Know your numbers. Your business relies on it
Just starting out in the business world? Too many organisations assume a great deal of pre-existing knowledge. Let’s do away with bravado and start at the beginning with a comprehensive review of what you really need to know: your numbers.
Welcome to my world! A heady mix of cashflow, balance sheets, suppliers, pricing, budgets, accountants, cloud accounting, GST and those dreaded debits and credits.
It’s a complex and thorny world and that’s why I am here, to cut a clear path through the jungle for you to follow. First thing’s first, the key to knowing your business is to know your numbers. Let’s make this easy.
Firstly, as a small business owner, you need to come to terms with mysterious realm of accounting, a world which is forbidding and intimidating for those who’s skills lie elsewhere.
As the start of a series, we will be mapping this world in simple lay terms and walking you through topics that will replace your fear of accounting with the tools you need to ensure your confidence in the business world.
Master your numbers
Here are some tips on mastering your small business journey into numbers.
1) Align yourself with a qualified accountant / bookkeeper
- Do they specialise in small business?
- Interview them, ensure they have availability and are accessible, make sure you have a rapport and talk frequently.
- Communication is key. Don’t avoid them.
- Ensure the experience and qualifications of your chosen financial professional are also matched by their ability to deal with your software provider and chosen products.
- Reckon has an Accredited Partner Network of qualified experts that we recommend; look for one in your local region with Partner Search.
2) Live for a budget
- Visibility into your finances is core to the viability of your new business.
- Know where your dollars are going and when they are hitting the bank account.
- Reckon One supplies a fantastic Dashboard with drill down, real time business information for you and can be shared via the cloud to your trusted advisor, together with clear and easy budget and forecasting options.
3) Know your dates
- Ensure you are aware of ATO important dates; when is BAS and ITR due?
- Plan your cashflow for large expenditure.
- Tip: Most banks provide an offset account for GST; this will assist with the ebbs and flows of the GST arena.
4) Finance your expansion
- Banks are not the only providers of cash for growth.
- With the rise of Australia FinTech market look for smaller institutions that are familiar with the needs of the entrepreneur or start-up. This results in better rates, smaller and more readily accessible loans.
5) Life is learning
- It is of the utmost importance that you listen, read and educate yourself.
- Be informed about the current thinking around your industry and community. Resources are everywhere, take time to read them.
- Surround yourself with likeminded souls. My motto is to always listen and learn.
6) Negotiate with everyone
- Yes, everyone! Pick up the phone and ask, there’s nothing to lose.
- Discuss options – 12-month plans, buying in bulk with suppliers, changing terms of payment to extend your cashflow, free delivery, trade services for goods, Insurance by the month, use free skype calls for business, conduct meetings via web (zoom, GoToMeeting) to reduce travel costs.
7) Outsource where possible
- You are the expert in your product, outsource to local specialists for Technology, Human Resources, Marketing and Design Remember to negotiate.
8) Value your own time
- You are a valuable commodity that comes with a market rate.
- You are investing hours into your business, living and breathing your passion, you need to be compensated.
- Reward yourself – become an expense and pay yourself even as little as $50 a week or a small percentage of your monthly profits (not out of revenue).
My motto to being successful is to Say Yes & Listen. Yes to opportunities and Listen to experiences and learn from others.