Businesses have a life cycle, a natural ebb and flow. Some businesses last for generations, but 80% close their doors before their fifth anniversary. To get to be part of the latter, you need to strike a balance in your daily operations. A new business owner needs to constantly identify and eliminate inefficiencies. At first, many of these will be hard to spot, but as your experience grows you’ll notice them more and more. By getting rid of that which wastes time and money, you’ll add years and even decades to the life cycle of your business. But by leaving fatal flaws in place, you are numbering your days. Here are a few of the best ways you can bring order and efficiency to the way you do business. If you follow these steps in the next year, you’ll make sure you have many more anniversaries to come.
- Accounting Software for Small Business. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) about how many small businesses don’t have established bookkeeping and accounting standards. By letting funds slip in and out with little attention paid, you are bound to overlook the loss of money. If you don’t have a particular accounting standard in place, it’s time to get some accounting software for your business. With modern systems, you can automate payments, keep track of incoming and outgoing funds, keep track of client financials, handle payroll, and much more. As you adapt to the system, you will bring your financial reality into sharp focus, and there simply won’t be as many mistakes. You’ll also begin to notice areas where you are losing money, areas you didn’t notice when it was all in your head. If you don’t already pay someone else to do this for you, there is no excuse but to employ today’s sophisticated software accounting systems for your business.
- Keep Track of the Customers You Have. It is much easier to keep a customer you already have than to fight for a customer you don’t have yet. For this reason, it is in the interest of your business to use your resources to keep your current customer base happy. A lot of businesses don’t get this right, always spreading themselves thin fighting for new business. They take their eyes off the proverbial ball and outreach their grasp. Current customers feel sleighted and go on to other businesses. So make a conscious investment (measurable in dollars) to your customer base. You’ll have them longer and they, in the long run, will keep your doors open and the lights on, much better than customers you don’t have yet.
These are just a couple hints that will help you generally, but they allude to a mindset that permeates the thinking of the world’s best business people. If you start to think like an efficient business person, your business will run efficiently. You’ll start to spot bad practices at a mile, and you will be in business a lot longer than one where these things are not a consideration.