Do you run your own business?
If so, what one word permeates through your mind more than any other?
We’re guessing that word is ‘money.’
After all, if you don’t have enough money in your cash reserves, you are going to struggle to grow your business. You won’t have enough money to pay your bills either, and you might struggle to pay yourself and your staff a regular wage.
They say money doesn’t buy you happiness, and while this might be true in one sense, when you’re running your own business, it can certainly lead you away from any unhappy thoughts caused by a lack of finances.
So, assuming that money is your focus within your business, you will be keen to make as much of it as you can. However, you do need to be wise in your decision making. If any of the following are true to you, it might be time to think again, as your choices could be responsible for costing your business money.
#1: Relying on loans and credit cards for your business needs
Taking out another loan won’t hurt, will it? Applying for another credit card shouldn’t cause you too many problems, right? Well…we think you know the answer. You see, while there will be times when your business hits a dry patch, and while there will be times that your business needs a quick cash injection, taking out a loan of any kind isn’t always the best answer. You know the reason why, of course – interest rates! When you take out a loan, you invariably end up paying back more money than you took out. You might also place your business in financial jeopardy if you fail to make your loan repayments on time.
So, before deciding to take out a business loan, ask yourself these important questions first. If taking out a loan seems like a bad idea, why not consider other options if you need the money, such as selling items your business no longer needs or finding ways to cut the costs of your regular business expenses. You might want to start putting money into an emergency fund too. This way, should your business ever need a financial boost, you might have the money needed stored away already.
#2: Taking on too many responsibilities
As a business owner, your to-do list will often be as long as your arm, figuratively speaking. (If it’s literally the same size as your arm, you really do need to pay attention to this point). Some of the tasks you have to take on will be within your remit, so you will have no choice but to get on with them. However, there will be those tasks that, while necessary, can eat away at your time if you’re not careful. If you regularly burden yourself with them, your attention will be diverted from those other tasks that are designed to profit your business. Consequently, you will have less money coming in because you have been too busy concentrating on other things.
So, here’s the thing. Try to find ways to shorten your to-do list, or look for ways to streamline those time-intensive tasks.
If you have employees working for you, it might be that you delegate some of your responsibilities to them. So long as they have the time and the ability to take them on, this could be a good idea. You might want to outsource some of the tasks on your to-do list as well, perhaps offloading your accounting to an accountancy firm, and your website blog to a freelancer.
To streamline those tasks that take up far too much of your time, you might want to download an app or software program to make light work of them. As examples, you might consider QuickBooks for your accountancy needs, and these work schedule apps to manage staff rotas. Think about the tasks that take up a lot of your time, and then research the tools that could benefit you. You will then have more time to concentrate on those profit-making activities.
#3: Forgoing personal break and vacation times
As a consequence of the many tasks that face you each day, you might decide to forego your break times in a bid to get everything done. However, you are making life harder for yourself, as the more time you spend working, the more tired you will start to feel. As a consequence of this, your productivity will suffer, as you might be prone to mistakes and both physical and mental slowdown. So, rather than doing more, will actually start doing less. This has consequences for your finances in two ways. Firstly, you will earn less if your productivity takes a hit, and secondly, if you do make mistakes, you might lose customers and clients if your errors directly affect them!
Think about your vacation times too. When did you last take time away from your business? If you can’t remember a time, then it’s probably because of that blasted to-do list that keeps you rooted to your workstation. But as with a lack of break times, if you don’t take time off, your business might suffer because of your tiredness. You might even start to suffer from burnout, and then you really will need to take time off because of your ailing health. In this eventuality, your finances will take a hit, partly because of the medical bills you will need to pay for, and also because of the extended time you will be taking away from your business.
So, be mindful then. Remember that you’re only human, and take the time off that you need. On a daily level, those break times will refresh your mind and body, and will consequently boost your productivity when you return to your desk. And on an annual level, take a vacation or two, even if it’s just a staycation, as you will then return to work in a refreshed and invigorated state. In the meantime, delegate or outsource your responsibilities, so your business continues to prosper.
Extra tip: Remember that your employees are only human too! If you are reliant on them for generating income to your business, be sure to give them the breaks they need too. You will only be faced with low productivity, sickness days, and consequently a financial loss if you don’t!
#4: Sticking to tried and tested methods
Being a busy business owner, you might be inclined to stick with what you know. So, you might market your business using the methods you are used to. You might use the technologies that you are already familiar with. And you might stick to your usual way of working within the various aspects of your business. Now, if you are still making money, then there might be little wrong with this. However, if you have noticed a drop-off in customers, and if you’re not reaching your financial goals, it might be that you need to shake things up a bit.
So, you might want to consider those out-of-the-box marketing ideas that could bring in more customers. You might want to invest in new technologies for your business, both to streamline your operations and to fall in with consumer trends. And you might want to look at every aspect of your business, and ask yourself the question: Is there a better way to work?
Your productivity might increase if you change your way of working. You might win over new customers if you market your business differently, and if you alter parts of your business to fall in line with consumer trends. And the quantity and quality of your work might be positively affected if you researched new ways of working.
By moving out of your comfort zone in the ways that we have suggested, your business might profit as a result.
Are you making the right decisions in your role as a business owner? Congratulations if you are, but if you have related to anything within this article, now might be the time to change your mindset. You might cost your business money if you don’t!