Time Management Tips for Small Businesses

Time Management Tips for Small Businesses

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

As a small business owner, it might seem like you’re working 30 hour days every day of the week without rest.  With more and more to do and less time to do it, becoming burned out is a common concern for many business owners who are working hard to grow their businesses and succeed.

While working less is not an option for today’s small business owner, working more efficiently is. Using proper time management techniques, small business owners can make the most of their workday and become more productive in the process.  If you’re looking for ways to manage your time more effectively, keep reading as we are going to share with you some of our favourite time management tips that can help you become more productive today.

Here are our favourite time management tips for small business owners. Hopefully they’ll help you and your business thrive through even the most hectic of working days.

STOP IMPROVISING

Not having a clearly defined set of goals can reduce productivity and leave you always feeling behind on your work. Create a schedule that includes daily tasks and goals and stick to it. You will find that you will get more done in less time and maybe even have some time left over for a much needed break.

 

AVOID MULTI-TASKING

Multi-tasking might seem like a good concept, and in theory it is.  But when it comes down to it, trying to do too much all at once means that your productivity and performance will eventually suffer. Focus on one task at a time and you will get a lot more done.

 

DELEGATE

Yes, you are the boss and the owner of your small business, but you have employees for a reason. Delegate tasks to employees who are experienced enough to complete those tasks and leave yourself time to work on other projects that require your attention.  If you don’t have employees, consider outsourcing instead.

 

ELIMINATE TIME WASTERS

Identify any tasks that you do throughout the day that waste time or that are inefficient. These can include social media, emails and more and you should look for ways to limit the time spent on these activities.

 

AUTOMATE

Using technology to simplify business operations and automate daily tasks is an effective way to save time and money. Online paperless bookkeeping and automation software for sales, marketing and email are affordable solutions to automating your small business and saving you time.

To learn more about online paperless bookkeeping and other ways to save time as a small business owner, contact 30 Hour Days today!

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Managing your expenses with Receipt Bank

MANAGING YOUR EXPENSES WITH RECEIPT BANK

Managing expenses is never easy and as your business grows, the hassle of managing this process grows with it.  Invoices and receipts end up all over the place and the task of tracking everything down can be a nightmare.  Once you’ve found all those pesky bits of paper, then starts the arduous task of inputting them manually into whatever system you use, or you stuff them into that shoebox to take to your Accountant at your quarter or year end.  It’s all far from ideal and you run the risk of losing out by not capturing everything.

Well you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Using Receipt Bank means you can just snap a picture of your invoice or receipt and once you hit the submit button, you can get rid of your paper copy and leave this amazing app to do all the work for you.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Receipt Bank captures a digital image of your receipt or invoice.  It then digitally scans it and extracts the key information and allows you to publish it to your cloud accounting software or download to a CSV.  You can share Receipt Bank with your accountant or bookkeeper for easier collaboration.  You can even add your team, setting your preferred access level for each member.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The most popular way to use Receipt Bank is via the mobile app.  You simply take a picture of your receipt or invoice, add a brief description if required and then click submit.  Receipt Bank then extracts all the data and stores a copy of the digital image should you need to download it later.

You can also email invoices directly into Receipt Bank by using your personal Receipt Bank email, or upload directly into the software using the desktop version.

 

WHY DO WE LOVE IT?

Receipt Bank is great whether you take care of your own bookkeeping or work with a bookkeeper or accountant.  As it helps keep track of required paperwork, automates to save time and is pretty much paperless.  It integrates seemlessly with cloud accounting software and has 256-bit SSL security.

 

WHO IS IT FOR?

Receipt Bank is for small businesses, sole traders / self employed and freelancers.  If you want to keep on top of your expenses and save time, Receipt Bank delivers on both and much more.

It work whether you use cloud accounting software or not and is a great start if you are considering moving to the cloud in the future, especially with Making Tax Digital coming in early 2019.

 

If you’re interested in Receipt Bank and would like more information, please get in touch by either phone or email, we’d be more than happy to answer your questions.  You can also book a demonstration and we’ll show you just how receipt bank can help you.

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As a Receipt Bank Partner we offer reduced rate subscriptions and periodically have special offers for you to take advantage of.  If you’d like to find out more take a look at our subscriptions and current offers here.

 

Why you should use cloud accounting

WHY YOU SHOULD USE CLOUD ACCOUNTING

So, why should you use Cloud Accounting?  Well, small business owners have a lot to take care of and are generally the sales, marketing, admin and accounts departments all rolled into one.  You probably started your own business because you wanted to persue your passion, be your own boss, work your own hours, call the shots and of course make lots of money.  Money makes the world go around as the saying goes, and it is most definitely at the heart of businesses, large or small.  Cash is king is another well known saying.  More to the point cashflow is king to a small business.  Without cash flowing through your company, you can’t survive let alone grow.   So if you were asked at this moment in time, exactly where your company stood with regards to it’s finances, would you be able to say yes, I absolutely do?

KEEPING YOUR BOOKS

How you keep your books is key to having the full picture on all matters financial and knowing exactly where your business stands.  The question is, which one are you using?

 

EXCEL

Excel can help you keep track of your finances if your business isn’t too complicated, however you could end up putting in more time and effort than it’s worth.  That is of course, unless your an Excel Whizz who can set everything up with templates and formula’s.  You have to be aware that you are also open to entry errors and that the only form of “automation” comes from your formula’s and macros.

You also have sharing issues with the workbooks you are using and unless they are stored in something like Dropbox or Google Drive, you end up having to email a version, which once it has left you, isn’t up to date anymore.

 

DESKTOP SOFTWARE

Using desktop software is still widely used and companies like the fact that you don’t have any ongoing fees, the data is stored on your own PC or server and it doesn’t require any internet access.

However, you will need to install the software on a dedicated laptop or PC and ensure you install any updates.  You also need to ensure you back up your data and run the risk of losing everything, should you lose your PC or laptop, which is why it’s a good idea to keep more than one copy of your backup or keep it in something such as Dropbox.

Finally, data sharing is difficult as you are working with one PC and one set of data, meaning your not working in real time.

 

CLOUD ACCOUNTING

Cloud accounting software provides similar functionality as destop versions but with a few major differences.  

Firstly, cloud software is held on secure remote secure servers which are accessed via the internet, and certainly with companies such as Xero and QuickBooks, has world class security.  It also means you no longer have to worry about backups or upgrades as you are always on the latest version.

You can have multi-user access with everyone looking at the same data, making it easy to collaborate with you team, Accountant or Bookkeeper.   It’s also possible to control the access of each user so they only see what you want them to.  There’s no waiting to get into the office to look at your books, if you have access to the internet you can access your data, in real time.

If you take into account that you can invoice in seconds and send electronically to your customer, add payment methods for online payments and bolt on hundreds of apps to create a system which fits your business perfectly, you’ll wonder why you haven’t moved to the cloud sooner.

Whether your looking to outsource your bookkeeping, or make use of the best cloud software available, we can help with bespoke bookkeeping packages where you choose what you pay, or with reduced rate software subscriptions for your accounts, expense management or credit control. 

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Tips to help with your VAT

Tips to help with your VAT

TIPS TO HELP WITH YOUR VAT

Mention VAT and most business owners groan at the thought.  But if you stick to good accounting practices, VAT doesn’t have to be the headache.  Below are a few simple steps which will help you get your VAT under control.

ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE OR EXCEL

Excel is OK in certain circumstances, but if you are VAT registered, make sure you are using accounting software.  By using accounting software it makes it so much easier to calculate your monthly or quarterly return and it can be done in seconds.  It also eliminates the risk of double counting invoices, will take into account any late claims for VAT and in some cases you can even submit to HMRC direct from the software itself, no need to login to the HMRC website.

 

MAKE SURE YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT SCHEME

Being on the right scheme is crucial. Is the flat rate scheme for you (i.e. VAT is calculated on your gross sales for the applicable period)?  Maybe the annual accounting scheme would work better?  If your business struggles to get money in from your customers the cash accounting scheme may be for you, where you don’t pay over VAT to HMRC until your customer has paid you.  Speak to your accountant to ensure you are on the best scheme to suit your business.

 

GET A SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT

We all know what its like when the VAT bill rolls around again and you’re wondering where you are going to find the money to pay it. Well break out of the cycle and set up a separate VAT account and never have to worry again.  The best way to do this is to set up a second bank account rather than just transferring it on your accounting software as this can lead to confusion when reconciling your bank.

Speak to your bank and arrange a second bank account which acts as a savings account without a debit card so that you can’t dip into it in ‘emergencies’. Then at the end of each month run your VAT return for the month which has just finished.  Check through your VAT return as you normally would and if you are happy that everything has been recorded correctly transfer the VAT amount which you owe to HMRC for that month into your savings account. Do this at the end of every month and you will never have to worry about paying your VAT bill again. The money will always be sat in your savings account waiting for the end of each quarter. When it comes round to paying HMRC simply transfer how much you owe out of your savings and pay it over to HMRC.

 

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Hopefully these steps will help you take the stress out of dealing with your VAT.  If you’d like to have a chat with us about how we could help you with your monthly bookkeeping, including your VAT, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Happy Bookkeeping!