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Keeping your finances healthy in 2017

Financial health is absolutely crucial for businesses. Without being able to balance the books efficiently, companies can end up limiting their opportunities and may struggle to achieve growth. 

As we enter the second month of the year, many firms will already have their budget and plans in place for the year ahead, but it is vital to continue analysing your incomings and outgoings and monitor performance regularly. 

While managers will hope they reach their goals, this is certainly not guaranteed to happen. It may be the case that some products cost more than you expected, or you have to hire a new member of staff at late notice. 

On the other hand, it may be the case that profits in one month could be significantly more than on average, making it easy for managers to overestimate their potential earning power throughout the year. 

By doing this, it is easy for a company to expect growth too quickly and create goals that are out of reach, risking their financial stability in the process. Here are some more areas where companies can improve their performance:

Look for software to save time and boost efficiency 

The rapid innovations in business technology mean there are plenty of applications to improve your accounting and payments processes. 

Some of the products are targeted towards specific areas of an organisation such as payroll, helping managers to save time and improve efficiency. 

What’s more, these programmes can help managers to gain a detailed reflection of their finances, placing all of the most important data in one place and making it easier to create future plans. 

Try to tackle poor cash flow 

It may be the case that you have business clients who are late with repayments, or products that are costing a large amount of money and not selling very well. 

If these issues are having an adverse impact on your overall profits, perhaps reduce spending in these areas and put stricter payment controls in place for customers who are making especially late payments. 

Such action is especially important if your business is borrowing credit in order to balance the books. By decreasing expenditure in these areas, you could be able to save money overall and invest more in more profitable products and services. 

Consider the worst-case scenario 

While it is easy for companies to become carried away when they receive positive financial results, it is important to remain guarded and protect investments. 

However, outside factors such as the state of the economy and industry trends can have an adverse impact on your revenue. Sectors change rapidly too, making it easy for companies to quickly fall behind due to advancements in technology or business processes. 

With this in mind, be wary of new innovations and make sure you do not over-commit to the latest changes in the sector. Quite often, trends change quickly and, if you invest in something at the wrong time, competitors can overtake you in the market. 

Make sure you are always aware of your company’s strengths and focus on them, rather than deviating from your core plans and potentially upsetting your customer base. 

Stick to your business plan 

At the core of any successful business is a detailed plan. Without one, companies can leave themselves in an identity crisis, ultimately following the latest trends in their industry without properly specialising in any area. 

Make sure you carry out regular market research and discover potentially profitable areas without compromising on your core aims. For example. If your plan calls for you to focus on IT security, take a look at the mobile industry and see if there is demand for new products, but do not move away from your primary sector. 

Even if there are fantastic opportunities in another field, only pursue them if you definitely have the resources to do so. If you fail in your attempt at diversifying your products or services, you could lose trust from customers and clients. 

However, there is no harm in tweaking your plan. After all, it is impossible to foresee what will happen in your industry in the future, just make sure changes are only made after comprehensive research.