Your business is growing, and it’s nothing like when you first started it. With that in mind, there will be many challenges you’ll face in the next year. You must think about the long-term goals you’ll need to ensure preparation.
What are the questions you’ll be facing, and what moves should you make moving forward?
1. How Can I Maintain My Cash Flow Better?
One of the biggest questions entrepreneurs ask themselves is how they will manage their cash flow more efficiently. This is critical to small-business success. However, many owners struggle to pay for expenses while awaiting their payment.
One issue that stems from this problem is invoicing delays.
After getting the job done, you send the invoice and wait to get paid within a 30-day timeframe. During this period, you have to pay your team, contractors, mortgage and other monthly expenses. This can make things difficult. Plus, you fall at the risk of a customer not paying you at all, making it even harder to keep going.
Build a proper budget plan to maintain your cash flow. There are tons of free budgeting tools to help you manage your money better. Be sure to factor in your sales tax, too. Companies need to comply with the economic nexus standards, but these will vary by state.
Sometimes proper budgeting alone does not save you from the stresses of paying bills. One method for improving your cash flow is to require a down payment for your services. It should be enough to cover all expenses for the project and some profit for you. This payment becomes beneficial for you because there’s no stress in paying your team and yourself.
Another way you can improve your cash flow is by creating a faster invoice system. Instead of requiring up to 30 days for payment, decrease that number to 15. It’s your business, so you’re in control of when a client needs to pay you.
If a customer is late on making the payment, this gives you two more weeks to address the issue before next month’s bills are due. Also, you can tack on a late fee, but make sure you go over that with your client in the contract.
Rest assured, you’re not the only entrepreneur who is requiring payment upon completion. More companies are adapting to the digital age where clients can settle their accounts via mobile.
2. How Do I Implement a Faster Hiring Process?
The one thing entrepreneurs dread the most is interviews. The hiring process can take several days at a time. If your business is growing, delays are something you can’t afford. You could spend lots of time looking over resumes and sitting in on interviews, ending up with plenty of unqualified candidates.
The solution to creating a more efficient hiring process is being meticulous from the start. Plenty of job postings are far too vague. When you list a new position, be sure to mention details such as:
- What days and hours they will work
- Tasks that fall within the job description
- Wages and benefits
You can save more time on the task at hand by prescreening possible candidates before they even apply. Once you have several potentials, walk them through what it looks like in a typical workday. You can also ask questions relevant to their experience, dedication, long-term goals and expectations.
3. How Can I Manage My Time More Efficiently?
You might already be comfortable with handling your work so far. However, some entrepreneurs run into the challenge of getting tasks done on time and managing work overload. The best way of managing your time better for next year is to invest in it, just like budgeting your cash.
Unfortunately, no one has invented the time machine yet, so you’ll have to settle for this list of tips:
- Create a list of goals. Start with annual ones. Break them down into quarterly targets, and then to monthly, weekly and daily. Figuring out your tasks for a given day will help you stay on track.
- Eliminate anything that does not align with your goals.
- Delegate more tasks to your team.
- Be more aware of how you’re spending your time at the moment.
4. My Team Will Be Expanding Next Year. How Do I Delegate?
Trust may seem hard to come by these days. You have a list of tasks for your team to perform, but there are a few mistakes on the projects, so you end up fixing them yourself. In the end, you waste even more time.
The solution is to hire the best employees for the job. Once you’ve gone through the hiring process, be specific about the tasks you pass to your employees.
It can take a little time for your new team to get acclimated, and making assumptions is one thing you want to avoid when delegating. You need to create a detailed outline with directions.
Being particular might seem over the top, but it’s worth saving the extra time and costs in case of mistakes.
5. How Do I Reach More Capital?
You want to grow your business next year, but you have very little capital to help you expand. How can you earn more money? With funding, of course.
There are several ways to receive money. Some of those methods include Kickstarter campaigns, traditional bank loans or funding your business yourself so you can have complete control over it.
If you decide self-funding is the best option, start by focusing on your core customers. You can keep working on finding new ones, but you need to be consistent with your base. Serving them in the best way possible promotes word-of-mouth. Once the word spreads about your business, you won’t have to work harder to find new clients.
You should then create a streamlined process of business systems so you can delegate tasks. Your company will grow slow and steadily, but think about whether you can reach your capital goal without help. Will you be able to navigate a delay in your expansion?
If you think you’ll need funding, speak with an attorney to ensure you’re not putting too much at risk.
Building for the Future
There are many questions you may face in the future for your enterprise. With lots of perseverance, you can overcome anything. Use that to keep working toward your goals and building your business success.Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.