Get finance fit

Tired of feeling like a seven-stone weakling, trying to fight your corner against the bully-boys of inflation, big business, recession and the cost of living? 

Not any more. It’s time to flex your financial muscles and adopt these healthier wealth habits. It might take a little training before they become second nature but they’ll definitely help you roll with the punches, instead of ending up out for the count (we’ll stop the boxing puns now).

1. Beat the 10% challenge

Pull out your latest business management accounts (don’t have any? Getting them drawn up is your step 1.) Go through them and set yourself a challenge to save 10% on every line.

You won’t win every line – some things are impossible to cut back, but you’ll certainly end up better off than you were before.

2. Get cashflow smart

No-one ever went bankrupt because they ran out of profit. It’s always cash that causes the problems. If you only do one thing to improve your business, focus on cashflow every day. Create a cashflow forecast for the next three months. Then make sure you always know your bank balance and be clear about what’s going in and out.

3. Maximise your cash

It sounds obvious but are you on top of the simple jobs that will maximise your cash? Make sure you’re always up to date with invoicing and chase any unpaid debts.

4. Get paid faster

If customers are lagging in their payments, consider tightening up your terms. Shorter credit periods or interest on late payments can encourage customers to cough up more quickly. Consider using GoCardless to enable you to take direct debits from your customers, instead of waiting for them to pay you.

5. Plan to succeed

There’s a truism that says the minute an army engages with an enemy its battle plan is ruined. But that doesn’t stop the generals from thinking critically about what they intend to do. 

The same can be said of business. You can’t imagine every crisis (who thought we’d plunge into a global pandemic?) but the process of planning forces you to identify risks and work out how to mitigate them. Things won’t go according to plan but you’ll be poised to adapt.

6. Ask for help

We often hold back from asking for support or advice, even though it’s one of the most sensible and pragmatic things we can do. Help doesn’t have to cost money, either. Yes, investing in a good accountant might work for you but you can always access free advice from work contacts, relatives, or friends, as well as your bank.  

Cast your network net wide – most problems have already been solved by someone else, so there’s no point sticking your head in the sand and making the issue worse. Just ask!

7. Act for a healthier planet

Finally, this step is less about financial fitness itself but if we have no planet, we have no business. While you’re overhauling your money, take a look at your green credentials too. Energy savings can shave your outgoings and every penny counts in the current economy. Check out our article on greener businesses, for practical tips, plus our piece about electric cars explains why they could be an economic, as well as an environmental benefit.

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