Do this ONE thing to GROW your Revenue in 2018!

Wondering how to Grow your Small Business in 2018?

Many business owners are energized by the beginning of the new year. Big Goals, new P&L, and big hopes and dreams. While goal setting is extremely important, many business owners forget and/or don’t understand one critical component:

Understanding your Customer!

Who buys your products and/or services? Your Customer! Who doesn’t buy your products and services? Your Customer! The reality is, your customer is out there searching for and assessing your products/services. The question is, how are you going to reach them and get them to buy. As consumers become more aware of marketing techniques and increasingly picky, your customers want more than just your product/service, they want to FEEL that YOUR product/service will resolve THEIR PROBLEMS. If you can connect the dots between how your brand is best positioned to solve their problems, you will see your revenues and brand awareness increase!

Companies focus on their products and services, BRANDS focus on their customers and solving their problems!

Want to win in 2018? Change from promoting products/services to promoting your ability to solve problems.

FOCUS

Just like in any relationship, it takes time to get to know them and what makes them tic (buy). It is critical to get laser-focused on figuring this out. That’s why we recommend you FOCUS this year to help grow your revenue. This is so critical that at the end of our Customer Value Proposition exercise, we find a picture that represents the customer, name, him or her, and then print out a picture, frame it and hang it on the wall in our client’s office. What does FOCUS mean?

Follow One Customer Until Success!

Some may say, “but I serve so many different customers, that is impossible.” We hear this argument all of the time. We agree with you but just from a different viewpoint. It is impossible to sell everyone on your product/service. Think about it, everyone doesn’t own an iPhone, do they? In fact, Apple does such a good job marketing to their target audience that others outside of their target market buy their phone.

When you FOCUS, plan for collateral impact!

When I was in the military, they use a term called “Collateral Damage” to describe any damage surrounding the desired target that was unintentionally damaged. In the marketing world, Aculign calls this Collateral Impact. Think about it.  Do other people buy an iPhone that is not within their ideal customer profile? Yes! For example, my father-in-law is a 65-year-old former farmer who spends most of his time fixing equipment and walking on his property. Apple didn’t market to him. They did market to me and my wife who attracted him to buy one. My Father-in-Law has been affected by Collateral Impact by speaking our language, not his. Now, I must admit that I now use a Google Pixel and love it much more than the iPhone.

Once you get your model right, expand and continue to differentiate!

Once you experience the power of FOCUS and have succeeded. EXPAND your product/service to help solve similar problems. Take that model as a starting point to drive value to a different product/service. This will help you continue to DIFFERENTIATE. And yes, we have an acronym for you to help you remember to EXPAND and DIFFERENTIATE. You guessed it! You must stay FOCUSED!

Follow One Customer Until Success, Expand and Differentiate!

Are you willing to FOCUS this year to grow your REVENUE?

We spend thousands of hours each year working with businesses to help them speak the language of their customers. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of our job is watching the “light bulbs” come on as they better understand their customer. Speaking their language is the most critical part of business growth. Companies don’t grow by just offering their products and services, they win by positioning their brand to solve their most pressing problems through their products and services. Want to get started? Here are 3 things you can do today to get started:

  1. Download our FREE Brand Catalyst Guide. All it will cost you is an e-mail. Yes, we do want your e-mail so we can send you other things that may help you!
  2. Schedule a 2-hour Customer Value Proposition Exercise with our professionals. You and your team will come to our conference room or online and meet with our team to walk you through our 7 part framework that will help you grow your revenue by getting ridiculously clear on WHO you are serving.
  3. Websites are critical to your brand message. We are offering a FREE website audit. Get your report today!

There is no better time to start than NOW. Regardless of where you are in your business journey, if you do not have a clear vision of your customer, doing so will certainly increase your revenue in 2018!

2 Metrics for Improved Receivable Management

Cash flow is an accounting term that basically describes how the company makes and/or obtains money (Sources) and how the company spends money (Uses). SOURCES can be from Clients, investors, debt, donations, etc. USES can be anything from purchasing supplies to paying your local power bill. Anytime money goes out the door is a USE from a cash flow perspective. So, what are some good ways to make sure you can measure some of those sources and uses of money? In this series of posts, we will discover several different ways to measure and manage cash flow.
For this post, we will dive into Receivables Management. While there are many great ratios and indicators that can assist you with managing receivables, we will start with 2 great metrics: Receivables Turnover Ratio and the Average Collection Period. The good news is that your accounting tools should be able to provide this information very easily.

Accounts Receivable Turnover:

The Accounts Receivable turnover tells you the number of times per year that your business collects its average accounts receivable. This ratio helps companies evaluate how efficient they are at issuing credit and collecting funds from its customers in a timely manner. A high turnover ratio indicates the company’s collection department is seeking payment, the company’s credit policy is being followed and can even indicate the quality of the customers.

How do you measure this?

AR Turnover

Let’s look at an example:

During the first half of the year, a landscaping company has a total Net Credit sales of $1,000,000. They had a beginning accounts receivable of $400,000. At the end of June, 180 days later, they had an ending accounts receivable balance of $300,000.

Let’s put this formula to the test:

AR Turn example

In summary, the landscaping company was able to collect the average receivables almost 3 times in 180 days. While this is great information, your next question is how long does it take me on average to collect? This is also called the Average Collection Period.

 

Average Collection Period:

The Average Collection Period tells you on average how long (in days) it takes to receive money from products or services you have invoiced or credited. In this ratio, a low number is better because it means it has fewer funds tied up in what people owe, thereby allowing the company to invest in other things that will help them grow.
Lower the days that people owe, the more you will have to transform and grow. – Keith Minick

How do you measure this? The formula is:

Average Collection Period

Let’s look at an example:

Continuing with the example above, the Accounts Receivable Turnover was 2.86 times. Since we measured the first half of the year, we will make the total number of working days at 180.

Let’s put this formula to the test:ACP Example

In summary, this landscaping company may have a problem receiving money for services and products rendered. It takes on average 63 days to collect sales from credit accounts. This could create significant cash flow problems and limit its growth.

Some disadvantages to low receivable turn and high collection periods:

There are many disadvantages of allowing your customer account receivable balances to age longer than thirty days especially if your customers are not companies.  The longer you take to collect, the chances of writing the account off is increased.  All families come into hard times, and may have cash flow problems themselves.  It is better to communicate in a positive way and in a diplomatic way ask when you can expect payment.  If they don’t hear from you, your bills go to the bottom of the pile or possibly in the trash.  It is a good idea to rigorously manage your receivables. The success of your business and its ability to grow depends on it!

Some recommendations to improve your turnover of receivables:

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  • Offer a discount for early payment. For example, if services are paid one year in advance, the cost of the services are decreased by 5%.
  • Build incentives to your employees based on collections made within the 30-day period. Example; A $50 bonus each month if your current receivables are 85% of your overall receivable balance.
  • Build your commission policies in a format that only pays commissions when the accounts are paid in full. This gets your sales people involved in assisting with collections.
  • If you don’t have a collections policy, build one. You will need to educate not only your staff but also your customers.
  • Assign late fees.
  • Consider hiring a collection agency once your receivables cross a certain threshold.
  • For some product and service oriented customers, you may want to consider bringing the point of sale to the customer. Products like Square, allow you to plug into any mobile device to collect payment right when the service or product is rendered.
  • Consider stopping all service for a client with receivables past a certain time period.
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We wish you the best as you navigate your accounts receivable. We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact our CFO, Ron Minick at Ron.Minick@aculign.com. In continuation of the series, next week we will explore ways to measure and manage your payables.

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