This month, our business expert and author Janette Whitney gives her six simple steps to help make 2016 a prosperous year for you.
As the business and personal bills left from the festive season and Christmas shutdown come in, some people face the New year with uncertainity, so taking positive action to redress the balance will make 2014 wealthier and happier.
Here are a few ideas to help get your business off to a flying start this year.
Face up to your debt problems
Contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) if you are worried about your debt. Their advice is both free and confidential unlike debt management companies that charge a fee for their services. www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Beware of Pay day Loans (as advertised on TV and the internet) as short term loans can cause long term problems. They may get you through to pay day for the first month, but what happens the next month? You are likely to still have the same ‘money gap’ plus you have to find the interest on the loan. So you have to take out another loan – and so the cycle goes on. The County Council’s Trading Standards are warning consumers to think carefully before taking out a ‘payday’ loan http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/living/consumer_advice/consumer_support_and_communit/short_term_pay_day_loans.aspx
Get New Customers!
Sometimes we can spend too much time looking after our existing customers that we forget that a percentage of customers will always drop off and before you know it your customer numbers and sales are down.
Never forget there is a new batch of clients out there who need your products and services. All you have to do is ask for their business! So gear yourself up for a renewed campaign.
Look at your Expenses
This is set to be a challenging year for businesses so a keen eye on your outgoings could help you. When did you last review your monthly expenses? Check out each expense – can you get a better deal from an alternative supplier? Don’t forget to look at your Bank Charges too.
Keep your Eye on the Cash
This year resolve to watch your cash flow. With a continuing tightening of available credit in the market you may find your larger customers squeezing you on payment dates. Make sure you get your invoices out on time and that overdue payments are promptly chased.
If you are facing a liquidity crisis make sure you are making full use of credit terms offered by your suppliers.
Have a Radical re-think
Are you hanging onto something in your business in the hope it will improve this year? It usually doesn’t! Do you have suppliers who are constantly delivering late or have quality problems? Search for new suppliers. Are your staff pulling together, or are changes needed?
Do you have slow-moving products which you are sure will take off this year (for the 3rd year running)?
Commit to a Plan
Whatever actions you have decided to take write them down to give you focus and something to aim for. Remember to review your action plan every month.
Need to give your business a financial boost in 2016?.Then contact me on 01403 733671 to book your 2 hour Business Health check or visit www.whitneyassocs.co.uk for more information.
Janette Whitney ACIB MCMI is a Multi- Award Winning Business Consultant and business growth specialist providing practical strategic advice to businesses from start-ups to £10m turnover companies.
Professionally qualified with 35 yrs. business experience and a proven track record of satisfied clients, she helps businesses to grow profitably and achieve their goals. Janette is also an award winning business author, and media columnist.