It’s nearly Christmas and as you make the mad rush for those last minute gifts, make sure you don’t overlook the main income source of your life if you own your own business, and that is your business. It too should get a gift this year, so here are my suggestions for a gift to give back to your business this year.
1. Get a Bookkeeper
If you don’t already have one, now is the time to consider getting yourself a bookkeeper. As with most aspects of your business, you do what you do well, so use other resources to complete the tasks that you don’t necessarily have the skills for. A bookkeeper is one of those skills that takes expertise and knowledge that we don’t all have. Too often I see businesses with several million dollars turnover running their books via Excel, which is not only more timely, but doesn’t allow the functionality of software packages.
In today’s environment, there are many great options which are cloud based that allow for you to access as well as your bookkeeper such as MYOB, Sassu, Xero, Quick Books etc depending on your needs and the preferred choice by your provider.
Outsourcing this aspect of your business will give you back the valuable time to work more productively on the areas you are great at.
2. Automate some processes
Instead of manually completing tasks such as billing, proposals, calendars etc consider exploring the options for automating some of these with the vast array of online packages available. There are countless out there, but some that I use which I can recommend include:
TimeTrade – for integrating calendars with a booking link so people can book appointments with you automatically and confirmation emails go direct to each party. Total cost is about $80 per annum.
QuoteRoller – allows you to build templates for proposals and they can then be customised for each client, as well as allowing you to access information on when opened, accepted or declined.
MailChimp– a mail management system to allow easy to design newsletters or mail outs to your list, and allows you to easily see who has opened, clicked on links or shared. Many other progams do this as well, but MailChimp starts with a free plan, then you can opt in monthly or buy credits for increased functionality.
Wufuu – is a form design template that can integrate with mail, accounting software and even PayPal to make sign up and payment forms easier to automate. Limited functionality starts for free, then monthly packages start from$14.95.
CRM– to fully mange all your contacts, databases, sales pipelines etc a CRM is a must. There are many out there and a simple Google search can access the vast array from free to paid. Infusion Soft allows many enhanced features, Sugar CRM, Sales-force etc are some of the more popular.
Google Drive– a free tool from the mighty beast that is Google provides online data storage for documents, document sharing and editing as well as many other features. As with all Google products once set up, this can integrate with mail, calendars, Google + etc and extra storage can be affordably bought.
Lead Pages– allows you to develop high converting landing pages for webinars, products, videos etc and integrate with your website, social media or online ads.
While this isn’t an extensive list ther are many tools now easily available to make the day to day running of your business easier. Once they are set up, many of these can be easily managed to again make your business more productive and more importantly save you time.
3. Spend time planning
This is the perfect time to review your business and set some process in place for it to deliver the goals you set for it. I recently posted 5 Tips for Your Business This Year which has some steps to do this.
4. Meet with your accountant
Your accountant is the backbone to your financial success. Every great business must have a great accountant, and not one who simply ‘does your taxes’. A great accountant provides proactive advice on how to spend, invest and set up your business in line with your personal financial goals, and can help keep your business on track. If your current accountant doesn’t do this, it may be time to shop around for one that does!
5. Invest in your own development
Your skills in your chosen field are your expertise, but as the customers needs and the world in which operate keeps changing, you should always stay ahead of the curve by investing in your own skills. This may include sales training, online skills, use of social media, communications, presentation, time planning, a direct skill or trade enhancement etc. This should be an investment in you and your team and not be seen as an expense.
There should always be a Xmas bonus, so this year if you wish to get a head start on your planning, why not consider a 1 hour online planning session for your business. This is a holiday season only offer for $299 which includes a 1 hour Skype strategy session, 30 days access to me for any questions or follow up, access to a private Facebook group and a free copy of my book Business Tips From a Business Coach. To find out more click here.
Whatever your business, this year take the time to review and set some actions in place to improve your business and the potential results it can achieve.
Have a great year ahead.
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