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Prepare your small business for the new financial year

02 Jul 2015

The new financial year is an opportunity for small businesses to reassess their business practices and see where they can boost success, according to Concur.

Key challenges for small businesses include retaining customers, remaining financially solvent, and expanding and diversifying.

Focusing on these challenges, Concur has provided the following tips to help small businesses have a successful financial year.

Automate what you can to gain visibility

According to Forrester Research, 80% of organisations still rely on employee spend data that is manually entered by staff. 

This creates opportunities for errors and can prevent organisations from getting clear visibility into how much is being spent by which employees on what items.

Automation is the most reliable way to clean up an organisation’s expense management, Concur says. 

When supplier invoices and employee expenses are managed via spreadsheets or paper-based forms, mistakes are bound to be made and duplicated.

By contrast, automated, integrated, end-to-end spend management systems can result in time-savings, better cash flow management, increased visibility and reporting.

Automation can also deliver a better understanding of where employees are, especially if they are travelling, and how to maximise employee satisfaction and productivity.

Put customers first to improve retention

Businesses can readily access technology and data to implement customer-oriented services. Offering birthday discounts, personalised emails, and other human touches can make customers feel special, earning their loyalty.

Matt Goss, Concur Australia managing director, says, “Going the extra mile for your customers can mean the difference between them choosing your company over another.”

Take charge of your finances to stay ahead

A qualified professional can show businesses how to set up their accounts and provide ongoing financial guidance.

Smart cloud services that save time and automate manual processes, such as tracking credit card spending and supplier invoices, can also help with managing accounts, says Concur.

Make a smart plan for the future to keep growing

A plan for continual growth should outline where the business wants to be within a certain timeframe and the strategy to get there. The plan should include ways to better understand customer pain points and motivations because business growth largely depends on their satisfaction, says Concur.

On planning for the future, Goss says, “Asking customers, partners and employees about ways to improve the current product can help develop solutions and services that people need and want.”

He says, “The learning process is constant and, as businesses experience successes and failures, new understandings emerge of works and what doesn’t.

"By focusing on customers, getting finances in order, and carefully planning the next steps forward, small businesses can give themselves the best chance at succeeding in the new financial year.”

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