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Keeping all of your receipts in a shoebox, especially as they mount up in a large pile, is a pain to keep track of, no question about it. But you will never have a successful business if you don't systematically track your income and expenses, calculate your GST (plus other liabilities) and ensure your staff are paid properly and on time. If time is what you’re lacking then invest in a good bookkeeper- but get it done. Failing to manage the books is one of the key areas that Small Business Owners (SBO) neglect (or underestimate) and this is a killer of cash flow. Just having a good feel for it is NOT enough to get yourself in control of your businesses’ financial state. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster, so don’t fool yourself. Why? Because unless you know your true position, you will never be able to manage it effectively.
The cold, hard statistics… Small businesses in Australia are under increasing pressure and an alarming number are struggling to stay afloat. Research has shown that 51% of business start-ups do not survive beyond their fourth year of operation. ASIC reveals that 81% of businesses that became insolvent in 2012/13 were small businesses employing less than 20 people. The primary 2 causes of failure are:
- Poor strategic management, with 42% of owners reporting this problem and
- Inadequate cash flow or high cash use, with a further 41% citing this as a driving factor.
32% of businesses are trading at a loss, and 33% are experiencing poor financial control, admitting that they are not keeping good records.
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