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Improve Your Business

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Many businesses never realise their full potential, often because the owner loses their motivation and entrepreneurial flair after reaching their first goal. Businesses can grow in different ways. Some may increase the range of products or services they sell. Others may increase the quantity of customers they are selling to. You may even diversify vertically. Producers or manufacturers may expand into distribution or retailing.  Retailers or distributors may start producing some of what they sell.

This course will help you to see the possibilities for expanding your business; and understand how to make better decisions, with a greater chance of success in moving your business forward.

 

COURSE CONTENTS

Lesson 1: Recognising Problems - Where Things Go Wrong?
How to Recognise Problems
What Do Most People Do?
Focus on the Issues
Comparing Your Business to Your Competitors
Maintaining a Balanced Perspective
Recharge Your Batteries
Always Run Your Business as if it is For Sale
Checklist for Identifying the Problem
Finance
Product Range
Customer Service
Staffing
Marketing
Know your Competition
Checklist to Identify a Problem

Lesson 2: Changing with the Times
How Do You Do This?
1) Understanding Control
3) Adapt to Technology
5) Predict the Future
6) Know when to Get Out
6) Keep Learning
Some Golden Rules of Business

Lesson 3: Revise Financial Management
Initial Start-up Finance
Financial Difficulties in Business
1) Financial Service Providers
2) Spending
3) Payments
How to Borrow Money and Get the Best Deal
Business Costing
Pricing
Cash Flow
Ensure as well as Insure
Budgeting
Bookkeeping
Options for Improving Your Financial Position
Up-scaling a Business
The Cash Cycle – Cash Flow and Liquidity
Managing Bad Debts

Lesson 4: Revise Your Marketing
What Do We Mean By Marketing?
Raising Awareness
Convincing Them to Buy
Closing a Sale
Collecting Payment
Do You Understand the Basic Principles of Marketing?
Target Marketing
Supply and Demand
Competition
Know your Competition
Opening and Closing a Sale
Building a Client Base
Visibility and Impact
Billboards
Social Media
Websites
Newsletters
Aggressive Advertising
Blogs
E-zines
Discounts
Competitions
Networking
Re-focus Your Marketing
The Law and Selling
Marketing Strategies

Lesson 5: Revise Your Product
Choosing a Product Range
Why is the Product Not Selling?
Analysing the Product
Customer Feedback
Deciding to Drop a Product
Staff Awareness of Products
Use Accounting Practices for Stock Tracking and Stock Control
Product lines and mixes
Product life cycle

Lesson 6:  Revise and Engage Your Staff
The Individual as Staff
Employ Staff When Needed
Employing Permanent Staff
Employ the Workforce You Need, Not the Workforce You Want
Legal Obligations and Moral Obligations When Employing Staff
Who Do You Employ?
Employing Friends and Family – For and Against
Motivating Staff
Incentives
Giving Staff Responsibility
Avoiding Stress in Your Staff and Yourself

Lesson 7:  Using Business Systems to Improve a Business
Sales funnels
What is a Sales Funnel?
The Process
Ways to Create Sales Funnels
What Does a Sales Funnel Look Like?
Retail Sales and Sales Funnels
Keeping the Momentum Up
Setting sales targets
Sales analysis
why a Sales Analysis?
Other business systems
inventory Control
Striking a Better Deal - Optimising the Supply Chain
Budgeting and Budget Types
How Do You Make a Properly Considered Decision?
Solving Problems Systematically
Business Problem Considerations
Conclusion

LEARN TO BETTER MANAGE CASH FLOW AND LIQUIDITY



Cash fuels a business – the health of a business’s cash flow business is the difference between success and failure. Cash flow is the way cash moves through a business i.e.  in and out. 

Cash flow is the way cash cycles through a business.
Liquidity is the availability of a liquid asset (cash) to a business

A business needs cash flow in order to conduct day to day business activities. The cash cycle is the amount of time it takes a business to generate income from the resource materials it inputs at the start of the cycle. It is essential that a business always has the ability to pay for the cost of operating that business. This may be achieved by holding adequate cash in reserve, or alternatively, by developing and maintaining a facility by which adequate cash can quickly and easily be raised, for example through overdraft banking facilities; by being able to return unsold goods to suppliers or by having assets which are very easily converted into cash. This ability to access funds is referred to as "liquidity". A business with good liquidity is able to survive unexpected occurrences; but a business with poor liquidity may fail if something unexpected happens.

Note: Although some businesses help cash flow by using credit or loans. Loans come at a cost of course, interest on loans create extra expense and results in lower profits. If the business is not financially stable then it also adds risk.  

In a business we need to shorten the cash flow cycle as much as possible i.e. the time it takes to generate income from a cash investment.  This is so that the business has enough cash to continually buy the raw materials it need to produce the product or service it is offering. If the cash cycle is interrupted at any stage it may reflect badly on the businesses ability to continue trading. 

For example if cash is short then the business can’t buy materials this in turn means it can’t make sales and as a consequence it won’t receive cash required for more materials. The same applies at any point in the cycle if customers do not pay their accounts then there is no cash to generate further business. If sales drop the same applies. 

Cash flow does not reflect profitability a business may be profitable but still be short on cash this could be because it offered too much credit to customers. A business may make huge sales and if no one pays on time then they can still run into trouble. So a business depends on its debtors to settle their debts as quickly as possible in order to generate cash flow to fund further business operations. Offering credit terms to customers may be balanced with using credit to purchase the materials etc. required to run the business. And this needs stringent controls and reporting systems in order for the business to understand exactly where they stand financially, at any point of time in the cash cycle. 


 



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