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7 small business efficiency tips

How do you achieve small business efficiency?

We want Acuity to be your one-stop-shop for business advice – from the basics of running your business, right through to the nitty gritty of implementing and using your financial management or ERP systems.

Regardless of the industry you work in, efficiency is key.

Without it, you’ll be compromising on time and/or money, and no business can afford to lose either of these resources.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, keep an eye out for warning signs of inefficiency within your business, and adopt the right tools and a financial management or ERP system to solve them.

In the meantime, make sure your business is set up for success by putting our tips for an efficient small business into action…

Create a business plan

No business (seriously – none) can run efficiently, or at all in the long-term, without a solid business plan.

Without a business plan you can’t create an effective strategy for growth, and therefore can’t…

  • make informed and strategic decisions for your business’ direction as it grows;
  • make decisions on spending and finances, particularly for the long term;
  • or attract investors or lenders for funding – in some instances, you may even struggle to grow your internal team due to a lack of vision for your business.

A business plan is your vital first step to business efficiency.

Familiarise yourself with your finances

Whether you’re a business owner or a finance leader, if you’re not familiar with the business’ finances, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to set, allocate and stick to a budget.

At the end of the day, your business’ budget, and your ability – or lack of – to stick to it, is what will keep your business afloat or sink it.

With a clear budget in place, you can see your current financial position and put steps and strategies in place to navigate your business towards growth and development.

Chase outstanding payments

Balancing your books can be tricky, whether you’re a start-up or a steadily growing small business.

To ensure your business’ cash flow remains steady, you are likely to come across some situations where you’ll need to chase a customer or client for payment.

While this can be an awkward experience, it is very important. However, you also need to know when to chase.

For example, your payment terms are 30 days. One of your customers received their invoice 30 days ago, and you haven’t yet seen the funds come in.

While it may be tempting to get straight on the phone, you don’t want to be too pushy. After all, you want to make sure your customers will come back.

Wait two to three days before sending a first reminder, and make sure you send it to the right email address. Follow it up the next day with a phone call (again, making sure you’re contacting the right person) to check they’ve received your email.

Being firm but not too pushy will mean your client is more likely to pay quickly, remember your consideration when the next invoice comes through, and pay it on time.

Track sales

Do you remember those two things a business doesn’t want to lose? Time and money.

By tracking your sales, you can prevent losses and use insights you gain from monitoring them to make smarter decisions and overall see gains for your business.

Know the numbers, understand the market and what’s performing, and you’ll never have to make guesses.

As a result, you’ll see greater business efficiency and will become a savvy, data-driven leader.

Monitor and control stock

By monitoring and controlling your stock, you’ll know exactly what you have available at any time.

Paired with tracking your sales, you’ll know what’s selling and how quickly, allowing you to make efficient, informed decisions about ordering more stock and managing your entire supply chain.

Invest in productivity tools

Whether your team is just a few people, or rapidly growing into the dozens, if their work isn’t efficient, your business won’t be either.

There are now a wide range of productivity tools, programmes, and apps available (many free of charge or low cost) that you can use to improve efficiency across your business.

Invest your time – and money wherever required – into implementing the right tools for business efficiency.

For many growing businesses, an ERP system may be the best solution. Learn more about ERP.

Focus on the future

There’s no denying that reviewing and analysing your business’ past performance is vital to your overall strategy.

However, if you only ever look back, you won’t get very far.

The business landscape is changing so rapidly that we have no option than to plan for the distant future as well as our business’ immediate plans.

Make sure your business is future-ready by starting your digitalisation journey and consider taking your software to the cloud if you haven’t already.

Need some help to gain business efficiency?

If you’re looking for an ERP solution, take a look at Sage X3. For financial management software, discover Sage Intacct.

Alternatively, get in touch if you’d like to discuss your digitalisation journey.

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