‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 46

Chapter 3 – Control Your Time – Use your time wisely

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 46 – I have a list of my top 10 – time consuming tasks

It’s often when we feel that we are at our busiest that we think we haven’t got enough time to do the important things in our business. There often seems to be so many tasks and people competing for our attention.

The best way to take back control of our time is to define what tasks are using up most of our day.  Better to understand what is receiving most attention.

Just start by making a list.  Sounds simple enough.

The HowTo Bit:

To make the list of your top 10 time consuming tasks, you first need to understand what tasks you carry out during your day/week/month.

Make a list of all the tasks you undertake, and how long you are working on them.  Do this for each day, for a whole month.

This way, you will be able to understand how much time you have worked at each task.

I use a simple spreadsheet to record all the tasks.  This allows for a data sort using ‘time’ as the key.  This will give you a list of your top 10 tasks by time.  For the daily recording, the template I can share has areas to capture further information that will be useful for a more detailed analysis of your time data.

If you would like a copy of the template to record your time for daily tasks, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 45

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 45 – My quarterly and annual filings are on time each quarter

Do you run an organised business and get your filings done on time?  Why would it matter if you were late?

For a start, it may well cost you quite a bit in fines from HMRC.

The more important thing is that it would indicate to me, or anyone else looking, that you are not in charge, or on top of, running your business.

When you have a well organised business, you and your team can concentrate on the income generating tasks.

The HowTo bit:

It may seem ridiculously simplistic to say, schedule the actions to get your returns back on time, in your diary.  But in reality, that should be all it takes.

I put trigger dates in my diary for all my bookkeeping and accountant related tasks.  I make sure that my accountant has all my financials in plenty of time for them to get the filing done.

Make sure your accountant has arranged, and carried out, the filings.  That way you won’t get caught out.  Even though you have an accountant, in the eyes of HMRC, it is the business owner who is responsible for making the filings on time.

If you would like to find out about getting your business organised, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 44

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 44 – I use my financial reports so I can make decisions on the future of my business

So you’ve collected all the financial figures of your business, by following the previous ‘chapter 2’ st of blogs, what you do next will make collecting them worthwhile.

When you know what to expect, you can make changes to how you are running your business and see the results. You can see how well that bit of marketing paid off. You can understand whether your cash is flowing efficiently and that you are managing it well. Plus all the numbers that drive your business choices.

The HowTo bit:

The key is to be consistent with producing and using the reports. With the build up of your numbers, you are able to check like for like over time.

Define your map of numbers and create a dashboard. This can be on a spreadsheet or a more comprehensive tool.

It is best to automate the report creation process; if not, then make sure you stick your pre-determined schedule and report model and load the numbers manually.

Have a plan of what you will do with the information you get. No point having numbers and not making use of them.

If you would like assistance in setting up your reporting process, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 43

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 43 – I can predict my future profits

Before they become clients, and see how to can be done, many people say to me… ‘how can you predict profits Alex?’

I’m tempted to say that I have a crystal ball and can see the future. The boring bit is that it’s not actually difficult to get a good handle on what’s coming down the line.

It all depends on how well you understand the effectiveness of your marketing and sales process; and the effort you are expanding to deliver to a set of known statists relating to your business.

The HowTo bit:

Pull together the following from your company records

Your last years trading income and costs – by week/month depending on the granularity that suits your business best. Create a line graph showing income by week/month. This will show the trends over the year; if your business is seasonal, this is an important trend to understand.

Create a graph of marketing effort verses results of sales for that marketing; again by week/month. This shows you when your efforts resulted in sales.

When you know you stats from the previous year, you will be able to build a prediction model. This can be on a spreadsheet or a financial planning tool.

so, if you want more sales/income, then you will need to increase the front end marketing and sales effort.

It sounds simple, and in some ways it is. Actually getting to the point where you have the model takes a bit of effort.  Imagine how useful it would be if you knew what your business would look like in the future? Imagine knowing how many team members you’d need and how much income you could expect.

If you would like help in setting up your prediction model, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 42

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 42 – I regularly review my P&L position … daily weekly monthly

So you know your Profit and Loss (P&L) situation from the accounts your accountant gave you for your last trading year. Now you know how well you did?!?

Well, know how well you did for a specific point last year. What about how well you’re doing against your targets this year?

I find many Small (and some not so small) companies that do not know what’s going on this year, let alone this month, week or day.

If you want to be in charge of your financials rather than try to operate on last year’s figures, you need to have a regular review process in place.

It’s not difficult, it just needs discipline to keep doing it.

The reason why it’s helpful to know your P&L position is that you can use the data in a timely manner to decide if you are on track or need to make changes to how your business is operating.

The HowTo bit:

First thing is to work out a schedule for reviewing your P&L. This depends on the size and speed of your business. For most companies, a monthly detailed review should work well; and not be too burdensome. A daily or weekly review of the high level numbers, especially when making a good number of transactions a day, will keep you aware of what is happening and highlight where changes/corrections/amendments are required.

If you have the tools, set up an automatic reporting system, showing detailed sales, detailed cost of goods sold, gross profit, detailed operating costs and net profit… before interest and tax. This can be done manually, just takes a bit more effort.

The key is to run the process at the same points in the monthly business cycle to see what is happening with your business. This will then be used to drive change or continuation of your current business processes.

If you would like further information on how to set up your P&L review process, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 41

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 41 – I can predict my future cash flows

Where’s your crystal ball, that you can predict income, I’ve heard it said.

Well I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have statistics, records and my trading history available on which to base my predictions.

At a very basic level, most business owners will know if there are pending transactions and upcoming sales meetings on the table.

If we expand on that, we can come up with a system that that will provide you with a pretty accurate view of future flows of the cash in your company.

The main thing is to record all the in/out transactions over time, conversion rates from prospecting to the sale, and planned marketing activity.

This will form the basis of your prediction process.

The HowTo Bit

Understand your outgoings by date over a given duration. This will help you predict the future outgoings.

List all the known and anticipated outgoings on a plan.  My plan is for the year ahead; I use a spreadsheet broken down into weeks.  This shows your outgoings by week.

Record all your expected and planned income onto the plan.

You now have a date for when you will run out of cash.

Include your credit line (overdraft & capital you would choose to invest into the business).

You now have a view of when your cash goes out/in and when you will run out of funds.

To predict the future cash flow, add a line of expected future income based on your company’s historical sales data, linked to the quantity of marketing that you are doing verses your conversion rates.

If you would like further information on how to set up your prediction tools, Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 40

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model, set on a solid foundation.

Activity 40 – I regularly review my Cash flow position……monthly

The flow of cash through your business is it’s lifeblood.  Without cash, you don’t have a business.

So, if cash is so important, why do so few businesses run a regular monitoring and reporting system?

Some business owners are in denial (also the title of a book – Denial, not a river in Egypt).  It is easier to ‘hope’ things are ok.

You can make a loss in business many times, but you can run out of cash only once before it’s all over.

When you know what cash is due in/out and by when, you can make intelligent decisions for the success of your business.  You then know when you will be able to pay bills and make investments.  You will also see when you can pay yourself and still have money available to run your company.

The HowTo bit:

If you are using something like Xero, you can get a cashflow report.  You could then use a 3rd party app such as Float.

Personally, I use a spreadsheet that I load with known, expected and planned income/costs for the year ahead to give a forecast of how the cash is flowing in and out.  I update it weekly/monthly and roll it forward by one month at the start of the new month.

The key is to make the review process a habit – create a regular time in your diary.

If you would like a copy of my spreadsheet and/or to find out more about setting up your own cashflow review process, Contact Us

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