Ways to grow your business in 2019

Happy New Year!

If you are not focus on growth chances are you will either be stagnate or become part of ‘failed’ businesses statistics. So if you are running a small business with the intention to grow it, here are some tips that may help you achieve it.

  1. Automate, automate, automate!

If you are working with a small team or by yourself, you need to create systems for your business that save you time and effort. Creating a system for generating and sending invoices, for example, means you won’t have to start from scratch every time.

You can create systems for virtually everything from scheduling meetings with prospects, to creating templates for repetitive tasks. And as you scale your operation, having systems in place can give your growing business an edge.

2. Marketing is a numbers game

Tearing yourself away from day-to-day tasks and deadlines to focus on marketing is hard, but it’s essential if you want your business to keep going — and growing. Chances are you’re wasting plenty of time that could be used for marketing activities.

If you want to find that time, try tracking the time you spend on different tasks for at least a week. Once you have a better idea of how much time you’re putting in each day, you’ll see where you have time to spare to promote your business and launch new marketing campaigns.

3. Organization is key

Inconsistent record-keeping practices like throwing receipts into a shoebox or not keeping track of mileage will come back to haunt you at tax time. When it comes to time tracking, especially, poor record-keeping can cost you money, lots of money!

Create bins or folders to better organize your paperwork, do the same with your electronic records. Use names that will make it easy to find a year or two from now.

4. Understand your business finances

Even if you hire an accountant at tax time, every entrepreneur should understand the basics of bookkeeping and accounting. You have options, you might take an accounting course online or attend a workshop at one of the many non-profit organizations in town such as WBCC. You might also see if your accountant is able to provide guidance and consulting in this area.

If you’re still tracking your income and expenses on Excel spreadsheets, please do yourself a favor and consider upgrading to an system like QuickBooks Online or Xero. These tools are built for small businesses and can help you automate as well as keep you informed on how your business finances are doing throughout the year.

Growth can be challenging but also very rewarding, now that we have a fresh new year is a great time to work on your business goals.

Carolina Aponte

 

 

 

Checks and Balances when managing your business

Those who know me, know I am fascinated by politics and public policy which is why checks and balances resonates with me so much as an accountant and a business owner.

I find that small-business owners often have so much on their plates they might not notice what is actually taking place in their business that, if not addressed, can deplete cash, cause legal problems, or cause a host of other issues.

This is why I encourage creating checks and balances that allows you to implement an accounting system that promotes separation of duties.  For example, separate accounts receivable duties from accounts payable. You don’t want the person in charge of receiving payment for invoices and services rendered to be the same person responsible for paying outgoing invoices and payroll. Making accounts receivable and accounts payable interchangeable duties can lead to serious cash misappropriation.

Another example is to require monthly reconciliations to be completed by an independent person who doesn’t have check signing responsibilities. Review the reconciliation report to document that a review and reconciliation was performed and  keep a record with your files.

Most people have a distorted sense of who is most likely to commit fraud which is why creating the proper checks and balances minimizes your business’s exposure to fraud and other misappropriations.

Besides the key is to adopt the the attitude of the founding fathers – we hope and believe that people our worthy of our trust but at the same time, we put in place measures to reduce our need to rely on trust alone! Do you have check and balances system in your business?

Carolina Aponte