• Cherie Larson

Preventative Maintenance for Your Small Business



We all know the value of preventative maintenance for our car, our home, and ourselves. But preventative maintenance can be valuable for your small business as well. Here are a few areas that you can begin saving time and money with preventative maintenance. These may seem unimportant at first, but they can allow you to find problems when they’re small instead of major - and sometimes prevent those problems altogether.


ANNUAL MAINTENANCE


1. Review the past year.

  • Are your business records complete and accurate?

  • How did your income and expenditures change?

  • What lessons can be learned from your financials?

  • Did you meet any of the goals you set a year ago? Why or why not?

2. Look forward to next year.

  • What goals do you have for revenue, expenses, hiring, marketing, etc? How will you meet those goals?

  • Implement changes now based on your goals and your analysis of last year.

3. How is your cash flow?

  • Do you have enough cash set aside to cover three to six months of expenses, including payroll and your management fees? If not, what are you going to change in the upcoming year to work towards this?

  • Did you have enough cash to pay your tax bill? How will you set aside money this year to make estimated payments and prevent a large annual bill?

4. Do you need to make changes in where you’re spending your money? Here are a few expenses to review that are often overlooked:

  • Personnel Costs – are you including benefits, computers, software, taxes, etc. in this cost? It’s important to know the true cost before you look at hiring more employees.

  • Subscriptions – these are often automatically billed. What are you paying for that you don’t use? What can you change to be more usable for you and your employees?

  • Bank Fees/Credit Card Charges – these seem small but add up quickly.

  • Can you discuss with your banker reducing basic account charges?

  • Can you get your credit card paid off – or switch to a lower interest card and pay it off faster?

  • Insurance – what are you paying for? Are you covering the right things?

5. Do you need to hire professionals? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. What’s the best use of your time?


QUARTERLY MAINTENANCE


1. Have you completed and reconciled your business records? How does this quarter compare to last quarter – and the same quarter last year? This is also a good way to find errors in your bookkeeping…before they take hours of fixing at year-end.


2. Do you have all of your employee records and tax filings completed?


3. What goals did you meet – or steps towards those goals? How should you pivot next quarter?


4. What changes in the economy this quarter might affect your business in the next month or year?


MONTHLY MAINTENANCE

1. Finish entering all of your accounting for the month and reconcile your accounts.


2. Meet with other leaders on your team to assess where you are and how things are going. What needs to change?


Just like any other maintenance, you need to schedule a time to do these things. Make sure to put reminders on your calendar or even block off time each month to review these maintenance items. And don’t put it off – wait too long and you’ll have issues instead of maintenance.


It’s often cheaper in the long run (and it definitely saves time) to hire a professional for your car and home, as well as your business. We can’t help with your car or home, but we can definitely assist with your business maintenance - give us a call today!