Although it is going to remain a struggle for us all, there are a few things that could ease your business finances, so here are my top tips for making your business income go further over the next few months.
Consider a price increase for your products/services. Yes, at first this may seem like a strange idea given that it could feel like you are making it more challenging for customers to afford your products, but if you haven’t adjusted your prices in years, and are currently charging less than the industry average in your area, why not consider increasing slightly? It’s important to make sure that your income covers your expenses and still leaves you with some profit, so if you aren’t breaking even or are struggling to make any profit, a price increase or package restructuring activity could prove beneficial.
Check for unwanted subscriptions. We all sign up for random tools occasionally, thinking that they might help increase our efficiency and productivity. However, some of these fall by the wayside after a few weeks, or months, yet we still end up making micropayments for the subscription. By checking your bank statement for these, and cancelling any accounts that you no longer need, you could save yourself some money every month.
Look for more affordable alternatives to the tools you do need to use. Even if you are still using certain tools for your business, it may be that there are cheaper, yet still effective, alternatives out there – even free tools! For example, if you are using an email marketing platform like Keap, but not currently using it to its full potential, why not consider moving to a more affordable platform with the functionality that you require. Mailchimp has free accounts, and Active Campaign offers low cost email marketing solutions – just make sure that you check the tool has all of the functionality that you require, and double check the terms of your contracts to ensure that you can leave early.
Shop around when it comes to phone contracts and insurance, etc. If your phone contract or business insurance is up for renewal, don’t just sign up for another 12 months because it’s quick and easy to do so. Why not spend a little time shopping around for the best deal? It could be that you could save significantly on your current costs. Or hang onto that handset if it's not too past-it, and take a SIM only contract.
Make sure that your payment terms are clear in your contracts with customers. If you need to ensure that your cash flow remains regular and dependable, then be sure to make your payment terms – be it on receipt, within 7 days / within 30 days / by BACS, etc. – as clear as possible right from the start of the relationship with your customer. Incorporating this into your contract/terms of business and your invoices can help ensure that customers are aware of your expectations (as well as the expectations that they should have of you) and can fit in with these, addressing them ASAP if there are any potential issues.
Consider outsourcing. Again, spending OUT money on outsourcing tasks may seem a little strange at first glance, as you’re paying money out for a job that you could technically do in house. However, think about the value of the work you do and the equivalent hourly rate you charge. If you charge a customer £50 per hour, and need to outsource some administrative support work for £25-30 per hour, then you have the opportunity to earn when your time is freed up through outsourcing. Why not think about the tasks that are very time-consuming or fall outside of your zone of genius? These could easily be outsourced, freeing up your valuable time, and are likely to be completed by an expert far quicker than you would be able to do if you find the work challenging – or just incredibly boring!!
Funding or Tax Relief. Lastly, if your business is struggling financially, it’s always worth speaking to a professional for advice and support, as there may be funding or tax relief that you could be entitled to.
I know, it’s a challenging time, but after the last few years, post-COVID, I’m sure that you and your business are resilient enough to weather the storm.