We are just over half way through 2011 and the summer (and hopefully good weather) is with us. It can be easy to lose focus at this time of year as thoughts drift to holidays etc. So at Accountancy Extra, we’ve created our top ten tips to making sure your summer is a resounding business success.
Review your goals, targets & aspirations
Take time out to take a look at why you do what it is that you do. What do you want from your business? What do you want from life? Summer is a great time to review what you want to achieve. For some reason the sunshine helps with clarity.
Review your Products & Services
When was the last time you looked closely at the products and services you supply to your customers? Are they still relevant in today’s changing marketplace? Are you delivering what your customers want in a way that they want? Today’s marketplace is more demanding than ever, and it’s essential that you keep completely up to date with what those demands are.
Get Rid of Nightmare Clients
Now is the time to take a good look at your client list and get rid of those clients who are a nightmare to work with. We’ve put together our own guide on nightmare clients, together with some top tips on how to avoid them here
Focus the right type of clients
As opposed to the nightmare clients, focus on getting hold of the clients you really want to work with. Start by listing your top 10 existing clients and then write down why you love working with them. After a while, you will see some common characteristics appearing across most or all of them. Use these characteristics for identifying prospects and opportunities. Why not create a list of the characteristics and share them with your team?
Create a dashboard
What are the key numbers in your business? I’m not talking here about just your profit and turnover (which are lagging indicators), but the key numbers that drive the success of your business – your profit drivers. How do you measure and record them? Having a visual dashboard really helps focus the mind – I’m not necessarily talking about a fancy software solution with dials etc. (although there are some really good ones), as a simple spreadsheet or wall board may give you all you need to know
Get a marketing plan
Don’t leave your marketing to chance – plan it. Take a good look at what activities have been successful in the past and work out a plan to concentrate on those things going forward. Ensure you think about your customers and what you can do to make you even more attractive to them. Book time out of your diary to work on the marketing of your business.
Invest in yourself & your team
Motivating a team is one of the hardest tasks a business owner faces. Take time to invest in the development of your team and the relationships within the team. Perhaps take them on a development day, share with them the vision for the business or just take them out for a bit of fun!
Understand what’s happening with your cash
We all know that lack of cash is the number one reason small businesses go bust. Make sure you are closely monitoring the cash position of your business. Forecast ahead over the next 6-12 months and identify pinch points (including the payment of future tax liabilities). Use our guide here for ideas on how to improve your cashflow
Review the first half of the year
Take a look at the successes you have already had this year and replicate them. Similarly find the failures and stop them happening again. Be proud of your achievements and celebrate your successes – you’ll feel great for doing so and there hasn’t been too much for small business owners to shout about this year so far!
If you repeat this exercise in 6 months time, what would you like your biggest achievement to have been?
Have some fun
Take some time out, relax and have some fun. It’s hard to run a small business and relaxation helps refocus your mind. Turn off the email alerts on your smartphone and kick back once in a while – after all, you deserve it!