With spring around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to start spring cleaning for your business.
Evaluating your operations at the start of the second quarter allows you to tweak and transform in ways that may pay off for the rest of the financial year.
Tip #1: Review your inventory
With supply chain disruptions continuing, you may have lower levels of stock, or even be overstocked. Spring is an ideal time to see what you’re holding and sell old, expired, or damaged stock at a discount if needed. That unlocks cash flow and frees up space for new stock.
Business Queensland offers sound advice about stock control and finding the right balance between keeping stock and the costs involved. There’s even an online calculator to work out your stock turnover ratio. It’s about getting the balance between overstocking, therefore paying more for space, labour, the outlay, and understocking, so risk losing sales.
An online inventory system that gives insights and alerts helps you keep track of what you’ve got, customer purchasing patterns, and supply chain issues, etc. Prioritise the 80% of sales that tend to come from 20% of your product lines.
Your business may also need to do a yearly stocktake for tax purposes. If that applies to you, then September could be your quarterly reminder to check your inventory. Use that review to identify more efficient ways to organise your stockpile.
Tip #2: Review your suppliers
Take a magnifying glass to your suppliers:
- Comb through historical data to identify issues, plus crystal-ball gaze for upcoming risks
- Look to diversifying suppliers and sourcing domestically rather than from overseas for greater certainty
- Investigate whether they could send items directly to your customers, saving you time, labour, and storage costs. This might be handy if you have an overflow of stock
- Nurture your relationships with them to build trust, reliability and increase the chance they’ll step in when you’re in a tight spot.
- Review your suppliers’ performance and give them feedback on key metrics (price, quality, reliability, communication flow, etc)
- Discuss payment terms, lowering minimum quantities and potential discounts each quarter
- Access outside expertise to give your supply chain a health check and to pinpoint areas that need improvements.
Tip #3: Declutter
It’s not just physical items, such as equipment, stock, and furniture, that you’ll need to consider. Adopt a ‘onesie’ rule for your workstation – only have what you need for your current task on your desk. Otherwise, you risk multitasking, which can cost you up to 40% of your productive time, research shows.
Put these aspects of your business under the microscope, too:
- Update your website
- Do a health check of your accounting processes, budget, P&L, and margins
- Finesse your marketing strategies
- Revisit your client lists to ensure their details are up to date
- Refresh your calendar to adopt ‘time blocking’ to ensure work is done to the deadline, and you set aside time to clear your mind.
Check with your local council for hard waste collection dates and recycling centres to help rehome your items no longer needed. If there’s still some value in them, consider selling them on online marketplaces, donating to thrift stores, or offering them to staff. Or, if you’re a social enterprise, and have a regular waste stream that could be repurposed, look into grant programs such as this one from the City of Melbourne.
Tip #4: Make sure your insurance is up to date
A year is a long time in business. It might be a while since you’ve updated your insurance cover. These things would trigger a need for a refresh, for example:
- Offering new services or products
- Sharper business policies and practices, such as for cyber security, remote working, etc
- Retiring some business assets
- Buying new business equipment
- Investment in more security for your premises
- Having new staff
- Different workplace conditions, such as fluctuating stock levels, moving premises or opening a new site, even remote staff now working from your office, etc.
Tip #5: Let us help you
We’re your friendly, knowledgeable guide on all things insurance. Reach out to us to make sure your insurance is up to date. We’ll also help ensure your policies are perfectly tailored to your current circumstances.