Your problems solved

The problem solving workshop in Victor Harbor focused on three common problems. The following are the tips as written and provided by those who attended the dinner.

Time Management

  • Book specific appointments to undertake quotes.
  • Set reasonable time limits and expectations for how much can be done in a time period.
  • At the end of the day write down the jobs that need to be done the next day.
  • Allocate a couple of hours when you’re “not available” to anyone so you can deal with the important tasks that need to be done without interruption.
  • Do the hardest or most hated jobs first to avoid procrastination time wasting.
  • Write a list of jobs that need to be done.
  • Allocate time in the morning and at the end of the day to deal with emails; and avoid the distraction of email throughout the day.
  • Set a goal and break it down into achievable bites of time.
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve and look after yourself.
  • Delegate or outsource where possible.
  • Schedule days to do the office tasks that get put off.
  • Schedule days off so you can recharge and refocus, being more productive.
  • Avoid the distraction of social media – turn off notifications unless the media is actually open.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Cash flow management tips

  • Try to have a stable client base made up of clients providing regular work and therefore regular income.
  • Don’t overcommit on your finances.
  • Pay annual bills off monthly to help spread the load and avoid payment spikes.
  • Save the profits of the good months so they can be used to help get you through on traditional lean months.
  • Prepare a realistic budget and monitor it regularly.
  • Have the courage to build on and diversify in your business without compromising your integrity.
  • Have a good relationship with your bank management so you can liaise with them about your cash flow situation.
  • Have set payment days each month.
  • Consider bringing forward your payment terms eg from 14 days to 7 days.
  • Have a second bank account to transfer the GST collected into so you always know the tax is there for the end of the quarter.
  • Don’t let your debtors get out of hand.  Chase as soon as they’re overdue and setup auto reminders in your accounting system if available.
  • Seek the professional help of an accountant or bookkeeper.
  • Ensure you continue to monitor your financial situation even if you have someone else doing your bookkeeping.
  • If using a computer program such as Xero or MYOB ensure you constantly add your bills to be paid into it so you can easily see exactly where you’re at financially.
  • Know your traditional cash flow peaks and troughs and plan around them.

Getting away from a personal brand

The following are some of the tips for those who have a personalised brand but would like to look at selling their business in the future, are concerned if something happens to them or would look at stepping away from it:

  • Change the name of the business if it’s a personalised brand eg CJ’s Business Solutions.
  • Buddy up with someone you trust to maintain your standards so that if something happens you have someone to care for your business.
  • Try to build up the business so you can employ people which will rely less on the individual.
  • Change marketing so that it’s more generic.
  • Build responsibility in other team members, if you have them, so that clients don’t expect to see only one person.
  • Even if you’re a one person operation ensure there are manuals in place, policy and procedures so that someone else could do the job.
  • Accept that someone else could run your business.