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Small changes, big improvements: year-long business ideas that can improve your cash flow

At the end of the year, we total up the proceeds from our Dukes ‘dress down days’ and allocate them to our chosen charities. It always reminds me how a simple, regular event can make a big difference. Thinking about this, I realised that there are plenty more business policies that could make 2018 easier too, so I thought it was time to share them.

 

Share a payment policy

Too many organisations are frightened of publishing a payment policy. It seems to me that this stems from an exaggerated fear of ‘scaring clients off’. It doesn’t. Because a good payment policy is about more than laying out your demands – it’s about developing a clear understanding of how you’re going to do business.

You can find the essential information on what to include on gov.uk, and I find the resources provided by public health body INVOLVE and Invest Northern Ireland useful too – but there are lots more examples. Once you’ve nailed down the details, share it with customers and clients. If you’re concerned about anything, you can always ask trusted partners for feedback before you roll it out. Once it’s in place, you’ll face fewer uncomfortable misunderstandings and late payments for the rest of the year.

 

Create a newsletter  

Whether you’re planning changes, looking to reconnect with former clients or keen to start conversations, a regular newsletter will help you stay in stakeholders’ thoughts. Sites like MailChimp offer free templates to get you started.

If you’re using it as a launch point to promote your web or social media presence, you might want to lay down a communications policy too. I’ve found it helpful to create basic outlines for what we want to achieve on each platform, including how we want to sound and how we want those audiences to connect and engage with us. These ideas help us represent ourselves properly and can be updated to reflect any changes or feedback.

 

Automate invoicing processes  

With your policies laid out and the lines of communication open, it’s much easier to automate processes. Automated invoicing is surprisingly easy to set up and will ensure you request (and chase) payments in a timely, polite and consistent manner.

As well as the big players in project management like Zoho and Concur, there are lots of simple, small solutions like Invoicely and Wave that are either free or have a free trial. When you’re setting up the process, just remember to put in all the relevant clauses allowing interest charges and debt collection, as well as scheduling reminders for unpaid bills. It’s not just about saving time; it’s about saving money too.

 

Many thanks for viewing my post; I hope you found it useful. 

If you have any private questions on this topic, you can connect with me on LinkedIn and send me a message, or else you'll find my contact details on my LinkedIn profile.

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