Spring will be here before you know it. As a business owner, why not use this time to think about some financial spring cleaning?
Check your business credit.
One of the first things your business should do when you embark on your financial spring cleaning adventure is to check your business credit report.1 Is your score where it needs to be? Are there problem areas that you weren't aware of? Maybe there are some that you were aware of, but have not yet rectified. This is a good time to make things right (or as right as you can possibly make them). Getting your business credit in order can be a huge burden off your shoulders, and it can open new opportunities that can help you grow your business.
Evaluate your business credit card situation.
On a similar note, if you're getting a handle on your business credit score, why not do the same on your business credit cards?2 What kind of rates are you paying? Do you have any that can be paid off and canceled in favor of a new one with a better interest rate or a rewards program?2 Some business cards can help you restrict the type of purchases that employees can make or put limits on their spending, and most will provide summary statements that can help at tax time. Check with your bank and make sure you’re getting (and using) all the benefits from your business cards.
Can you eliminate any recurring charges?
This is also a good time to look at other recurring payments your business makes, and make some decisions on items like subscriptions or monthly fees. Can any of them be eliminated? Are they truly helping your business? Can any fees be reduced by switching providers? While you’re doing this, check to see if any of the charges you’re currently paying by check or automatic withdrawal can be switched to a business credit card so you can earn cash back or rewards.
Build a cash reserve.
If you're able to save some money by evaluating your business credit situation and canceling (or reducing) any recurring payments, you can use these savings to start building a cash reserve or add to the one you already have. Even if you can't find any meaningful savings with these strategies, make it a point to try to add money to your reserve monthly. Just treat it like any other recurring payment. The difference is that this one can really help you pull your business out of a tight spot someday. Shortfalls happen, and having a solid cash reserve can be the exact lifeline you need some day.
Do you have any contracts that can be (or need to be) renegotiated?
Another way to potentially save some money is to look at all your existing long-term contracts and see if there are any opportunities to renegotiate. It might take some uncomfortable phone calls, but if there is a legitimate reason for negotiation, you might be surprised at the outcome of this process.
Think ahead to next year's business taxes.
Tax time may be here now, and you'll certainly need to deal with that accordingly, but as financial spring cleaning goes, preparing for next year's taxes will help you a great deal when the time comes. As you’re working with your accountant on this year’s taxes, start looking for opportunities to set yourself up right for your 2017 taxes.
Re-evaluate your pricing structure.
This might be the most difficult item on the list if you give the amount of thought it deserves. Changing your rates can have a major impact on your bottom line as well on how customers perceive your business. However, it's important that you remain competitive, and making an adjustment could be the best thing you do this year.3
How long has it been since you analyzed the landscape in terms of the rates your competitors are charging and the products/services they're offering? You may very well find that no change is needed, but if you really want to do some business financial spring cleaning, this is one thing that shouldn't be brushed off.
Meet your business banker.
Your banker can be a valuable resource, with advice about solving cash flow challenges, streamlining business processes, and much more. Developing a relationship with your banker can be a big help in growing your business.4
1. For more information about your business credit score, read this related article: https://nevadasmallbusiness.com/the-importance-of-your-business-credit-score/
2. Click here for information on business credit cards from Nevada State Bank, which offer a variety of benefits.
3. For more information on this topic, read this related article: https://nevadasmallbusiness.com/how-to-raise-prices-and-without-losing-customers/
4. Click here to make an appointment with a business banker.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.