3 Tips for Small Business Process Improvement

Sometimes, as hard as you try you can’t get  improvements in the business to stick. Have you noticed that you try to bring in new changes or ways of working, but after a while, it all goes back to the way it was. Or maybe you have identified some process improvement areas, but no one […]

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Is Your Small Business Bookkeeping Taking More and More Time?

  The Small Business Bookkeeper is an important pivotal role. They will often be the only financial role in the business. As your business grows you may feel that it seems to take longer and longer to just produce the figures, let alone have a chance to analyse them. From working with many a small […]

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3 Ways to DOUBLE the Productivity of your Finance Staff.

  Improve Finance Productivity Improving the productivity of Finance staff is essential if you want to avoid them spending all their time processing the figures. This leaves little time for both analysis and most importantly for communicating back to the business. Here are the figures but ‘So What? Should you be worried? Are the figures […]

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Increase your Business Cash Flow by Fixing your Poor Financial Management

You can quickly increase your business cash flow by fixing or improving some of those basic financial management processes. Here are my top 10 areas which more commonly need fixing. Often these are not addressed or even considered because they can appear to be ‘just the paperwork’. However, the ramifications of not setting these up […]

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Is Poor Sales Reporting Impacting your Finances?

In this article I talk about the importance of using Control Totals and One Set of Data as 2 concepts  that make sure  you get your figures right. I use the case study based on Sales Reporting but ofcourse these concepts can be applied to help improve any reporting which involves mutiple sources of the […]

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How to use Invoice Discounting with Success.

With the rise in Invoice Discounting providers I wanted to point out the full implications around this offering. I work with small businesses and I have seen this work both very badly and very well. The key is to go into this facility very clear on what the expectations are from both sides. More and […]

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How to Calculate Your Break Even Point.

One of the most important figures all business owners should know, is their break even point. Once you know this figure, you can manually calculate whether or not your business has made a profit this month. This is especially useful if, you are not getting sight of your monthly financial figures.  A short term solution […]

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Stock Management to Increase Your Cash.

A recent conversation with a business owner of an Online Business, selling through Amazon, made me realise how confusing Stock, Cash and Profit can be. If you have an online business but have no idea  how to manage your inventory and how to calculate your profits, you could be heading for a cash flow meltdown! […]

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8 Simple Tips to Get the Most from your Financial Reporting.

So you have monthly management reports but now what do you do with them? Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of figures every time you get your financial reporting? Many businesses do produce monthly management reports, however their relevancy and fit for purpose is often questionable. I have seen many CEOs […]

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Are my Profits that Bad, or is it just Bad Bookkeeping?

When your business gets to a certain size you may decide to employ a Bookkeeper to input and process your financial numbers for you. This can be a great help especially if they are raising your invoices for you, dealing with all your paperwork and receipts and generally keeping your books up-to-date. The problem often […]

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Do Your Property Investment Figures Stack Up?

Working with business owners I am surprised at the number who have thought about or dabbled in property investment, with varying degrees of success. The common thread seems to be in the lack of pulling together the vital figures which will enable you to see if this great deal really is…a great deal! It’s actually […]

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A tale of hope for the Xmas break, for despondant business owners.

I recently met up with a despondent business owner. We shared a coffee and he told me how after showing his accounts to another Finance professional, he was met with the deep intake of breath normally associated with your local car mechanic, after lifting the bonnet of your car. He had actually sought some professional […]

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Get your “burning” finance question answered.

Every small business owner has a  “burning” finance related question. You may not be aware of it, but if you are trying to grow your business, not finding the answer could be holding you back. I asked this question recently to a local small business owner group and was supplied with: 1) What does someone […]

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Hayley Chiba: I am not just an accountant… I ‘m a human being!

The biggest compliment I was ever paid was to be told by someone 20 years ago, ‘You aren’t like a normal accountant’ I was delighted! Hopefully he didn’t mean, ’and that’s because you can’t count….’ I wanted to be recognised for how I spoke and saw things differently. In a way that resonates with the […]

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How to use Management Information to grow your small business.

A lot of small businesses run their businesses on ‘gut feel’.  That’s not a bad thing, when you are a very small business (less than £100K) but as your business grows it gets quite scary! Most business owners who manage their business in this way, use the bank account balance as their primary financial indicator […]

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3 things to consider before turning to invoice factoring for your SME.

Invoice factoring sounds like the perfect solution to a small business. Be careful though, my recent experience shows that, in some situations, this may actually be quite detrimental to the cash flow management of your business.    What is invoice factoring? Invoice factoring takes over all the tasks involved with the running and maintaining of […]

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3 Signs your bookkeeper is no longer enough

I often get told by business owners, “I don’t know what I don’t know” because they don’t really understand what they should be expecting or getting from their bookkeeper. It’s true, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a full detailed costs analysis, ad hoc information just when you need it and constant telephone […]

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SME improvement tip: Get your staff to improve themselves.

Many  small business owners who are not confident of their finance knowledge  will be afraid to tackle the finance  area  for process improvements  as they feel they do not fully understand what is required. Your resource base is probably one of the biggest costs in your business and any area that operates as a support […]

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3 ways to increase the Selling Price of your Business

If you have built your own business, selling your business is an exit strategy which can provide you with the lifestyle you want when you retire. However, what are the things you should be thinking about now, which will enhance the overall selling price when the time comes to sell. We all know that you […]

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Simple pricing spreadsheet for those in the creative industries.

If you are unsure if your pricing is making you profit and fully covering your costs, this simple pricing template may help you. I have specifically designed it for use in those businesses where labour is the main resource which drives the costs of the contract.This is prevalent in the creative industries where you would […]

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The secret of setting KPI’s that work

So you know you need to set KPIs but which ones and how to make these work? Many businesses start with the common KPIs which may be to ‘maintain profit margin at x %’ or to ‘achieve sales growth of x % per annum, but that’s not necessarily going to ensure you achieve them. Why? […]

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Sole Traders Simple Profit spreadsheet

If you are a Sole trader, keeping all your receipts in a shoe box under the bed is not going to help you in making the every day decisions you need to make. You of course probably know this, but what  is the alternative? The first step could be to try to organise this information […]

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Simple calculator for Property Investors- Do the figures stack up?

One of the main things you should be asking yourself when deciding to invest in a property for  rental income is ‘do the figures stack’? But what does ‘Do the figures stack‘ really mean? I use Return on Investment (ROI) as the key measure, afterall, this means what level of return do I get from […]

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3 Ways your Accounts can put a smile on your face.

If the word “Accountancy” conjures up images of a staid professional in a pin striped suit who brings you bad news and fills you with gloom, then I am so glad you have decided to read this article! Your accounts don’t always have to be just a source of numbers telling you how much tax […]

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3 Areas where small businesses can learn from the large Corporates

Although it is the financials which will tell you if you are achieving success in your business, the route to success is through understanding yourself and your people. The corporates have been around for longer and are further on in the journey so there is much which can be learned from them, especially if you […]

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5 Questions SME’s should be asking their Accountant

So its that time again and it’s time to speak to your accountant about the results for your business. This may often be a one way conversation where he tells you some key headlines and you nod and agree or maybe you come away feeling that you should have got more from the meeting. I have put together 5 questions which […]

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How to avoid increasing sales but lower profit margins

It was interesting today to read that Dominos Pizza are reporting an increase in sales but lower profits. This is a surprisingly common feature of companies who chase top line growth. What things then can you do to ensure that that Increased profits follow increased sales:   1: Forecast for all eventualities. Profit margins are often hit by […]

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6 ways to get more from your Finance Department

Are you getting what you need from your Finance department or are you making do? If you feel the information you are getting from your finance department is not helping you with the day to day running of your business try considering asking in a different way. The following ways will help you to ensure that you are […]

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Why SMEs need to understand the importance of Good Financial Management

Many businesses, especially start-ups shy away from the financials of their business. Accountants more and more are trying to encourage companies to take more interest in their financials as we know that the company who understands its financial numbers has a better chance of success than one who delegates or hides from the figures. As […]

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