Cash flow is a fundamental part of any business. Financial problems is the main reason businesses fail, which isn’t a surprise when you consider that many people would prefer to be conducting their business, whether that’s marketing, making things or updating the website, rather than looking through the books. Having a stable cash flow is the key to having a steady business, so it’s worthwhile spending some time to balance the books.
Consider how customers can pay for your services. Some people prefer to ask for payment upfront to ensure that payment is given on time while others invoice customers. Make a policy and stick with it—a good middle ground is to request a deposit before starting work, and giving a set time, such as 30 days, in which to pay the invoice.
Next, consider how you take payments. Some methods will be more expensive than others. Look at how much it costs you to collect payments from debit cards, credit cards and online payment methods, and work out which is the cheapest. Is there enough of a difference for you to offer a small discount to customers who pay by this method? Make sure your website is set up to make your preferred method the most prominent to save money in merchant fees.
Re-design your invoices. Invoices need to be clear and well designed to ensure that the customer understands what they bought, how much it cost, any additional charges such as taxes or VAT, and how much they need to pay. It also needs to be clear when this needs to be paid by, and what methods can be used to pay. A clear, simple invoice is much more likely to be paid quickly and on time than a confusing one, which might be put aside to be decoded later.
Watch the Markets
Keep your eye on finance and business news to be aware of anything which might affect you, and check market- and business-related websites regularly for updates and information that can help boosts your business’ potential. Keeping an eye on the market trends via the Internet will provide you with substantial ideas on how to run your business.
Draw up an invoice as quickly as possible, and avoid using postal invoices whenever possible. Produce a PDF invoice to email. This way, it will be received instantly with no possibility of postal delays. Plus, you can include links for payment methods to make it very easy for customers.
Have Fun while Working
All work and no play make running a business dull. Organize simple fun and quick company activities such as making cash origami through the Money Origami Tutorial Videos by UFX Markets for your employees to make them feel that they can be productive while having fun at work.
Chase Up Debt
If you haven’t received payment by the invoice deadline, send a copy of the invoice through the post with a letter stating that the amount is overdue and that it must be paid as soon as possible. This will prompt the customer to pay again and will save money on posting invoices until it is necessary to do so.
Use Credit Options
Finally, don’t be afraid to use credit options which are available to you. Make an appointment with a financial advisor at your bank, and discuss the credit facilities they could offer your business. A credit card is great for emergencies, and can help during the quiet periods.
Do you have other tips on having a steady business? Share your thoughts in the comment box.