10 Internal Tasks to Growing Your Business
It used to be that growing a business simply meant increasing profits and acquiring more assets. However, profits are significant only if they contribute to a business organization’s liquidity and stability; while asset ownership will only make sense if it can be used for sustaining the business operations. In effect, therefore, business growth denotes earning profits and owning assets that will bring an entity to a state of liquidity, stability and sustainability, in ways that enables it to thrive and survive in any given economic condition.
Since growing one’s business is inherently embedded in every business goal, there are ten (10) internal tasks that an organization should consistently carry out when running a business operation.
Keep and maintain accurate financial records
Maintaining the traditional book of accounts had been an overlooked business aspect in the past. Today, almost every institution requires the submission of financial statements. The purpose of which, is to thoroughly scrutinize and validate a business entity’s claim to business growth.
Reliable and accurate financial data have become standard requirements of the stockholders, government regulators, suppliers, creditors, customers, investors and all other stakeholders, before entering into a business deal with an organization. Besides, business owners should be the first ones to appreciate the significance of well-maintained financial records. Without these, they have no solid basis for determining how the business made progress since its initial inception as a going concern.
Set up Security Measures to Safeguard the Business Assets
Internal controls are the automatic check and balance features of every operating procedure being performed in a business organization. Maintaining a petty cash fund is one good example, because this will be the only fund used for defraying minor cash expenses. Daily cash generated from sales are to be deposited in the company’s bank account; while all major expenses will be paid by way of business checks drawn against the deposit account. Hence, there’s a clear audit trail of where all business funds come and go during the daily operations.
Equip your establishment with security devices such as CCTV cameras and anti-shoplifting devices, to serve as deterrents against losses from pilferage that may be committed by customers and/or employees. Security alarms and cash safes may not be surefire guarantees against theft and burglary; but these can make your business a less likely target of criminal elements.
Constantly Review Your Credit Policies and Receivables
Do you allow credit purchases for your customers? If so, how long does it take before you can realize the actual cash generated by your credit sales transactions? Does your customer pay on time, and makes another credit purchase on the same day when the payment was made?
Regardless of the sales figures reflected in your financial reports, actual cash still matters because you need this to pay for real-time operating expenses. Ideally, payments should be derived from the funds accumulated from your sales; otherwise, it is only indicative of your business’ inability to generate enough money, even for purposes of sustaining your business.
Optimize Your Trade Credit Facilities
If your financial resources and your credit standing are in order, chances are, your supplier allows you to purchase your merchandise or raw material supplies on credit. Take note of the early-payment discounts, usually stated as 2/10/30, to which the number two stands for a 2 percent (%) discount. This represents your rebate if you will pay your trade liability within 10 days, instead of the original 30-day term.
One way to optimize the 2% discount is by slashing off selling prices by at least 1%, for the products you procured by way of credit. Technically, you still have a 1 percent cost savings. This may not be much, but the technique can be a good marketing strategy because you’ll be selling at a more competitive price. If you’ll be able to entice buyers and sell most of those products in cash within a span of 10 days, all you need to do is to re-purchase after paying the trade liability. Hence, the higher the volume of cash sales you make, the larger the dollar equivalent of your 1 percent cost savings.
Periodically Probe into Your Merchandise Inventory
Constantly check the composition of your inventory to ascertain which of those are converted into cash at a faster rate. Rid your stockroom or warehouse of all non-moving merchandise by holding a “sale event” in which you will sell these products even at purchase cost. Your objective here is to recover the money spent on slow-selling and non-moving merchandise, so you can use the funds for procuring fast-selling items. As much as possible, make it a point to stock-up on inventory based on the average demand, except in peak seasons when the demand is higher.
Always Make Your Products and Your Outlet Interesting
Make sure you always have something new and innovative to offer, as a way to stimulate your customers’ interest in going back to your store. Put yourself in your customer’s place and then think of your own reactions when all you can find in the store are the staples and the usual finds. Do some research, and get to know the current trends, the latest innovations and breakthrough discoveries.
Maintain Your Visibility in the Community
Let the community be aware that your business exists in their midst. Join community events and fairs or be a donor, a sponsor or offer volunteer work. Collaborate with schools by giving part-time jobs to students with financial needs, or help non-profit organizations raise funds by supporting their cause. Let the customers know of your significance as a community asset, instead of being regarded as a mere profit-making unit in their locale.
Encourage Your Employees to Be Productive and Efficient
Acknowledge your employees’ efforts by awarding monthly and annual recognition to the top performers; but be sure to periodically evaluate them for their overall performance to ensure fairness. Track their time using ProTasker and reward them for achieving goals quickly. To make certain that you’ll get the right support; hire applicants whose qualifications and interests are aligned with the company’s line of products or services. As employees, they will feel at home being in their elements; and will likely find contentment in a workplace where they will be fairly remunerated for doing something that they truly enjoy.
Groom and Train Employees for Greater Responsibilities
Hire trainers to enhance the skills of your key employees, and encourage the latter to pass on their newfound skills to their junior counterparts. Always be on the lookout for employees who show promise of becoming good leaders, so you can unload some of your administrative work. Use your free time to seek for more business connections, new technological developments and possible alliances that can help your business expand.
Know Your Competitors and Create Strategies
Competitors are actually your peers, because you basically have the same interests and knowledge, and are affiliated with the same associations. As you interact with them during gatherings and meetings, study their business strategies and how these create advantages over your company. Compare your own strategies and how these can impact their businesses. Consider adopting their strategies and configure them with your own techniques in order to be equally, if not more, competitive in running your company.
Modernize by Using Computer Technology
Today’s business environment mainly makes use of computer technology not only as a way to gain edge over competitors, but also as a way to streamline your business operations. Actually, cost is no longer a hindrance, because software vendors are making them more affordable to small business owners. Different tools that you can use for automating and implementing the aforementioned internal tasks, can now be harnessed via web applications; hence, growing your business can be easier and might even be faster to achieve.