Beyond Breaking Even in Business
With company liquidations on a seemingly endless upward spiral, business finance hard to come by and consumers’ incomes under considerable pressure, it’s no surprise that headlines in the business sections of many papers are anything but encouraging. For any size of firm there is no doubt that times are tough. High Street retailers are under the most pressure according to many figures, with liquidations in this sector at the highest rates for twenty years. Redundancies, cuts in pay or reductions in hours are common routes that many firms have taken, very reluctantly, and at best even these firms are staying afloat in only the most basic of ways.
For most firms, simply managing to break even is considered a big business success in the economic climate. There are, however, a number of ways in which small firms can make the most of the difficult economic climate, and a strong focus on working ‘smarter’ can make all the difference between staying afloat and floating face down in turbulent economic waters.
Less really can be more
There’s a common misconception that the more orders you have on your books the more profit you make. In theory, this should be true; however with most businesses cutting the end cost of their products the “stacking high/selling cheap” business model can cut your profit margins to nothing. A large volume of sales and no profit is not a recipe for success and sometimes less is more; this will depend on your client base and sector, but focusing on your profit margin and not your sales volume, can, in times like these, be the best strategy.
Consumers, like businesses, are facing difficult times; finding specific gaps in the market that you cater for, creating innovative and affordable solutions to fill this gap and making use of the best online marketing tools can help to expand your client base and maintain, or develop, healthy sales. Coupon and voucher code websites are new marketing techniques that are proving popular with consumers (everyone loves a bargain) and businesses alike. Working with new but rapidly expanding sites like Groupon can offer just the shot in the arm that small businesses need.
Time is money – how to manage both
Money is the lifeblood of all businesses and small businesses need to manage money efficiently. Monitoring income, outgoings and credit management (both of client’s accounts and business finance) are tasks that not only need to be professionally approached but consistently managed. For small firms the time invested in these processes is crucial for survival and growth but time is not always an asset that is available in large quantities. Professional accounting software is essential to streamlining this side of your business. The QuickBooks (http://www.intuit.co.uk/) Online range, launched in the UK last year, is a good example of accounting software designed for the small end of the small to medium sector. Creating a range of reports, calculating VAT returns, projections and incorporating professional invoicing features, this type of software allows small firms all the accounting power of the larger type, at a low cost.
Running a business successfully during a recession requires a certain amount of common sense, innovation and finding the best tools for the job. Working smarter and more efficiently can help businesses to avoid cutting prices and maintain healthy profit margins.
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Weather for Buckingham
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
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Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North