Any successful small business owner will be well aware of the importance of keeping on top of their financial information, keeping accurate records and submitting tax returns and payments on time. Running a business is never easy so the more things you can control the better, you don’t have to be a management expert to understand that. The following simple tips will help to keep your small business on the right track and allow you to focus on the bigger picture.
SEPARATE ALL PERSONAL FINANCES FROM YOUR BUSINESS FINANCES
Regardless of whether you are the sole owner of your business or are in partnership, you must keep your personal finances completely separate from the business. The easiest way to do this is to have a separate business account. This keeps things simple and also makes it far easier to sort out your accounts without having to first identify which entries are relevant to the business and which ones aren’t.
INVESTIGATE ACCOUNTANCY SOFTWARE PACKAGES
There are a wide range of software packages available that are designed especially for small businesses and very straightforward to use. A quality software package can help you to stay in control as your business begins to develop and expand and you will find that you can customise many of the programs to meet the needs of your business. It is important to remember however that in order to be effective, your software program is reliant on the input of 100% accurate information. You must always take care to avoid mistakes when inputting details. If after doing your research your still in doubt about which package to go for then talk to peers or fellow business owners and ask them for advice on which system they use and then make your mind up.
DON’T SLACK WITH THE RECORD KEEPING
I may be repeating myself here, but accurate records really are vital if you are to avoid major headaches later on! Keep everything and try to file it in some kind of logical order so that you can lay your hands on it quickly as and when you need to. A second-hand filing cabinet will not cost much and is a great investment. Trust me!
SET BUDGETS AND STICK TO THEM!
There are always things you need to purchase, particularly in the early stages of your business’s development but in the absence of a huge, bottomless pot of cash, it often makes sense to wait for certain items. It is important to set a budget and prioritise the things you need the most to avoid overspending. Plan ahead and set yourself a realistic budget and only steer away from it in the event that your projected income exceeds your expectations. As a rule, unless something is genuinely going to be essential to allow you to run your business smoothly, in these tough times it is usually sensible to wait.
OUTSOURCE YOUR ACCOUNTANCY NEEDS
The most cost-effective way to take care of your businesses accountancy requirements is to outsource to a suitable company. This allows you to access all of the advice and services you could possibly need without the commitment or expense of hiring an accountant on a full or part time basis. When outsourcing your accountancy requirements, you can choose to simply pay for the services you want as and when you need them or opt for a firm offering comprehensive accountancy packages that are tailored to meet the needs of the small business owner. Finding a reputable accountancy firm able to offer a fixed rate monthly package is almost always the cheapest, most reliable choice in the long term. When it comes to areas like your payroll and submitting your tax returns you will be glad of professional input. Take time to research the options and don’t rush into any arrangement but find a company that is experienced at dealing with companies of the same size as yours.
GIVE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS THE BEST CHANCE OF SUCCESS
Keeping on top of your financial information and accounts is never going to be the most exciting area to take care of when running a small business but it is nonetheless a crucial part of any successful business and will help you to keep a close eye on how you are progressing.
Never be tempted to neglect this area of your business as through keeping on top of things and you will help avoid the all too easy descent into unravelling financial chaos. Put simply, if things get out of control because of poor management then that could mean the beginning of the end of your business dream.