Money Matters

10 simple tips to get the support that helps your business thrive

Running a business can sometimes feel like 20 jobs rolled into one. Here are some tips to help you find support and take control.

Running a business can sometimes feel like 20 jobs rolled into one.

It’s more than just tending to your customers. It’s managing business finances, keeping up with compliance, and finding new ways to build your customer base, just to name a few.

It can feel like you have to do it all – but you don’t.

While the ways in which your business needs additional support may seem endless, the resources you need for a thriving business are also endless.

Today’s digital world is saturated with solutions for small businesses to do more with less, without a ton of technical experience.

This article will help you to connect with available resources for the business support you need, so you can truly take control and your business can thrive.

Here are the 10 simple tips for you to try:

1. Find an accountant to support you with tax returns​

2. Find a bookkeeper to help you stay on top of your numbers​

3. Get a business coach and stay focused on winning big​

4. Start using business software and get help to use it to the max​

5. Speak to a payroll expert to improve your processes​

6. Get help from an HR expert on managing your people processes​

7. Talk to a time management pro and work more efficiently​

8. Take courses and upskill yourself and your team​

9. Look for financial support​

10. Join a business networking group and learn from your peers​

Tax time can be a hassle. Finding an accountant that understands your compliance requirements is vital.

You can easily speak to other businesses locally to get recommendations on a good accountant to use.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has a search feature, as does the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA).

It’s easy (and wise) to do a background check of potential accountants you’re looking to use and check their accreditation, which you can probably do online.

It wouldn’t hurt to ask for client references from each as well to get direct feedback.

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If you need someone to manage the day-to-day finances, you don’t want to have to search the internet for hours reading reviews.

The International Association of Bookkeepers allows you to search through its membership directory for specific qualifications and experience level you prefer.

You can also use Sage’s search tool to help you find a bookkeeper near you.

Our Sage Business Experts include business coaches and mentors and business consultants if you need additional perspective for strategy and growth.

Hubspot compiled a list of 22 of the best coaching services in 2020, including Noomii, which is the largest online directory of life, business, career, and executive coaches globally.

Upwork’s directory offers budget-friendly options and some coaches share their success rate in their profile.

Cloud-connected software virtually eliminates the accuracy challenges that come with doing things manually.

For example, instead of manually transferring accounting data between spreadsheets, automation within accounting software pulls data across reports so users can access critical information within seconds.

Pair that with the forecasting and analytics tools also available with accounting software and you have everything you need to make sound business decisions with the organisational financial literacy of a chief financial officer (CFO).

The same is true for payroll software.

Initial employee data only needs to be uploaded once, and all subsequent data is calculated automatically throughout the employee’s tenure with the company.

This includes salary and wages, deductions and other applicable benefits.

You can easily update employee personal information, such as pay increases, as changes occur.

Alongside the automation, payroll software also features quality analysis controls to identify and correct discrepancies before they happen. But because they sometimes do, payroll software also allows you to fix them quickly.

Some accounting service providers also offer payroll services for small businesses.

This can be as inclusive as running your payroll for you or consulting for how to digitalise your payroll processes for productivity and efficiency.

It will save you time on the back end if you enlist payroll support alongside accounting so every financial decision comes from a 360-view of cash going in and out, including your payroll obligations.

As your business grows, you’ll need support managing and retaining your people so they can perform at their best.

There are a few places you can turn for this.

An HR consultant can provide best practices for recruiting, organisational structure, compensation and employee engagement.

Meanwhile, an employment lawyer can consult you on the legal aspects of people management to help you document your policies and procedures.

A time management coach may seem like a new age thing, but as technology empowers entrepreneurs to take every detail of their business with them 24/7, it’s easier to feel too overwhelmed to prioritise.

It’s helpful to have someone to coach you on how to be more productive with your time.

A coach can show you different approaches to prioritising tasks and hold you accountable for sticking to your plan.

The great thing about starting a business today is there are unlimited online resources to help you fill in virtually any knowledge or skills gaps.

LinkedIn Learning, for example, is a database of online courses covering business, technology and creative topics.

Some courses include certification upon completion. These aren’t free and may require a subscription.

However, there are free offerings elsewhere on the internet, too, so it’s worth exploring to see if they fit your needs.

Funding your business can be difficult, whether that’s getting it off the ground, or growing a successful company.

Depending on your circumstances, a variety of government grants and loans are available.

To apply for a grant or a loan, you’ll probably need to demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria or qualifications. This may involve handing over your business plan, or even creating one from scratch.

It might involve providing statements showing the state of your finances for a certain period, and it may require you to create projections of your profit and loss for a period such as the next year or two.

Crowdfunding platforms are where investors and entrepreneurs meet, allowing entrepreneurs to raise funds from the general community in exchange for simply giving their tangible products or other relative gifts.

The point is, it can be done without giving up equity on the company or accumulating debt and, therefore, it mitigates risk.

Crowdfunding can also help through exposure to a wider audience of interested investors.

If the entrepreneur puts in the effort to create a campaign that engages the crowd, the feedback in the form of comments and ideas will no doubt help to cover those potential gaps.

One of the biggest hurdles to running a thriving business is working in a silo.

The benefits of joining a peer networking group are invaluable because they function as a think tank comprised of business owners with varying experiences.

Peer networking groups meet to work through business challenges together.

It’s likely that someone within the network has experienced the same challenges as you and can offer insight to help.

Final thoughts

If you want to truly boss your business and take control of your processes, there’s one thing to remember: you don’t have to go it alone.

Tapping into either your existing support networks or finding new ones can really help you and your business to progress and keep moving in the right direction.

From getting support from accountants and bookkeepers, to working with business coaches and using training to progress, winning big with your business can quickly become a reality.

7 ways to take control of your business

Want to know how you can boss it at your business? Read this guide for top tips to help you master your business admin and truly take control.

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