Owning and managing a business can be the highlight of your professional life. However, there are times where a combination of late creditor payments, increasing costs and sheer bad luck can make this highlight turn into a chore, or worse a drain. When you don’t enjoy what you do, bad habits can kick in.
The key to stabilising your business’ fortunes is simple:
Act proactively, rather than reactionary.
This does sound impossibly broad and vague, but once you work through the logic you will see the potential and the impact making necessary changes will add to your bottom line.
Here are 3 habits to break/adapt to increase the stability and growth of your business:
Make the Budget your friend.
When starting a new project, take the time to sit down and break down the necessary expenses and expected income. Determine if this project will help your bottom line at the start. Too many businesses skip making the budget in favour of solely believing in a vague expected outcome. Not anticipating a cash blowout can turn extremely costly in the long run.
Deadlines are non-negotiable.
Many business owners see “payment due by xx/xx/xx” and then add a couple of months onto this before making payment. This is counter-productive, and you need to break this habit. A deadline is more than a rough expectation. To have a healthy relationship with your suppliers, get into the habit of paying bills on time. Not only will these suppliers be more likely to engage with you in the future, but they may be more lenient in times where cash flow is tight and allow for more time.
Apply this concept to your projects also, recurring contracts are established through a demonstrated level of trust and respect. Completing a project on time goes a long way in establishing this trust.
Turn criticism into strengths.
No one likes to hear negative critique. But instead of being swallowed in self-pity or self-righteousness, take a minute to really understand where the criticism is coming from. Most people want each other to succeed and provide constructive feedback so your business can improve.
If a client tells you a staff member was rude to them, don’t blacklist them. Look into your internal culture and find ways to improve customer interactions. If a project was over-budget and over-time, look at ways to increase productivity and time management.
Like everyone, your business is a creature which thrives on adaptation and improvement. Finding ways to be proactive in this adaptation is the key to the survival of your business in the long run.
This information is not to be relied upon without speaking to your accountant, tax agent or financial adviser depending on the advice