How To Save Your Valuable Time By Putting In Place A Proper Finance Function
As an ecommerce entrepreneur you find that you’re busy with various different things during a working day and you need to wear multiple hats. There are lots of questions and lots of decisions to be made and they’re not always easy.
You may not be sure which of your stock items are the most profitable, or even perhaps which ones you should phase out. You might not always know how much money you will have to purchase your next batch of stock. You may be really keen to take on a new member of staff but aren’t sure if you can really afford it just yet.
Different questions may pop into your head – Have you put enough money aside for the upcoming VAT bill? Do you even know how much VAT you’ll need to be paying? Or what about corporation tax or even your own personal tax – do you know how much you need for this and when it’s due?
Do you know if you’re achieving your goals and targets?
What we find is that so often e-commerce entrepreneurs make decisions under assumptions or gut feel rather than on actual data. Many find out 6 to 9 months after their year end, once their annual accounts have been completed, that their company isn’t as profitable as they thought it was, even though they worked twice as hard in that year.
Any of this sound familiar?
Lots of online business owners only review their financial data at the end of the year or when they’re in trouble. You don’t want to be one of them!
Now, I’m sure you didn’t start your own ecommerce business to deal with finance and numbers. Unfortunately though, the financials cause a lot of the issues in your online business, and that will be even more the case as you start to grow and expand.
Having the right finance function in place puts you in control and saves you time.
Some ecommerce entrepreneurs, if they’re not making enough money, will try to rectify this by working longer hours and by doing more of the work themselves…… but you’re looking to save your valuable time, not spend more of it working in the business doing tasks that you don’t need to be doing yourself.
So getting the right finance function in place provides you with a highly beneficial situation for a number of reasons:
- Once you have your business (and personal) financial goals set in place you know where you’re going and you can then create a plan that you can follow.
- Once you have put the right measurement systems in place you’ll have a clear view on the key numbers for your e-commerce business. So from clear tailored reports you can then make good, informed decisions to successfully drive the business forward.
- By getting this finance system in place you are building a process that will continue to operate efficiently as your business grows, so it lays the groundwork for expansion.
- Since it provides increased visibility to everyone on what is happening in the business, it is very valuable when dealing with potential investors, banks for loans, and perhaps even customers and suppliers – since nobody wants to do business with a company that doesn’t have their operations under control
When you started your business maybe all you needed was a couple of hours to register the few transactions that you made each week. You could easily see if you were making money or not when dealing with so few transactions. However, if you’re past this initial stage then you’ll find by getting your financial procedures and systems properly in place asap then you’ll find that it will be a massive time saver for you moving forwards.
So by staying away from the financial operational activities this will allow you to really free up your time, create more value for your customers and to stay ahead of your competition!
It’s also been shown time and time again, across all small business sectors, not just ecommerce businesses, that having an expert outsider, somebody expert with the key numbers for your business, there to advise you and consider things with, can be a huge help for you to overcome the key challenges of the business.
So, in summary, getting the right finance function in place for your ecommerce business will allow you to:
- Free up your time (Yes!!)
- Take away your stress (or at least some of it!)
- Create more value for your customers (so you stay ahead of your competitors!)
- Make better informed decisions to grow your business.
You can take action now or just carry on as you are – the choice is yours……