Spring--long associated with renewal and rejuvenation--is a great time of year to take a look at your business with a fresh eye.
Hopefully, by this time, you have closed the books on 2014, the taxes are filed and you can now reassess how profitable your company was during the past year. It is an excellent opportunity to reevaluate how your business is doing, and pump some new life into it.
Just like in your home, find the cluttered spots in your company's closets and clean them out.
Accounts Payable--Cash flow issues can slow down a small company's ability to stay current with payables. Don't let old bills pile up. Clean up past due invoices before the collection notices come in. It's not worth the blemish on your credit report if you have fallen behind a few hundred dollars in payments to a disgruntled vendor. When the time comes that you want to expand and need credit to do so, these little strikes against you could make securing financing more difficult than it should be.
Accounts Receivable--Look at past due receivables to see who owes you money, then take action to collect it. It may be as simple as a phone call or it may take more aggressive action. Don't hesitate to ask for payment, especially on those accounts that are more than 90 days past due. Be persistent in collections or reconsider how you bill your clients.
Credit - It's the rare business that doesn't rely on credit to function properly, but getting it and keeping it can be a tricky proposition. Be sure credit card payments are on time. Set up an automatic monthly payment for your anticipated minimum. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of ever paying another late fee. If you are just starting out, build a credit history credit by opening a business credit card. Pay it in full and on time every month for six months to set a strong initial track record.
Processes - Make sure you're taking advantage of the many tools that are designed to increase efficiency. Improved security measures make online bill pay a safe and reliable option to speed a tedious task. Banking and bookkeeping can be linked through file exports to simplify daily and monthly reconciliations. If you need a loan, don't run from bank to bank. Companies such as Biz2Credit can help you find several funding options from just one application. Take a look at how your company uses technology and ask how it can use it better. If enterprise software is beyond your budget look at the many different out-of-the-box and cloud computing applications now available.
Expansion - Consider where you need to grow for improved performance. Maybe it's an inventory expansion so you can fill orders in a timely manner. Perhaps, it's additional staffing so you have more time to focus on what you do best. Or it may indeed be time for a larger warehouse or a bigger office lease. Fuel controlled expansion with a small business loan.
Spring cleaning your finances doesn't just happen. It takes a conscious effort and commitment. So put your phone on do not disturb, lock the office door, and think. Think--then act--to create a cleaner business environment. You'll breathe easier for the effort.