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How to keep your business in tip-top financial health

Many businesses have excellent products and services with growing numbers of satisfied customers, yet they end up as casualties of business failure because they have not controlled their finances. 

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If you are struggling to manage the finances of a new or growing business, here are 10 tips that will help put you on the road to success.

Keep on top of your bookkeeping right from the beginning. Don't be tempted to put off your paperwork, otherwise you risk forgetting crucial costs or even worse failing to invoice a customer.

Track your VAT and make accurate returns. This need not be a daunting task. Seek help and advice if you need it, just don't get behind in doing your returns. Do your banking online, it saves time and money.

Make sure you check all your bank statements and don't go below your authorised bank balance limits.

Take control of your margins and sales revenue with documented quotes, orders and invoices. Doing the work or supplying the products is a waste of time if you are not making a decent margin or getting paid correctly.

Ensure your financial documents reflect your company branding. Create your own distinctive forms, adding colour, images and logos. Use every opportunity you have to put over your company branding and selling points.

Cash is king when you start a business, so plan ahead. Anticipate key costs and save time by scheduling recurring invoices and purchases. This will help you to plan your cash flow and keep good relationships with your key suppliers.

Control stock tightly. Keep track of your stock items and movements. Set limits for stock holding and find ways to improve your stock turns.

Make sure you pay yourself and your staff on time and keep accurate records. Cut down on hassle and worry by keeping up to date with tax and national insurance payments.

Complete P14 and P60 end of year summaries for submission to HM Revenue and Customs. Get them submitted on time and take advice from an accountant when you need it.

Support your business growth with international trade. Make sure you can record transactions in multiple currencies and keep track of foreign currency exchange rate gains and losses. Check that your margins hold up for foreign sales as currency fluctuations can eat into your profit.

More information

Managing your business accounts is quick and easy with the right software. Find out how The Forum can help you choose the right software provider and save money, call us on 01565 626 001.

For tips on alternative finance for small businesses, click here.

Last updated 8th June 2016

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