It’s a brand new year and many employees will come to work with a fresh outlook on life and how they want this year to go for them. Personal New Year’s resolutions are a favoured act after Christmas with people committing themselves to promises of bettering themselves, so why shouldn’t your business do the same? A business needs to move forward, adapt and change in order to grow, so now we are into a new year, why not make some business resolutions to improve your business and your new strategy of attack!
Before moving forward, always take the time to reflect. Are there mistakes you made in 2015 that you can learn from? Did you over spend? Or on the contrary did you not invest enough into your business? Have marketing campaigns brought the ROI you wanted in 2015? Learning from your mistakes is the best way forward, and it’s worth revisiting them to see how you could change things for 2016. However it’s worth seeing what things can be saved. Some things don’t need to be completely changed but can just be slightly tweaked, so don’t panic and think your whole business needs a make-over; concentrate on one thing at a time and work your way through a list.
Chase late payments
Late payments are causing damaging consequences for small businesses all over Europe, with over half of the total invoices in 2015 being paid late. With the Christmas close down period that the majority of businesses have in the UK, your invoices could have been delayed further and therefore chasing them in January to tie up loose ends before the year kicks off is a good idea. If your chasing advances aren’t working, Creditsafe offer a letter sending service that can chase your debts for you. You can choose a template and how often you wish to send them and we send them for you. Alternatively, we also have a debt collection service. Read our blog on debt recovery vs legal recovery to decide which option is best for your business.
Increase your sales
2016 is the ideal time to re-work your strategy and concentrate on increasing sales. Visit your marketing budget and figure out what has been working for you and what hasn’t. Get new marketing data from Creditsafe specifically designed for your business. Choose from over 22 different variables to customise your searches and get pre-screened prospects from our database to aid your marketing campaigns. Remember, marketing to the wrong people can be a waste of money, so really concentrate on narrowing down your target market.
Stay organised with accounts
2015 may have ended in a bit of a pickle if you’re not on top of your accounts. Start the year fresh with organisation and keep track of what stages your invoices are at all times. By being aware of what stages your customers are at, you are able to get paid quicker. If they have received your services/supplies, send out an invoice. The sooner your invoices are sent the sooner you will get paid, so always try to stay on top of things financially.
Don’t be afraid to change your current plan
If you were organised in 2015 and planned ahead well before the year end, you may want to revisit it. Look back on 2015 as a whole and really analyse what was successful and what wasn’t, and don’t be afraid to change your plan. Check your suppliers’ credit reports and make sure they are still doing well, if you feel their business is slipping and fear them becoming insolvent, change them. It’s better to get out when you spot the warning signs of a business than when it’s too late. Creditsafe’s Risk Tracker can monitor your customer base for you. If anything on their company credit report changes, you will be alerted by email. Monitoring your suppliers as well as your customers is also advised, as if one of your suppliers becomes insolvent, you could risk being without stock. Revisiting your budget is another thing to consider. Reflecting on the whole of last year can give you a more accurate forecast for 2016 than if you did it half way through the year, so double check your forecast is still valid for 2016.
Have a great year!