Whether you are using the meteorological or the astronomical definition, Spring has most certainly arrived... 
The meteorological definition splits the year into four seasons of three full months each based on the Gregorian calendar. This means that every year spring begins on 1 March and lasts until 31 May, with summer starting on 1 June. 
The astronomical season is more complex as it depends on the date of the spring equinox, which varies slightly from year to year. In 2021, the spring (or vernal) equinox falls on Saturday 20 March. 
So, whichever way you look at it, it is now Spring! Covid 19 is still around but there is light at the end of the tunnel and many businesses will soon be able to open up to customers. We thought therefore that now would be a good time to talk about giving your business a bit of a spring clean. 
1. Get your accounts up to date if you haven’t already done so 
I know we are always going on about getting on top of your accounts (and staying there) but with bank feeds and receipt capture software, it really should require minimal effort from you and the insight you can gain from up-to-date accounting information is invaluable. 
We are Xero Gold Partners and we can talk you through implementing Xero and Dext (the new name for ReceiptBank) as well as other software that integrates with Xero. We believe in harnessing technology to make accurate financial information as easy as possible to access. 
If there are “blocks” like waiting for staff to submit expenses or obtaining invoices for a certain supplier, talk to us about the solutions we have to remove these delays. 
If accounts are something you hate doing then make sure your process is as automated as possible and schedule some time each week to keep on top of it. You will be glad you did. 
2. Think about your “Product” and HOW you market it. 
Corona Virus has changed so many aspects of our lives and shopping habits have changed enormously. People are traveling less, wearing different clothes, buying more online as well as purchasing hot tubs, puppies and bikes in huge numbers. They are “working out” at home and perhaps trying to lose the so-called “Covid Chunk”. 
On the back of all this change you need to consider, is your offering still relevant, are there other opportunities you are well placed to exploit? Is your marketing still appropriate? For example, if you rely on a billboard next to a once busy tramline – you may need a re-think. 
Really challenge “what you have always done” and assess whether you need to make changes. Enlist the help of a friend if you don’t feel you can be objective. 
3. Schedule a day a week to work “on” your business not “in” your business 
This is a challenging one but the rule of thumb is that you should spend 20% of your time on marketing. That’s a day a week! 
Decide what your marketing channels are going to be (make sure you do your marketing where your customers are) and then come up with a planner of what you are going to do and when and then stick to it. 
Don’t think you need to be present in every marketing channel, just pick two or three and really concentrate on those. 
4. Think about what your Key Performance Indicators are 
It’s all very well knowing how much profit you make each month but there may be other KPI’s that you want to monitor. These KPIs may not even be financial. For example, it could be Facebook followers, percentage of repeat customers, the proportion of cash sales, web traffic, etc. 
Work out what KPIs are important to you and your business, set up a spreadsheet to monitor them daily, weekly or monthly (whichever is appropriate), and then book the time in your diary to record and analyse the results. 
5. Have you got the resources you need to grow? 
Are you in a position to really go for it or will a lack of staff let you down? Or is there a machine you need that would just transform your business? Is there a piece of software you have been meaning to implement? 
We know that for many businesses, cash is tight after a year of COVID but the government announced a number of measures in the budget that could help. 
One of the most interesting announcements was the additional money for businesses taking on an apprentice. Could an apprentice sort your staffing needs? 
The Chancellor also announced the “super deduction”, a new 130% first-year capital allowance for investment in qualifying plant and machinery assets. 
More information can be found by clicking on the link and of course, we are happy to help if you get in touch. 
If you would like to discuss any of the ideas in this article, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team at My Cloud 9 Accounting. 
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