Prepare and stick to a financial Budget
The key to business safetfy
The greatest causes of business failure centre around getting business advice on cash and the control of cash. Inadequate profits, failure to price products/services, inadequate cash reserves, and poor cashflow control are the common examples.
Preparing and sticking to a financial budget is central to your creating the safety in which your business needs to operate. We recommend you invite us as your accountant/business advisor to formulate a budget and cash flow a year in advance, and update it from time to time. You should use this budget when you are making financial decisions to buy plant & equipment, improve assets such as buildings. If your sales targets drop you may need to adjust your budgeted expenses or seek loans or overdrafts to meet your cash needs.
Concord Tax business advice packages include setting up an annual budget and cashflow report to create that financial control for your business and monitoring it on a regular basis.
You’ve heard the old adage, “You can’t see the forest for the trees!”. When you are in business you can get so involved with the details of the business that you fail to take a step back to look at the business as a whole.
Concord Tax recommends getting good business advice at a quarterly management meeting. The meeting usually involves the owners of the business and the business advisor/accountant.
The performance and goals of the business over the previous quarter are scrutinised. This includes the minutes, profit & loss statement for the quarter, the key performance indicators, and the budget and cash flow performance. Other activities include benchmarking the business or tax planning.
With help from your advisor you will generally select two or three areas of focus, and make some goals. At the next meeting the cycle repeats itself.
Businesses that follow this pattern drive their business into a pattern of success.
12 Ideas to “Grow Your Business” that won’t cost you money.
Choose three of these ideas and work on them to grow your business. Don’t forget to measure your results.
- Invoice you customers faster. You should bill on completion, and on a statement at the end of the month.
- Simple consistent marketing. Your logos, content, colours, signs, style, and methods should harmonise into the one consistent message.
- Be easy for your customers to find. Get your website high up the search lists on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- Delegation. Spend your time doing the most important things and delegate everything else.
- Empower your team. Encourage them to improve their current work practices.
- Improve work efficiencies. If you can reduce turn around times and various work production functions the business can produce significant benefits over a year.
- Team Incentives for meeting budgets, and KPI’s. Bonus’ are almost cheaper than costs increases.
- Automating repetitive items like customer care, voice mail, sales reporting, ordering and record keeping can increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
- Use give-a-way’s. Do this at your front counter; when you send out your invoices; when you deliver goods. This should be free to you, but valuable to the recipient, for example, coupons or a “How To”.
- Highlight offers, features, promotions and news in your email footers, invoices, and letter signatures.
- Run active social accounts with Twitter.com, Facebook.com and LinkedIn.com and post articles.
- Ask your customers to refer you. Referrals can build a business. Always ask for referrals.
10 Steps to starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. Here are 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business.
Step 1. Gather knowledge and intelligence. Find out everything you can about your industry, about the market, and about the competition, legal, licence and other requirements that affect your business. Talk and receive advice from a business advisor about your plans.
Step 2. Create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully
Step 3. Select a business location. Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with any zoning laws which may apply.
Step 4. Finance your business. Find out about government incentives, venture capital, and bank based business loans that will help you get started.
Step 5. Determine the legal structure of your business. Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole trader, partnership, Company, or Trust.
Step 6. Register a business name. Register your business name with your state government.
Step 7. Register for taxes. Register for a tax file number, an ABN, and Work Cover insurance.
Step 8. Obtain any required licences, and permits. Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.
Step 9. Understand Employer Responsibilities. Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
Step 10. Seek help from a good business advisor. Concord Tax advisors are ready and able to help you get started. Your initial hour visit is free. Use it to gather as much information as possible and to plan your way forward.
A wise business mentor once told me, “A business downturn is a time when you can grow your business. Customers are searching actively for a better deal, and for better service.” When you engage actively in the market place there are opportunities that don’t exist at any other time.
So here is my business advice to you, during this time of major economic turbulence, look for business opportunities and take advantage of them.
Now and then a business gets into trouble. Usually the business owner will often go over and over the problem until he finds it difficult to focus and act on the real issues. There is often business paralysis, a “I don’t know what to do so I do nothing” response. If you find yourself in this situation you need to get business advice from outside. You need to see a business advisor. You need to get a second opinion.
Concord Tax advisors will meet with you and discuss your problem in a no fee first interview.
Cash flow, tax debt, liquidity, debtors, business downturns can all be addressed. Just act quickly.
Here is some timeless wisdom that may be useful to you in your business endeavors.
1 — Push through your limitations
“The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.”
— Thomas Edison
Business is scary. It can be new, difficult, frustrating, and many other things — but if you push through those limitations and do the things that are hard you might see the best of what business can be: rewarding, lucrative, challenging, and fun.
Pushing yourself can be hard, but it’s worth it in the end.
2 — Never stop improving
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
— Jack Welch
The world changes, and things are always moving forward. In order to keep up, it’s critical to always learn and always improve.
In business, the companies who are most successful are the ones who keep learning, keep improving, and keep adapting.
3 — Action is more important than talk
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”
— Walt Disney
We’ve all heard the cliche before, actions speak louder than words; but it has real truth in business. Action is what matters, not talk, or ideas, or even how much money you have. If business success is what you want, then you need to take action.
4 — Success takes hard work
“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”
— Albert Einstein
Doing well in business requires effort. A lot of effort.
Those who achieve the most are often the ones who are the most passionate, and most determined to reach their goals — because they devote themselves to the cause and put in the effort that others can’t. It takes time, but with focus and hard work you’ll almost always do well.
5 — Hard work brings happiness (and success)
“Satisfaction does not come with achievement, but with effort. Full effort is full victory.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
Even the best intentions and efforts don’t always lead to where you thought, but that’s okay, because it isn’t the goal that counts. The act of giving yourself to a cause, and working with your full ability, is what will bring real satisfaction.
And if you put in your whole effort, you’re still much more likely to get what you want, too.
6 — Don’t be afraid of failure
“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.”
— Sumner Redstone
Being afraid of doing something wrong is human nature, but it’s not in your best interest. Failing is one of the best ways to learn, and is often one of the only ways to become truly successful.
Fail early, fail often, and don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.
7 — Strive to provide something great
“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”
— Steve Jobs
Perhaps the most important piece of advice in business is to create something that is great and valuable. If you can provide your customers with a great product or a great service, chances are they’ll come back for more and tell their friends too.
Learn to understand your customers, learn what they really need, and then do your best to provide them with that. Even when all else fails, providing an awesome product will usually lead to success.
1. “If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the IKEA employees.” – Ingvar Kamprad
2. “The speed of the leader determines the speed of the gang.” – Mary Kay Ash
3. “Sometimes, I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you don’t act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention and that is the beginning of the end.” – Bill Gates
4. “Kindness is more powerful than compulsion.” – Charles Schwab
5. “Successful businessmen share the ability to hire people smarter than they are.” – Dillard Munford
6. “There is only one boss; the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
7. “There are no working hours for leaders.” – James Cardinal Gibbons
9. “To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tsu
10. “I wanted to be an editor or journalist. I wasn’t really interested in becoming an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.” – Richard Branson
11. “A business idea is just another idea. But an idea backed by a strong feasibility, a thorough business plan and a smart team is no longer an idea. It’s now a solid business opportunity worth pursuing.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
12. “Advertising is the mouth piece of business.” – James R. Adams
14. “Business is like oil, it won’t mix with anything but business.” – J. Graham
15. “Capital can do nothing without brains to direct it.” – J. Ogden Armour
16. “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” – James Cash Penny
17. “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark, you know what you are doing but nobody else does.” – Ed Howe
18. “To win one hundred battles in one hundred victories is not the ACME of skills. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the ACME of skill.” – Sun Tzu
19. “I came from an environment where if you see a snake, you kill it. At General motors, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is to hire a consultant on snakes.” – H. Ross Perot
20. “Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.” – Henry R. Luce
21. “Business and financial intelligence are not picked up within the four walls of school. You pick them up on the streets. In school, you are taught how to manage other people’s money. On the streets, you are taught how to make money.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
22. “Business? It’s quite simple. It is other people’s money.” – Alexander Dumas the Younger
23. “If you want to know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.” – Benjamin Franklin
24. “There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich and that is the poor.” – Oscar Wilde
25. “Those who have money think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know it is money.” – Gerald Brenan
26. “There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” – Andrew Carnegie
27. “Riches are with me, durable riches. My fruits is better than gold, and my revenue is better than choice silver”. – Proverbs 8: 18-19
28. “Being first is more important to me. I have so much money. Whatever money is, it’s just a method of keeping score now. I mean, I certainly don’t need more money.” – Larry Ellison
29. “The most important word in the world of money is cash flow. The second most important word is leverage.” – Rich Dad
30. “I think it is a man’s duty to make all the money he can, keep all that he can and give away all that he can.” – John D. Rockefeller
31. “The wise man put all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.” – Andrew Carnegie
32. “Many people rush into the game of investing thinking they are predators. When they get to the middle of the game, they then realize they are the prey and they try to escape but it will be too late. Only the preys with a well defined exit strategy will escape, the rest will be slaughtered by the real predators.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
33. “The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.” – Rich Dad
34. “Buy when everyone else is selling and hold when everyone else is buying. This is not merely a catchy slogan. It is the very essence of successful investments.” – J. Paul Getty
35. “My two rules of investing: Rule one – never lose money. Rule two – never forget rule one.” – Warren Buffett
36. “If GE’s strategy of investment in China is wrong, it represents a loss of a billion dollars, perhaps a couple of a billion dollars. If it’s right, it’s the future of this company for the next century.” – Jack Welch
37. “Always start at the end before you begin. Professional investors always have an exit strategy before they invest. Knowing your exit strategy is an important investment fundamental.” – Rich Dad
38. “In order to grow at this pace, there’ll have to be a couple of acquisitions along the way. The tricky thing is to grow at this rate and maintain a 40 percent operating margin. – Larry Ellison
39. “The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” – Warren Buffett
40. “Seek advice on risk from the wealthy who still take risks, not friends who dare nothing more than a football bet.” – J. Paul Getty
41. “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” – Mary Kay Ash
42. “To be successful, you must act big, think big and talk big.” – Aristotle Onassis
43. “Screw it, let’s do it.” – Richard Branson
44. “There is one paradoxical characteristic every entrepreneur must possess to succeed. An entrepreneur must be able to persuade his debtors to pay their debts promptly and at the same, must tactically delay payments to his creditors.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
45. “Every tomorrow has two handles. You can take hold of the handle of anxiety or the handle of enthusiasm. Upon your choice so will be the day.” – Brian Tracy
46. “How many people are completely successful in every department of life? Not one. The most successful people are the ones who learn from their mistakes and turn their failures into opportunities.” – Zig Ziglar
47. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
48. “In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker
49. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
50. “It’s never too late to learn.” – Malcolm Forbes