These two-minute tasks can help your business run better
If you want to make some improvements to running your small business, it’s tempting to go into full “overhaul” mode and try to change lots of things at once - but instead of making big changes, you could see benefits just by adding a few daily habits to your routine. Here are some quick, two-minute tasks to consider introducing into your day that could benefit you and your business.
Keep up a healthy cash flow
Your cash flow is essential to your business, but many business owners often leave their invoicing to the end of the month, or may not chase unpaid invoices until weeks after the due date. Invoicing and chasing payments promptly is a great way to keep your cash flow healthy and teach your customers to pay on time, and it only takes a few minutes if you do it every day. Get into the habit of checking daily for any overdue invoices and firing off a reminder, and remember to write an invoice and send it to your client as soon as the work is done.
Remember that FreeAgent also allows you to set up automatic invoice reminder emails that remind customers about overdue invoices, which could help save you further time and hassle when it comes to chasing money.
Stay on top of your costs and expenses
How many receipts do you have in your wallet right now, waiting to be forgotten or lost? We’ve found that most small business expenses are under £20, but many business owners don’t claim them, potentially missing out on tax relief. In FreeAgent, it just takes a minute or two to take a quick snap of your receipt on your phone, upload it to your accounts, then throw the receipt away, safe in the knowledge that the cost is recorded. And yes, in most cases, HMRC will accept the scanned receipt as proof of the expense!
Keep track of your transactions
Do you know what you spent your money on in the last week? The last month? If you only sit down to reconcile your bank statements weeks later, it can be tricky to remember what each transaction was related to. You may also miss out on insight about how your business is doing this month if you don’t have up-to-date information about what’s coming in and out of your account.
Instead, set up your accounting software to import your bank data daily, then just take a few minutes at the end of the day to log in and explain all of your latest transactions - it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Take control of your timesheet
How many times have you sat down to fill in a timesheet at the end of the week, then realised that you weren’t sure how long you’d spent on a task? The best time to track your time is as soon as you do the work - when the details are fresh in your mind. So as soon as you finish a task, just take two minutes to record it - that way, you won’t have to scramble to remember what you did when you’re putting together a timesheet for your client later on. We recommend that you also track your unbillable time, as this will give you a full picture of your profitability and can help you make better decisions about where to spend your time.
Two minutes may not seem like much time, but it can be more than enough to create some big benefits for your business!
- Spreadsheets versus FreeAgent: an accountant’s point of view
- Autumn Statement 2016: contractors feel the impact
- Autumn Statement 2016: how could the new chancellor show he cares about small businesses?
- FreeAgent is now a public company!
- 3 spreadsheet horror stories from the world of work