If you’re planning a new start-up, or are already trading, accounting software for small business can be your friend – especially if you lack accounting skills. Any Accounting Software is better than none, but specialist Small Business Accounting Software is obviously best.
We recently came across a survey of entrepreneurship in Ireland from Enterprise Ireland, which had some really interesting figures on the levels of get-up-and-go in this country. Although the survey was carried out in 2017, it’s still a pretty accurate reflector of where we stand in the global rankings, as measured by the independent TEA Index.
The Index measures two groups of entrepreneurs – nascent entrepreneurs and new business owners. The first category is those at a very early stage, for example, planning the start-up, organising a team, getting money together for a start-up, as well as those that have progressed further and recently started the new business, but have not paid salaries for more than 3 months.
New business owners were defined by the survey as “people who have started a new business since January 2014, and have paid salaries for at least three months. These entrepreneurs at least part own and manage the new business.”
According to the survey, as many as 9 in every 100 Irish adults aged 18-64 said that they are actively engaged in the very early stages of starting a business (6 in every 100) or
have recently started a business (3 in every 100).
This puts us at number 6 in the rankings of 20 European countries. Interestingly, we scored ahead of counties such as France, Germany, and Italy. With so many entrepreneurs in our midst – many of them without an accounting qualification – we thought we’d offer these survival tips to help them get through those vital early days and years including use of Small Business Accounting Software. If you opt for accounting software for small business, you’ll get a product that’s specifically for companies just like yours.
- It’s all about the numbers – and Accounting Software can help. A lot of business plans are very high on marketing visions and intentions, but not so high on actual budgetary milestones? But if you don’t set financial targets for growth, sales etc., it’s very hard to keep your focus on what’s really important. Setting financial targets, (for example, achieving 5% year-on-year growth), is essential for helping you stay focused, and to give you something to measure success against. Otherwise, you can get sucked into ‘business’, but without putting your efforts into the areas that matter most. If doing it manually proves too time-consuming then maybe some low-cost Accounting Software is in order.
- Don’t let things build up – Accounting Software for Small Business can help with that. There can be a temptation to leave your accounts work till the end of the year, when you’ll pull all your invoices, outgoings and inward payments together. This can be a massive chore. It’s much easier – and much more sensible – to do this on a monthly basis. It’s much more manageable, your end of year chore is limited to adding up the totals of each of these twelve months. And using Accounting Software for Small Business obviously makes the task even easier.
- Accounts need to be updated – so consider Small Business Accounting Software. Things can change very rapidly for new start-ups. This is why it’s so important that you sit down at the end of each week and review where your revenues are, where your outgoings are etc. A budget that seemed okay a month ago may be barely recognisable now, so review, review, review. Using Small Business Accounting Software can make this task so much easier for you.
- Your time is limited, so use it wisely, with the help of Accounting Software. As a new start-up, your time will be in huge demand. You will likely be expected to be inputting to sales, marketing, financial management, HR – and the whole nine yards. Until such time as you can afford to hire some back-up specialists, it’s essential that you don’t become a firefighter. Instead, you need to develop time management skills – particularly in the area of prioritisng tasks and differentiating between what’s urgent and what’s important. Automating tasks with Accounting Software can save you a whole heap of time – time that can be better spent on growing your business.
- Look to the future – with the help of Accounting Software. Assuming that you know what’s going on right now in your business, you need to be aware that things may look very different at the end of the year. You may add staff, for example, so your wages bill will be very different. Or cash flow may increase as you get a lot more invoices issued as your business grows. So look forward as well as backwards when you’re putting figures down on paper. That way, there’s much less chance of a major shock three months down the line. Choosing reputable Accounting Software can make huge inroads into this task.
- The easiest way to make money is not to spend it – Accounting Software for Small Business can help you keep an eye on it. Even if your business is very small at the outset, you need to develop good habits when it comes to scrutinising the costs of running your business. No amount is too small when it comes to savings. If you save a postage stamp by emailing a document, you’re much more likely to be equally aggressive when it comes to examining bigger costs such as wages, utility costs, rental for your premises etc. You can keep an eye on spending much better by investing in Accounting Software for Small Business.
- Don’t be afraid to set out payment terms at the outset – and keep an eye on cashflow with the help of Accounting Software for Small Business. Many companies starve to death from lack of cashflow in the early stages. The best way to protect against this is to make sure your new clients know when you’ll be invoicing them – and when you expect to get paid. Sometimes, new startups believe that this sort of a conversation could lead to losing the sale, but if your new client isn’t prepared to pay on time, are they really worth it? Also, if you work in a high-margin area, you should consider offering reduction for speedier payment, e.g. a 2.5% reduction if paid within five days of invoicing. Keeping an eye on cashflow is child’s play with Accounting Software for Small Business.
- Don’t feel that you’re all alone – a network of your peers and good Accounting Software can give you the support you need. Being the boss can be a lonely old place in the early days. But remember that there are hundreds of others in your locality who have gone down the road of setting up their own businesses. Whether it’s joining a formal network or just hooking up for an occasional coffee with someone you know who’s built a business, it can be hugely reassuring – and hugely informative. And remember that you can also get a huge level of reassurance by having good Accounting Software work alongside you!
- Don’t forget that technology – including Small Business Accounting Software is your friend. Use all the innovative accounting technology you can to help you keep track of your income and expenses more easily, set alerts and reminders, manage workflow, and stay up to date with all your day-to-day business efforts. Small Business Accounting Software can make a huge contribution in this regard.