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.
- 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.