14 Things to ask your accountant NOW!

Can you give me good ideas on how to improve my cash flow? Can you establish my breakeven point so that I have more financial awareness? Can you create an improvement action plan? What are the key profit drivers in my business? Can you advise on pricing strategies to increase my profitability? Can you provide cash flow forecasts so that I do not get into financial difficulties? What sales improvement ideas do you have that I can act on to increase sales? How do I reduce my tax bills to the minimum legal requirement? What do […]

Growth Drivers and Your Business

If you wish to grow your business you need to understand what your main growth drivers are and how they will impact on your business. The following brief note concentrates simply on 6 key growth drivers to land more business rather than the profit or cash flow consequences of this. Bear in mind that “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, while cash is reality”. Get your customers to buy more from you. The easiest way to increase your sales is simply to sell more to your existing customers. They are already in a buying relationship and […]

Analyse And Improve Your Business With Financial Ratios

Ratios measure the relationship between two or more figures in the financial statements. They are used most effectively when results over a number of periods or years are compared. You will see trends or inconsistencies that might need to be addressed. The following are the main financial ratios to measure the financial health of a business. Leverage ratios 1. Debt-to-equity ratio • Total liabilities/Shareholders’ equity Measures how much debt a business is carrying as compared to the amount invested by its owners. This indicator is closely watched by banks as a measure of a business’s capacity […]

Get The Clients You Want

Seth Godin publishes a daily post on his blog which can be insightful and thought provoking. The following post is relevant for all businesses. Unreasonable clients Who gets your best work? If you reserve your best effort for the irritable boss, the never-pleased client and the bully of a customer, then you’ve bought into a system that rewards the very people who are driving you nuts. It’s no wonder you have clients like that–they get your best work. On the other hand, when you make it clear (and then deliver) on the promise that your best […]

The Benefits of a Focused Business Plan

A good business plan will help improve your chances of securing finance through focused, logical and comprehensive provision of information. To prove successful your business plan should include the following considerations: Accurate information  For businesses with well organised and up to date systems, the process of preparing a business plan is made much easier. Concise presentation Organised presentation of key factual information assists a bank to better understand the commercial proposition and potential risks attached to the business. Realistic assumptions Assumptions are the fundamental building blocks of any business plan. For example in the hotel and […]

Importance of Internal Communication within the SME

In smaller businesses internal communication is an oft overlooked concept. Many businesses believe that the fewer the people the clearer the objectives. This however, is not always the case. Even within SMEs people can find themselves specialising or taking on specific roles, in the process losing sight of the big picture.   Janine Popick of verticalresponse.com offers the following advice to ensure effective communication:   Do not underestimate the value of internal meetings. Give each department within your business a chance to relay achievements or interesting developments in their area. Allow questions and participation. The more […]

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