August 2007
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Day August 15, 2007

Grow your small business – success or failure will follow.

You will have to learn to let go and you will have to look at the cost-structure in your SOHO, SME or SMB business, before you make your next move.Is it something you can outsource to a virtual assistant maybe, something like bookkeeping, it-services, answering your telephone when you are away from your home-office or do you need help full-time with producing, suppling your products or services.... It will help your employee to understand your motivation and stop him from thinking you are picking on him or her.So you have the money to pay for the expansion of your small business and you are willing to let go, but supervise and stay involved in a managerial way, then your are one step closer to your small business success story.

Small Business Checklist: Business Costing

If you have then you must keep up-dating your costing every few month, as they will change as the business grow and changes. Here are a few things to look out for: Yearly costs - like insurance, spread them over 12 month and add them to your monthly cost estimate.Bank charges - easy to overlook, you may notice your banker never talks about these, check an compare them.Fixed costs - rent, rates, utilities bills, make sure you add these to your monthly out goings.Time - do you know where and on what all the time in your business is spent - you should - time is money.Bad debts - look at your past performance, come up with an average monthly figure and mark your products and services up accordingly.Buying - keep control of your spending, make one person sign off on all purchases, ideally that person should be you.Keep up to date - update your cost sheet on a regular basis.Mark-up - make sure you review your mark-up on a regular basis to protect your margins.Budget - create a budget and put it in your cash-flow.Cash-flow - compare your cash-flow fore-cast with the actual numbers on a regular basis and learn from it, it's not about being spot on, but about knowing what happened so you can control it.The more you know about where your money goes, the easier it is to figure out how to optimise your capital usage for maximum business benefit.Many small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer-, Professional-, Personal businesses, fold because they don't look after the money.For more of my checklists see the Small Business Checklists category and as always please add to my list with your comments, tell us what works for you.

Small Business Checklist: Getting Payed

As I mentioned before cash-flow is everything for small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer-, Professional-, Personal businesses, getting payed on time is one of the ways to keep your cash-flow up: Ask for your money - many people don't do that because they are embarrassed to do so, in my opinion some one who is chasing payment is looking after his/her businesses and makes you look more professionel.Sent statements early - some businesses or clients only pay after they had a statement, make it easy for them, sent an email statement with payment (online) option.Make it personal - know who makes the payments, get to know them and take a interest in their lives, ask to be on the next payment run.Go and collect - if calls don't help pay a visit and ask for your money in person.Call at home - find out where the responsible person lives (Companies House), that will get results, short of court action.Lawyers - many firms of solicitors offer credit control services, only use it if you done all of the above.Factoring - is a service where you get a percentage of your invoice days after raising it and the factoring firm chases for payment, but is costs.... Write it off, move on. If the "customer" comes back - sometimes they do - double the price and make them pay up front.There is no excuse for not chasing your money, if you don't want to do it yourself, get someone to do it for you, like a virtual assistant Remember whoever screams the loudest will get payed first.For more of my checklists see the Small Business Checklists category.

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