Single pawn facing a full army on the other side of the chess board.

The 3 Problems Facing Small Business Today

1. Money

It won’t come as any surprise that cashflow is the main problem facing small to medium business right now.  Wasn’t it ever thus?  Yes, that’s true, cashflow has always been an issue.  But there has never been a better time for small businesses to take control of cashflow using the many apps and software packages now available.

Solution – Use cloud accounting like Xero to manage your budgets, generate invoices and give a real-time picture of your finances.  Receipt Bank will take the hassle (and mystery) out of cataloguing and recording receipts.  And Chaser will follow up with your clients on your unpaid invoices automatically, without you having to think about it. If you need extra funding, platforms such as Capitalise will filter the options, so you can focus on the best lenders for your situation. Better still ask your accountant if they can offer you Cashflow Managment coaching.

At Artisan Accounts, assessing (and reassessing) your digital needs are par for the course and these are just a few of the apps we use, but ask your accountant or advisor what is best for your business.

2. Time

Many small business owners attempt to do everything, either out of a need for control or because their business just isn’t viable otherwise.  And while this latter point might be true on occasions or in the nascent stages, in most cases, indulging your time in the minutiae of running your business is a false economy. 

While you’re distracted elsewhere your business might be spiralling out of control or meandering down one dead end after another.  Many changes don’t have to cost the earth, such as setting up systems and procedures that mean others can follow your guidelines and still do things the way you want.  Time saving software (see 1 above) also helps. 

Solution – As soon as it is financially viable, free some time up by delegating tasks to an assistant, even if they are just part-time (or virtual).  Wherever possible, hire professionals such as accountants, marketers or lawyers who can ease the burden.  Ask your accountant if they can help you identify and solve those issues of procedure and systemisation that suck up your time with burdensome tasks and add nothing to your USP.

At Artisan Accounts we offer Business Planning Services to help you focus on your needs. 

3. Mind

The first two issues we discussed are often coupled with a shackled mind.  Now we don’t mean that you can’t think for yourself, or that you’re narrow-minded.  What we mean is that when you are constantly worried if there is enough cash for payroll or exhausted from working every hour in the day to keep things on track, it’s just not possible to think creatively or to strategise for your business’s growth.  With the time and tools you need to create a cracking business plan, and the accountability you need to use it to reach your goals, the sky really can be the limit.

Solution – Take some advice.  Take our advice on points 1 and 2 to free up your time and cash and use your extra time wisely.  Ask your accountant how they can help hold you to account to stick to your Business Plan and work towards your goal. We use our Strategic Client Review and Management Accounts as some of the ways we can help you to keep on track.

Of course, any list you make could include several other headings; finding clients, retaining clients, improving customer service, striking the market lead, to name a few.  But if you are able to control your cashflow, free up your time and provide the clarity and determination you need to achieve your goals, you might just find that many of these issues are resolved as a consequence.

Related Reading from Artisan Accounts

Chaser – Automated Invoice Chasing

Your Expenses, Made Easy…with Receipt Bank

Management Accounts (and why you need them to grow your business)

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