Recently, a landscape gardening client informed us that they will be closing their business and taking an employed position with another company. I was sad to see them go but not surprised because their business had been making a loss for the last couple of years. They had made a couple of small tweaks to try and turn things around but hadn’t succeeded. One thing they didn’t try was to increase their prices, and as business owners, we need to ensure that our pricing is always on point.
Some of the early warning signs that a business is making a loss can include not having enough money in your business account to cover overheads, struggling to pay the VAT when it’s due, and not paying yourself a wage! We are not here to run our business as a hobby and given that we work more hours than our staff, why would we pay them more than ourselves?
Bookkeeping is the financial foundation of your business. However, if your ‘books’ are being accurately recorded on a regular basis, but you are not utilising this information, then that is a missed opportunity. There are two ways you can use this information to your benefit. Firstly, you could learn which reports you need to download from your accounting software and understand how to analyse the figures to help aid in your business decisions. It’s equally important to look at profitability and cashflow because the business cannot survive without both of those elements being in equal balance. Alternatively, if you don’t feel confident enough to read your financial reports then we can help with that. We offer a business analysis and planning package where we provide management accounts to review how the business has performed. We can advise on which changes could increase profitability and use a cashflow forecasting tool to make future business plans using accurate financial information.
I have recently run a cashflow forecasting meeting with two different clients. In both sessions, we looked at calculating their breakeven scenario. For one of the clients, it’s nearly one year since we first started to provide cashflow forecasting and for the other client it was their first session. Both of my clients commented on how helpful the session was for them. One realised he wasn’t charging his clients enough and the other established his breakeven turnover baseline which is a very important target in his business.
This experience has made me realise that I’m doing my clients and prospective clients a disservice by not promoting my business analysis and planning package, as much as I do my bookkeeping service. I felt the package was a luxury that many business owners couldn’t afford. However, I have realised that it can help to make all the difference and you really can’t afford not to have it.