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Evaluating Your Company's Financial Health: Financial Management Tips Part 2

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, August 25, 2016

Last time, we provided you a checklist of things to have in place for healthy financial management. This week, we want to continue our discussion on financial health for your business.

 

Why is it important to know your company’s overall financial health and to do checkups regularly? A good financial process will assist you in making broader financial decisions as well as day-to-day decisions.

 

 



Consider the following items when evaluating your company’s financial health:


1) Review your Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports – Include any additional key players on your team in these reviews. Be sure they understand these reports so they can offer input.


2) Start all monthly/quarterly meetings with a financial update - This keeps key team members in the know and helps explain targeted goals. Have a consistent time and place as well as know who really needs to be in the room for each meeting.


3) Be aware of Sales Goals and Sales Pipelines - Have these in writing with clearly defined benchmarks. Comparing sales from last year to this year can also help you keep track of any increased revenue.


4) Know the costs for your business - Have an understanding of how your company spends money and where cutbacks may be needed. Refer to your yearly budget and consult experts. Sound financial information is beneficial when you are figuring prices and selecting what vendors you can afford.


5) Continue planning for the future - You want to constantly be innovating new ways to add value to your company and customers. Know your key services and products. Keep track of the ones that are most popular/profitable and analyze why they are successful. Your documented financial management processes can also help you grow your business when you are ready to try new ventures.


Financial Management Part One

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, August 09, 2016

 

Financial Management is an important Practical Process that should not be treated as an afterthought. You should never be haphazard in your planning and strategies because one major error in accounting or sales can deeply impact your company’s past, present or future.


Here are some important facts you should consider for keeping your company financial healthy.


1) Have a specific bank account for your business only
2) Have a one specific credit card for the business only
3) Have a designated software for financial record keeping, i.e., Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc.
4) Have a designated financial point person. If this is not your avenue of expertise, hire a reliable trustworthy person to assist in this arena.
5) Have a documented financial process in place
6) Have a system for filing financial paperwork
7) Have a budget – this is a crucial step in the planning

 



Look out for part two of this series later this month.

 

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Conquering Receipt Defeat in 2016

Leijun Campbell - Friday, July 29, 2016


 

 

If I had a dime for every time I heard, “I don’t have the receipt,” I think I would at least have a long vacation paid for at this point. Even with the advent of the digital age and we can have receipts sent straight to our inboxes after our purchase, we still struggle with properly documenting our expenses. Here are a few quick tips in conquering what I call “receipt defeat.”

 

1) Get some help, but don’t forget the expense organization is ultimately up to you - As a small business owner, you probably have an in-house or outsourced accountant who helps you handle the books on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Though the temptation to trust this person or team completely is there, make sure you stayed involved with the process in some capacity. Ask for their help in establishing a quality organization routine for all of your financial matters.

 

2) File folders are still relevant - Even if we don’t like to admit it sometimes, digital receipts have not completely overtaken paper receipts. You probably have a stack lying around your home or company office. You can invest in a variety of filing systems like we discussed last week here.

 

3) Don’t ignore them until tax season - The receipt indicates the end of the transaction at the store, but it hasn’t quite completed its purpose for your business. Set calendar reminders in your inbox for you or your finance team to occasionally revisit your purchase history for the year. You don’t want any surprises when tax season starts.


Where Did I Put That File: Getting Organized

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just like you would not start your company without first completing a business plan, you would not attempt to manage your business records without organizing your files. People have asked me about organization tips for their home and business files, so I want to provide some help here.

 


 

1) Start generic: Write down a list of the categories you want to use for your folders. Begin looking through your files and place them in the appropriate file folder (for these initial categories, I would suggest pendaflex files). Do not try to get specific with subcategories just yet. You want to start with the big picture and eventually get detailed. Main folders can include Automobile Repairs, Credit Cards, Payroll, Human Resources, and more.

 

2) Get specific: Once you establish your "main folders," use manila folders to create subcategories. An example of a subcategory in Human Resources would be Insurance Paperwork, Vacation Policy or Employee Files. These tips also apply to the digital realm, especially with email.

 

3) Get organized and STAY organized: Prompted by declarations such as New Year's resolutions, we often get caught up in the excitement of setting goals for our personal and professional lives. However, once we hit the middle of the year (i.e. July), our discipline is often nonexistent. Similarly, when you seek to organize your business, you will discover a business-related adrenaline that helps you get through the initial challenges and encourages you to finish the project of establishing categories and subcategories. However, you must be willing to maintain these records and your organizational habits, especially when busy times come for your company. Do not fall behind if you have worked so hard to get ahead.

 

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Who's The Boss: Finding Your Perfect Manager

Leijun Campbell - Friday, June 24, 2016

As a business owner, you want to be thoroughly involved with shaping the mission of your company as well as the team members who have joined you. However, you may eventually reach a point where you begin stretching yourself too thin and need someone else to handle daily operations. Here are a few qualities to look for when seeking out a manager that will help drive your vision and team forward.

 

The manager communicates effectively with the team, and in turn, the team trusts the manager - Communication and trust represent two of the most important aspects of any relationship and are incredibly crucial in a business setting. Your manager should be able to articulate expectations, objectives, and measurable goals in a way that motivates your team to perform beyond their potential. If the communication is open and effective, the team will be able to put their trust in that manager and work alongside them to create the best results possible.


The manager stays organized and calm in any situation - Sure, we all lose our cool sometimes, but the manager of your business should have a high enough emotional intelligence to where they do not explode or break down in a stressful environment. Your team looks to the manager for leadership and guidance; they do not want to see their leader crumble. Also, the manager must plan ahead for any and projects and meetings. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a client or customer like a team who is not prepared to address their needs.


The manager cares about the customers and/or clients they are assisting - The last thing you want in a manager is disinterest or apathy towards the people who ultimately hold your livelihood in their hands. You want a manager who inspires to team members to go beyond what is expected in customer relationships. The manager should be a superb example of service and hospitality. Accepting anything less is detrimental to your team and your business.

 

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Why Operations Management Is The Heartbeat of Your Small Business

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Before focusing on elements such as sales & marketing, financial management and talent management and then delegating tasks to those specific departments, a small business owner must understand why an operations manager is so crucial. Operations management sets the tone for the day-to-day tasks necessary for a successful company.

 


 

Here are three ways describing how an operations manager is the heartbeat of your small business:

 

1) Selecting and cultivating relationships with your vendors - No matter how small or large your operation, you will need to contract vendors for office supplies or product distribution. An operations manager will provide you the template for seeking out and using certain vendors, whether that is the schedule for deliveries, certain contact persons or price points for different products.

 

2. Establishing daily procedures for employees - Your policies and procedure manuals are essential to providing structure within your team. Click HERE for a list of items you should include. The procedures developed by your operations manager can help solidify the practical processes for new hire training, team member absences and more.

 

3. Creating company objectives - Before releasing your sales and marketing teams out into the world, you must first provide them a series of company-related goals to meet. These team members look to your guidance to provide them with a mission that permeates all their efforts. Your operations manager can help clarify what is needed for the next month, six month or 1-year period.

 

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What Is Your Management Style?

Leijun Campbell - Friday, May 06, 2016

If you’re the owner of a small business, chances are you manage a team of talented, but sometimes very different, people. You want everyone to succeed, but you also want to establish the way in which you encourage this success.

 

Management Style

 

Here are a few management styles that you can use for your team.

 

1) Authoritative - Depending on the industry in which you and your team work, sometimes you need to be more strict as a leader to make sure your company's tasks are accomplished. You provide clear instructions to make sure every team member understands their part and the best way to succeed in their role. Your assignments have firm deadlines that allow the business to run efficiently.

 

2) Coaching - You focus on measurable goals for each team member and personally meet with them to discuss how to accomplish work-related tasks and to grow in their role at the company. When discussing mistakes and concerns, you try to acknowledge the consequences of the team member's actions, but also find a way to implement constructive criticism and positive reinforcement.

 

3) Collaborative - You enjoy hearing feedback and ideas from the people on your team. Your internal meetings focus heavily on brainstorming strategic endeavors to best reach your customers or clients. You try to offer as many opportunities as possible for innovation while still keeping all parties on task and moving the business forward.

 

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All Aboard: Why Your Company Needs An Onboarding Process

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, April 21, 2016

 

As job satisfaction and career/life balance becomes increasingly important to the modern workforce, today's business owners must be aware of their team members' needs and objectives. The onboarding process represents a significant step for new hires that helps determine their view of their tenure with the company.

 


 

 

Here are five reasons why the onboarding process is so crucial:

 

1) Expedited Paperwork Processing - It's a part of every job. Forms for taxes, insurance, company policies and other miscellaneous documents are stacked in front of every new hire, taking up valuable time away from that first few hours on the job. With all of the technological advances, software and apps, you can find a way to take care of these forms well before the new team member walks through the door.

 

2) Early Rapport Building with Team - No matter how jobs we have throughout our career, meeting people can be difficult. If possible, surround your new hire with team members in their department as early as you can. Allow an open environment for any kind of questions and give plenty of shadowing opportunities to make sure that the new hires learn how to do things the proper way. You can also create a FAQ document with questions and answers submitted by current team members. Making these new hires comfortable with their team in the onboarding process will help them succeed when they start the actual work.

 

3) An Initial Sense of Ownership - Speaking of the actual work, your company's onboarding process allows you to communicate tangible goals, objectives and responsibilities to the new hire. Explaining the mission of your business and how their role impacts the overall picture can help new hires experience a sense of ownership before they even begin their tasks.

 

4) Reinforcement of Business Mission for Other Team Members - By encouraging this sense of rapport between new hires and current team members in the onboarding process, you can help reemphasize your values and mission throughout the company. This new energy can even lead to innovation in current and future projects.

 

5) Higher Retention Rate - Most businesses have a probationary period of three to six months to determine if the company and new hire are the right fit. Using a structured onboarding process to engage the new hire from the very beginning can help ensure a higher chance of retention those first few months and beyond.

 

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The Practical Processes Your Business Needs to Be Successful

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

 

Whether your team numbers two or twenty, developing practical processes for your business ensures the ability to maintain productivity in the different components of your company. Here are a few areas that need these practical processes:

 

1) Operations - Your day-to-day management makes up the foundation for both the spontaneous and routine aspects of your business. You can establish stability in your operations through a policies and procedures manual for all team members, the selection of your suppliers and vendors, and important checklists for your administrative and executive assistants.

 

2) Marketing and Sales - These areas of your business bring new life to your company as well as maintain the brand and voice of your objectives. Be sure to assign goals to your sales team, so they can hit measurable results of acquiring new customers and clients. Provide a branding guide for your marketing team that keeps the delivery of your products professional and consistent.

 

3) Finances - As worrisome as money can make people, you cannot ignore its significance in the maintenance and growth of your business. Find consistent, practical processes to document and manage your revenue and cash flow. You do not want to mix up or lose important financial records, especially when tax season comes along.

 

 

4) Talent - Unless you're a solopreneur, you rely on your team to accomplish the totality of your company goals. If you want your team members and leaders to reach their full potential for your business, invest heavily in initial training and professional development.

 

After creating these practical processes, remember to evaluate them from time to time. You want your company to grow, so be willing to innovate when necessary.

 

 

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Practical Points: Important Items in a Policy and Procedure Manual

Leijun Campbell - Friday, April 08, 2016

 

Keeping a manual of your company's policies and procedures is essential to business management. Here is a checklist of essential items.

 

- Table of Contents

- Company Background/Information

- Example: Company History

- Contact List of Employees and Important Vendors

- Company Policy

- Example: Personnel Policies such as Time Off and Benefits

- Company Procedures

- Example: How-To Guides

- Information on Workplace Safety

- Sample Forms or Templates

- Legal Disclaimers

 

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