will invest the time to understand your business, and ensure you understand the thinking behind every piece of advice and the options available to you.
Worry No 8. Paying Competitive Salaries
When it comes to hiring your first employee, and every employee after that, their salary becomes another outgoing cost. And if you want to keep the best people working for you, you need to pay them a competitive salary. Then there are all the extra headaches with RTI, auto enrolment, SSP, SMP, SPP and the list go on. Not to mention all the perks, do you offer a company car or medical cover or life assurance or do any of these matter?
We can help you plan so that you get the best option for the business and the employees, as well as taking the headache of payroll from you.
Worry No 7. Managing Overheads
Time is money, a cliché it may well be, but experience shows that there aren’t many businesses out there, which this isn’t true.
And faced with the pressure of rising overheads who wouldn’t be looking of ways to lower these costs. Unfortunately I don’t have a secret master plan and each business is different. I’d need to get to know the unique circumstances that make up your business and only then could I offer realistic advice to improving your bottom line (oh er missus!)
Worry No 6. Lack of knowledge about your company’s financial situation
Getting a handle on the financial matters of your company- whether it’s cashflow, managing overheads, or maintaining your profitability – is made all the more difficult if you feel out of your depth with monetary matters.
Small business owners often say their lack of knowledge on their company’s financial situation was a major concern. We can help.
Worry No 5. Maintaining the flow of new business
Keeping new business coming in can be a worry. Word of mouth is great and can generate a lot of business but people are fickly – yep sorry to tell you this but it’s true. So on top of all your other business worries you have to be a good juggler too. What is she talking about I here you say? Well you have to have a marketing strategy in place, which involves offline and online marketing – hence the juggler. And how do you know what is working? Does all the juggling simply give you good co-ordination or does it equate to sales? Good accountants will be able to help you work out where to do your juggling.
Worry No 4. Late client payments
Over half of SME business owners said that late payments were a significant financial worry for them – which is understandable, given they can cause any business to close it’s doors. But collecting debt can be time consuming and sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day.
Some would even say it helps to have someone who is not you to do the chasing. We can help.
Worry No 3. Continuing to remain profitable
The bottom line (sorry for the pun) is if your business isn’t profitable then you don’t have a business. So many owners/directors don’t really know how there is business is performing on a month-to-month basis. They know things aren’t right but unless they have someone pulling together figures for them on a regular basis they are operating in the dark. And regular doesn’t always mean annually. You need to know if they decisions you are making on a daily/monthly/quarterly basis are right and this is where we can help.
Worry No 2. Managing Cashflow
Whether you’re buying stock, investing in office space or searching for funding, keeping yourself in the black is vital for your business to function.
We can help but it’s not always easy – there isn’t an infallible masterplan or some arcane secret or even one size fits all cashflow. The process still involves taking the time and trouble to get to grips with the unique circumstances of your business.
Only once we’ve done that can we start to offer objective, realistic advice toward improving your cashflow.
Worry No 1. Losing existing clients
Building your business is all very well, what do you do if it starts to fail? Be honest, there are times for most businesses, no matter how long established or well run, when all is not well. There can be a hundred different reasons and one may be keeping clients on board. While it’s important to keep on top of financial matters undue worry and stress won’t help make things better. We think you could do a lot worse than talk to us. Sometimes, someone with a fresh eye can have an entirely different perspective on a problem. Much of the expertise our clients’ value lies in our ability not only to solve problems, but to anticipate and plan for (or preferably avoid) potential difficulties.
If you’re finding yourself struggle with any of these worries then let’s chat.