Marlborough Magazine August 18 - Page 5

STORY BY KAT PICKFORD | How can you help a business with cash flow issues? Being proactive and running with a cash flow forecast will help stop cash flow issues in the first place. However, if a client comes to us with cash flow issues, we can help put together a plan of how to get them back in the black and stay there. Often it starts with tight cash flow management and running a weekly rolling cash flow, ensuring that debtors are actively chased, contacting suppliers and extending payment terms, reviewing and reducing expenses etc. What are your top 5 tips for people to consider when planning for the future? 1 Figure out want you want personally from life, i.e. more free time, more money, travel the world etc. 2 Write it down – don’t just talk about it, but write up a road map, e.g. 10-year goals, 5-year goals etc., and what steps you need to take to achieve the goals. 3 Involve a third party with your planning to get an outside perspective, such as mentor, coach, friend, colleague, boss. 4 Take action every month and review and update the plan. 5 Surround yourself with positive people that help you achieve your goals. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business? Make sure you have done your research, have a plan, have initial capital, have crunched the numbers and have seriously thought about what it takes to start a business. What are some good financial strategies to follow…whether personally or for business? Business: 1 Have a rolling budget and cash flow forecast. 2 Have a savings account for things like tax, GST, holiday pay, ‘what if’ money etc. 3 Have a good advisor who is running and analysing monthly management reports SUSIE WILLIAMS with recommendations. 4 Review your expenses annually to see where you can make savings – small changes can have a dramatic effect to your bottom line. 5 Review/increase your charge-out rates annually. 6 Pay off personal debt before business debt. 7 Have good debtor payment/chasing practices. 8 Have reliable up-to-date financial data. 9 Have a good bookkeeper. Personal: 1 Have a simple personal budget. 2 Separate spending money from bills money – run different bank accounts. 3 Pay as many things monthly via direct debit, i.e. rates, insurance etc. 4 Join KiwiSaver. 5 Have a savings account with a weekly amount deposited by automatic payment. 6 Ask for a pay rise and have a good answer ready on why you deserve one. 7 Review your expenses annually to see if you can make any savings. If you didn’t have a business, why else might an accountant be useful? As a life mentor/coach. Every accounting firm is different of course; however, here at Sass we also provide training around leadership, HR, Microsoft Word and Excel, Xero, understanding your numbers and marketing. What services would you recommend for personal budgeting and financial advice? I believe there is a free budgeting service that everyone can access – you can email budget@mfbs.org.nz. The best tool for budgeting is Microsoft Excel! Create a simple spreadsheet of your money coming in and expenses going out. You can even download free templates via Microsoft Excel. If you need some financial business advice, give the kno wledgeable ‘sassy’ ladies at Sass a call on 577 7128. Your Success is Our Business Ready to take YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL? We’ll help you make the right moves We are passionate about your success and we understand that to be successful in business you need to achieve both personal and business goals. So our approach is holistic, innovative and proactive. We want you to win. We want what you want: a great life! Level 4, Rangitane House 2 Main Street, Blenheim Ph: 03 577 7128 Email: info@sass.nz www.sass.nz