Getting the Basics Right!

So, you want to set up in business as a sole trader or limited company….. 

Now what?!

The key thing is to set you and your business up to succeed and this means getting the set-up and the basics right.  But it’s one of the things that is so easy to get wrong!

After all, starting out in your own business is exciting and you’ve got ideas about what you’re going to sell, how you’re going to grow and the goals you hope to achieve.  These creative thoughts don’t want to be bothered with set-up and processes and controls.  It’s these things though, that make your business successful.

Some of the key basics to get right are:

  • Business structure – from the outset, so whether you choose to become a sole trader or a limited company, this structure is crucial  because it impacts how you take money out of the business, what your responsibilities are as a business owner or director and who you need to notify (HMRC / Companies House)

  • Recording your finances – whether you choose to use something like QuickBooks or Xero, or a well set-up Excel spreadsheet, the important thing is you use a finance system that works for you in terms of ease, flexibility and integration with the rest of the business processes

  •  Keep up to date with your record keeping – it’s best to process your financial records on a regular basis so you’re not caught out at the end of the year in a rush or with missing data, but more importantly you’ve got current finance information to hand for review and decision making

  •  Customer onboarding processes – whether it’s a quick online sale to a direct one-off customer or a longer-term relationship with a client, the process from the minute you’re contacted by a prospect to making a sale then to invoicing them has got to be as smooth and easy as possible

Unfortunately, something that we see often in businesses is where the underlying basics haven’t been set up properly or aren’t even in place, so cracks start to show when the business starts growing and getting busier to run.  Or the business has slightly changed direction or grown rapidly so the basics need reassessing and changing. 

What are we doing?

At Troy Accounting, we’re constantly reviewing our own structure, processes and controls to make sure we’re taking into account the ever-changing landscape that occurs when you’re running your own business!  For example, we’re currently looking at our client database and as we’re growing, how we can make things smoother and more efficient for our clients, as well as for us. 

You may have seen that we’ve also recently taken on staff in recognition that we’ve reached a point where the structure and workloads need to change, again to support our growing business and continue servicing our clients and meeting their expectations.

The top 5 things you can check to make sure you’re getting the basics right are:

  1. Customer satisfaction – have you had any complaints or are your customers providing positive feedback of their experience with you?

  2.  Outstanding customer debt – do customers owe you historic debts or are your invoice collection processes working?

  3.  Up to date finances – is your current profit and loss account or cashflow position invisible to you, or do you know exactly what your financial position is at any point in time?

  4.  Business owner morale – are you as a sole business owner / director feeling the pressures of not having robust processes in place and are drowning under workload, or are you still motivated and upbeat about the business and direction you’re heading?  If you have staff, how is their morale?

  5.  Business success – have you lost sight of your original goals or are you succeeding in the way you imagined you would!!

 We look forward to hearing your success stories

If you’d like some support in getting the basics right, whether as a new business owner or a growing business that needs to reassess to be able to achieve your successes, then we’d also love to hear from you!  As small business owners ourselves plus having worked in larger companies from the set-up of those companies, we understand the journey and have got many experiences to share in getting it right.