Improve the profitability of your small business
Statistics show that around two-thirds of small businesses failed to make a profit last year or increase their profit at all. However, people do not realise how much a small change can impact a business. Making a series of small changes can increase profitability more than making one big change. Here are some suggestions you can take to increase your profit.
Revenue and Costs – The Direct and Indirect
In basic terms, revenue minus costs equates to profit. So to increase your profit you can either increase your sales or reduce your costs. Many businesses may have little control over the amount of sales they do but all businesses should have control over their costs.
Negotiating prices with suppliers can be a key factor to reducing your direct costs. Many businesses tend to stick with one supplier and not negotiate prices but being aware of market prices can increase your bargaining power and potentially save you a lot of money. Costs that could be regularly reviewed in your business include insurance, utilities, mobile/telephone charges and Internet.
Ways to decrease your overheads and indirect costs are less obvious compared to direct costs. A good way to lower your indirect costs is to improve your systems. For example, switching from a paper based system to an electronic system to keep important records and manage documents can help reduce your administration costs and minimises the chances for errors. It may be good business practice to review your systems on an annual basis and to seek input from staff from future improvements.
Marketing and visibility
It can be a very difficult task for small businesses to get their name out and having a small marketing budget doesn’t help either. One thing to keep in mind is not the size of the budget but the effectiveness of your marketing. Understanding your target audience is vital to promoting the awareness of your business. For example, as a local fish and chips shop located near a high school, you can offer a meal deal for students. The sales promotion will help attract one of your key target audiences and possibly increase the reputation of your shop through word of mouth. Also, make sure your advertisements are tailored towards your target audience. Hearing back from 10% of 200 people is better than 1% out of 1000 people.
Certifications and accreditations can help put you ahead of your competitors. With the Internet being such a huge platform for communication, it is definitely to your advantage to go online. Try setting up a user friendly company website or use social media sites to increase the awareness of your business. It is a cheap and effective way of promoting your business to prospective customers.
Managing your Cash Flow
Interests on loans may seem insignificant at one point in time but it quickly accumulates to realisable figures that can put a dent on your profitability. Try keeping a reserve of cash that can be used to cover your current liabilities i.e. short-term loans and interests on long term loans. Having a healthy cash flow can reduce the problems you face if a short-term commitment arises.
Key Performance Indicators
Analysing key indicators can give light to areas of improvement for a business. Common indicators include actual sales figures against forecasts, costs against budgets, gross profit margin and staff costs. Get advice from your accountant to ensure you’re monitoring the right indicators for your business as staff tends to work towards them whether they are critical to the business or not.
The Real Gems of your business
In particular to small businesses, every staff member has the opportunity to spread your company’s message. Everyone needs to contribute: whether that is networking on the web, promoting sale offers or greeting customers with a smile, every small thing matters. Get them to be as motivated as you are by encouraging self-development. Reward employees who make an effort to represent the business in and out of work.
By Wilson Law at Tax Affinity.
Tax Affinity Accountants are considered in the market to be experts in Tax and Accountancy in the UK. Based in Kingston upon Thames they have clients right across the UK as well as Europe, Middle East and North America.
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