Taking care of your business' health is just like taking care of your physical health, there are things that you need to monitor and take action on in order to make sure all runs smoothly.
We've compiled this list to help you think about or enhance your business' health strategy. We'll go more in depth on these topics in future columns.
- Solve an Immediate Cash Crisis
- Organize financial data in ONE place
-Make a list of problem areas
- Set priorities for collections and payables
- Set a timeframe and goals for cash management
- Speak to a professional for a review of your accounts
- Collect Accounts Receivable
- Bill customers as soon as possible
- Collect Everything NOW
- Set Firm Credit Policies
- Contact Creditors
- Complete a cash flow forecast before setting pay?
- Talk to creditors and keep in touch
- Keep payment promises
- Offer partial payments with plans to get back on track
- Adjust Prices and Reduce Costs
- Revise pricing to improve sales and profit levels
- Charge extra for emergencies, deliveries and other value-added services
- Eliminate freebees and giveaways
- Reduce personnel expenses-use interns, eliminate overtime
- Reduce personal expenses-reduce travel, entertainment
- Talk to an LSCP Business Specialist for a customized report of your industry
- Require Accurate and Timely Accounting
- Get involved-bookkeepers and accountants can't do it all for you
- Review financial statements regularly
- Forecast short term cash flow
- Establish Checks and Balances
- Enforce cash handling policies
- Reconcile daily register with bank deposits and credit card transactions
- Prevent opportunities for embezzlement or accidental mismanagement
- Focus on Marketing
- Redefine your core target market
- Look for complementary areas requiring little to no start-up capital
- Keep in touch with current and past customers
- Keep your website and social media up to date
- Pay Attention to Your Image
- Appearance counts - clean it and paint it
- Keep window displays neat and fresh
- Install attractive and descriptive signage
- Train employees to deliver top notch customer service
- Be an Effective Business Owner
- Attend workshops in subject areas where you need support
- Make a commitment to improve
- Communicate more effectively with customers, employees and suppliers
- Talk with other business owners.?You are not alone
- Participate in LSCP Opportunities
- Become an LSCP Partner if your business is not already
- Networking (Business After Hours, Golf Outing, Annual Dinner, Committees)
- Seminars and workshops
- Marketing, advertising and support services
- Free, confidential business plan and business counseling
- Revolving Loan Fund
So remember, just like in your personal health, an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
The Lake Superior Community Partnership is available to assist you individually with your business support needs and is connected to many resources that may benefit your business in all of the areas listed above.
Visit our website www.marquette.org or give us a call 906-226-6591 to learn more and to set up a meeting with our business development team.
Editor's note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.