5 Top Tips for a more efficient business in 2021
1. Send out your invoices on time – cashflow is king and most businesses fail because of this. If invoices are raised on the very day that the job is completed (while the client is still “over the moon” with your work) they are more likely to get paid than if they follow on one month later when the initial enthusiasm has worn off. If you claim expenses again make sure that you do this promptly and in accordance with your client’s protocols. Most software accountancy now allows you to photograph and scan receipts either to that system direct or to someone to process for you (or remind you to do so). Getting into the habit of doing this means that you are less likely to a) forgot to claim your expenses and b) lose the receipts before you get around to making a claim.
2. Refresh your marketing material – is it still up to date? Are your clients tired of getting a newsletter that sounds similar to the last one? Why not freshen up your communications for 2021 with a new set of articles, blogs or a new client guide? Video as a means of communicating and marketing is currently booming and yet surprisingly easy to do with a good phone, a tripod and some software.
3. Ask your clients what they thought of your work – do you get feedback from your clients on what they loved about you and your service and ask for suggestions for improvement? Your clients can be your greatest advocates. A simple (short) survey may produce illuminating results that will help improve your services. Alternatively, encourage them to post a review on sites such as your Google My Business page or Trustpilot to encourage others and then ask if you can add those reviews to your own website too.
4. Plan a drinks event to showcase your expertise – invite your clients and some prospects you would like to work with. Make it a celebration (5th anniversary) or perhaps a launch (new office, new service). The best people to endorse you to new prospects are the clients that are already using your services.
5. Chase up late payers – cashflow is king (as above(!)). The sooner a late invoice is chased the more likely it is to get paid. If you leave it 3 months before chasing a late payer you are less likely to get an immediate or positive result. It sends the message that the invoice is not that important to you. A polite but firm chaser as soon as the invoice is overdue is less likely to go ‘bad’.
6. BONUS TIP! Outsource the work that you don’t have time to do! OK, so you may have expected this one. But do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel, always running to keep up? If you don’t have time to do the suggestions above then outsource some or all of it to a virtual assistant to help make your business great in 2021!
If you are struggling to keep up with certain aspects of your business maybe you should think about outsourcing to have more time to focus upon your strengths and on increasing turnover? No-one is excellent at everything. You will be great at doing the work that you enjoy but we all have skills that we aren’t good at, or that we don’t necessarily have the time (or inclination) to invest in improving. In real life how many people have hours to spend learning how to use Excel (or want to!)?
I spent nearly 20 years working as a solicitor in London and 6 years as a virtual PA so I am used to providing a professional, organised and detail orientated level of services. In short you can focus on the big picture and stop sweating the small niggling details.