The end of the financial year: Time to sharpen up, not slow down

With the end of the financial year approaching, it’s crunch time for many small business owners, and it’s easy to get lost in deadlines and paperwork while letting other priorities slide. It’s imperative however not to let go of attention to detail, which can ultimately jeopardise customer acquisition.

Focus on the processes you already have in place. Are they necessary? Are they as efficient as possible? Do they set you up for success in the future?

Below are a few key areas to keep in mind in the midst of EOFY madness, and some simple tips on how to ensure they’re benefitting your business and not impacting negatively on your clients.

Image is everything

 Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Would you hire you? Take a fresh look at your marketing and image. Before you even meet a potential client, their perception of you should be on-message with your business. Look for new ways to get it out there by engaging an array of social media channels to maximise your brand’s visibility.

With affordable tools like Hootsuite, you can automate social media marketing from a single dashboard and schedule effective content across all your social media channels. Having a consistent social presence is a great way to nurture relationships with customers and build your brand.

Get savvier with your admin

 Throw away your old documents, files, and faded to-do lists, and create a digital shoebox instead. Dropbox Business is an online, cloud-based file system that enables you to store, search for, and share documents from any device. It’s also a great backup system so you don’t have to jump through hoops to find files if your hard drive crashes.

When it comes to keeping receipts organised, opt for a cloud accounting system with an expenses feature on which allows you to take photos of your receipts on the spot and enter key details. It’s easier to keep track when it’s in a digital format, and you’ll thank yourself when it comes to tax time.

Finally, automate as many admin tasks as possible to free up your work time. Pay bills online through autopay or schedule electronic payments through your bank if online banking is available. Outsource other admin tasks such as website and email moderation by hiring an affordable virtual assistant through freelance sites such as UpWork or Fiverr.

Where is your next customer coming from?

No matter what’s on your plate, it’s important to always be focused on where you’ll find your future customers.

Take some time each week to analyse where your best leads are. This could mean using Google Analytics to better understand where your website traffic is coming from, or sending out a survey to your customers to ask how they found out about you. Even a simple shout out on social media can give you some clues. This can be time-consuming, but slacking on lead generation could really hurt you in a slow season.

Stop chasing payments

 Unpaid invoices can easily add up as customers toss them aside to “pay later.” Chasing these down is time-consuming and frustrating. Use mobile invoicing tools that allow you to send invoices immediately, collect payment online, and follow up with automatic payment reminders for those that still choose to take their time. Allowing your customers to pay you online (or in person with a mobile point of sale system) also helps you get paid faster, and take more control over your cash flow.

During this EOFY season, use some of these quick and easy methods to brush up your admin, find ways to work smarter, and keep business moving in the right direction.

 

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Chris Strode
Chris Strode is the founder of Invoice2go, the mobile platform that enables small businesses to easily manage their invoicing, expenses and operations. As a small business owner, Chris founded Invoice2go in 2002 out of frustration with the lack of simple invoicing options available.

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