Whether your business is a startup, just finding its feet or well established with a secure place in the market, measurement is key to ensuring its continuing health and success. This sounds obvious – without having a grasp of the numbers you can’t be running a tight ship. However, measurement is more than just knowing how much money is going out compared with how much is coming in. Successful business owners measure all important performance areas in their business and, crucially, use the data to project growth and see how they compare to competitors.
However, it’s not always easy to do this. Most business owners are very good at several things, but rarely do they have the skills in finance needed to properly tackle accounts. Small business owners and sole traders will be running a lot themselves and often dealing with customers is a priority over paperwork. Large business will have lots of data to handle but not necessarily a dedicated finance team to deal with it.
Luckily there are lots of ways to make life easier and your business stronger. From software to outsourced finances, here are the best tools for measuring the financial health of your business.
For startups, sole traders and small businesses
Startups, sole traders and small businesses won’t necessarily have the budget to pay for some of the more complex financial software – and at this stage, you won’t need it. However, properly digitising your accounts, if not done already, should be a priority. Consider a cloud-based accounting system such as Xero, the cost of which will be more than made up for by the time you’ll end up saving. Cloud-based accounting software will allow you to have your accounts information available at the touch of a button wherever you have internet connection, making life easier and the measurement of your business’ performance more efficient. Xero can also help you with invoicing, time tracking, expenses, reporting and payments.
As well as digital solutions, an expert’s eye and advice can be invaluable. Cost-effective and comprehensive help is out there and will allow you to focus on the areas of the business that you really know. At Butt Miller we’ll help you with the paperwork involved in financial management and advise you on making the best financial decisions, for the present and for the future. Have a look at our solutions for startups, sole traders and small businesses to see how we could help you today.
For more established businesses
The larger the business, the more factors there are to measure. However, having a larger business doesn’t always mean you have the corresponding man-power or financial expertise to achieve this effectively. As a business owner in charge of a well-established business you’ll have lots of balls in the air and sometimes proper measurement only really comes to the fore just before the monthly board meeting.
Using a One Page Plan, the business owner can focus on the activity that will bring about the improvements being sought. The Plan can be devised in such a way that the aims are expressed as percentages rather than hard cash figures so can be shared with those that you don’t want to see the financials.
Setting aside a budget for tools and consultancy like this will often lead to an excellent return on investment as constant and intelligent measurement strengthens the growth of your business.
As well as tools that can be used in-house by people without formal financial training, many companies choose to outsource part, or even all, of their finances to dedicated professionals. There’s a cost involved in this of course, but the great benefit of outsourced financial services is that you’ll be able to focus on the aspects of the business that align with your expertise, allowing you to make more money doing what you really enjoy. An outsourced finance department will combine industry-leading software and years of training and experience to record, measure and maintain the finances of your business and make decisions that result in growth, making it the best tool available for measuring the financial health of your business.
A Performance measurement system can help to record your business progress and keep you on track to meeting your business goals. Such a system will use a number of tools in combination to address the weaknesses in your business and turn them around. Systematising your business also improves its saleability.
While it’s mostly larger businesses that choose to fully outsource their finances, smaller businesses can too and many business owners enjoy the freedom that the service can bring. Butt Miller offer service bundles with varying amounts of influence on your business’ finances, from a helping hand to being effectively your financial directors. Have a look at our Close-up, Documentary, and Feature Film packages to see which one could help your business grow into the future.