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Business advice for SMEs: Six tips for running a better business

Starting a business can be an exciting, yet sometimes daunting, process. To help you with your new enterprise, Tax Agility’s team of accountants for small businesses and startups are here to work with you to get your business trading as soon as possible.

Once you’re up and running, there are steps you can take to ensure that your new venture has the best possible start in the current economic climate.

Here are six things you can do to run a better business:

1. Make a plan and stick with it

When you first started your business, you formulated an initial business plan that covered every aspect of the development of your new company, from acquiring funding to defining your marketing strategies. Your plan has gotten you this far so don’t disregard it now. Instead, review it regularly and adjust it to accommodate changes and challenges within your operations and the economy. Studies show planning and goal-setting give new business owners a greater chance of long-term success. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

2. Build an online presence

Potential clients no longer skim the yellow pages or trek to the local library for information on how to solve their problems. So how do people search for solutions today? They go online and find companies like yours that can help them out. If a new company doesn’t hold an online presence, it might as well not exist. Your business’s online profile doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but a basic website should provide users with contact details, an “about page,” and what you have to offer. This will generate more business and keep your operation competitive.
Don’t forget about social media either. Use it as a way to connect and engage with your customers. Loyal followers translate to a steadfast customer base, so focus on providing quality content.

Looking for more information on how to build an online presence? Check out our “Is a website still important and what about social media?” article.

3. Hire help

As your business grows, tasks and responsibilities will become more complex and you may not have the skill set to deal with them on your own. To allow your business to progress, you may need to make a few hires. You don’t have to worry about figuring out the best way to pay them and how many new hires you can afford as Tax Agility can help you with all your payroll needs. We have payroll services to help small businesses overcome this common hurdle.

4. Make your invoicing effective

Invoicing may seem like an obvious process, but it’s something many small businesses struggle with. Make sure your small business is invoicing correctly by creating documentation to outline payment terms describing how, when and where your customers need to pay you. Add it to your invoice template so it’s clear to your customers. Even better, use invoicing software to automate the process. Make sure all the invoices are digitally archived and filed for quick accessibility, should the tax authority come for an audit.

5. Take advantage of cloud-computing software

As your business grows, it demands more time from you and you naturally want to know where to focus your strengths. Is it sales and account management? Maybe marketing? Cloud-based accounting software provides ways to create snapshot reports so you no longer need to wade through Excel spreadsheets to come up with your conclusions. One of the most popular cloud-based solutions, Xero, is very intuitive and easy to learn. It has an interface that integrates your current bank accounts, credit card reports, receivables, payables, tax liabilities, VAT and more. Also, as many accounting firms, including us, can use Xero to prepare your year-end tax returns, it means a lower accounting cost for you.

6. Find the right accountant

You can’t do everything on your own and there’s no shame in asking for help every now and again. As a small business owner, there will be many things you will be responsible for, some more daunting than others. Our chartered accountants at Tax Agility can manage your accounts, books and other finances so you don’t have to. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to work on it too – cloud accounting software Xero allows more than one person to have access and to make changes to the information.

We have a philosophy at Tax Agility: you win, we win. Our expert accountants are dedicated to making your business a major success and so we will do everything we can to help you.

For more about building a better business, read our how to better your business page so you’re always on the road to success. You can also give us a call on 020 8108 0090 to discuss how we can help your small business grow.