The balmy summer months are often referred to as ‘quiet’ months in the business world. But for small business owners there is hardly ever a ‘quiet’ moment, with long working hours and few breaks, no matter the weather.

We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a stress free summer. So we’ve developed a series of guides to help small business owners work smarter and make the most of the coming months. kashflow-summer-stamp

The third in the series highlights tips for being realistic and having a smart summer:

Stop setting unrealistic goals – Set realistic short-term and long-term goals to evaluate your company’s performance and know what you have achieved over a period of time. Measurable goals help you and your employees know the amount of work that needs to be done to meet the company’s overall target.

Keep on top of your finances – It is important that business owners keep on top of all systems and processes, particularly when it comes to accounting. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do and get help if you need it. Keeping a box of receipts that piles up and is sent to the accountant once or twice a year isn’t the best use of time or cost effective for anyone.

Consider a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy – ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies are being adopted in a lot of offices, with workers using the technology they are already comfortable with in the office. Research has already found that in offices with a BYOD policy productivity increased substantially, so in essence, technology helps productivity. If your office doesn’t have a policy that lets employees use their own devices, then make sure you have brought your A-game with the choice of hardware you have available.

Make payments easy for customers – Keep your cash flow healthy by making it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you. Try to avoid being paid by cheque as it will result in delays before the money arrives in your bank account. Online payments are a much better option so make sure this is clearly marked on your invoices.

Use apps to stay organised – There never seems to be enough time during the day to get everything done at work. So keep calm on the go with these apps to keep you organised and motivated:

Evernote – This app helps users remember and organise pretty much everything, all neatly collated in one workspace. It is incredibly easy to use, which is helpful when you have a lot to do and a lot to keep track of. You can record your voice, make notes of your to-dos and appointments, or even plan your next holiday.

Sticky notes – Long gone are the days of random pieces of paper cluttering your desks and countertops! This app allows you to create “digital sticky notes” in different colours and fonts, so it is nearly impossible to lose your important notes or thoughts.

Timr – A simple time tracking app which works on most mobile phones, and on PCs and Macs, and tells you exactly where the time has gone. This app is useful for tracking productivity and is simple to use: Just start Timr when you begin a work session and stop it when you’re done. While lots of offices have time tracking systems, the mobility of Timr means you can track work on a project even while you’re out at a meeting or on a job site.

Receipt Bank – Used by accountants and bookkeepers, the app aims to make the gathering, storage and processing of receipts and invoices as simple and cost-effective as possible by freeing small businesses from time consuming data entry tasks.

Missed the first and second series of top tips? Read them here:

Have a Smart Summer: KashFlow’s Top Tips for Small Businesses – Part 1

Have a Smart Summer: KashFlow’s Top Tips for Small Businesses – Part 2

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