Successful small business owners work hard, but hard work alone doesn’t keep a business afloat. They must keep accurate financial records and understand their cash flow trends.
If your records are more scattered than organized, it’s hard to make educated decisions. Unexpected expenses, unpaid invoices, and erratic workloads can put a big dent in your cash flow. This is where Invoice2go reports can make your life a little easier.
Our latest release was designed to take you even closer to achieving this. We’ve added a colorful stacked bar graph to your home screen carousel and reports dashboard. This graph identifies your top 5 clients and what percentage of business they make up, providing you with a quick view of where your business stands. Bar graphs have also been added to report drill downs so you can now switch between table view and graph view for most reports.
These updates will ensure that your most important data is always front and center, in easy-to-digest formats.
Here are four practical ways these updates, and the rest of Invoice2go’s reporting features, can help you make wiser choices for your business:
Understand and plan for cyclical or seasonal sales trends
Most businesses experience ebbs and flows throughout the year. If these are catching you by surprise, it’s time to study the trends.
Reports like Sales by Date can help you plan ahead, for instance:
- If your slow months are in Nov/Dec, start planning to secure more jobs for those months in Sept/Oct.
- Ramp up your advertising at the beginning of slow months to attract more clients (here we shared a long list of simple cost-effective ways to promote your business).
- In busier months, if you often depend on contractors, plan to contact them at least a month before the busy period begins so they’ll be on the schedule when that extra work comes in.
Monitor cash flow trends
Payments by Date helps you understand trends around when cash is flowing in, so you can make smarter choices around future expenditures. By looking at the numbers for the past two years, notice when you are earning the most, and least, revenue. Think about when it makes most sense to stick to basic expenses or to invest in new equipment or new advertising campaigns. You can also be smart about when to stash cash to help cover expenses during the slower months.
Track your most and least popular items
Whether you sell physical products or services like graphic design, chances are you have some things that tend to sell better than others. If you’re not quite sure what sells best, look at the Sales by Item report. Make a list of what’s sold best over the last couple years or months. This can help you determine what products or services you should be promoting with social media ads, contests, sales, etc. For the items that don’t sell well, consider retiring them. You don’t want to spend time and energy on things that don’t have a positive impact on cash flow.
Identify your top customers, and treat them accordingly
While every customer deserves your attention, not all customers are equal. Use Sales by Client to determine who your most valuable customers are, and put together a strategy to make sure they keep coming back.
The doughnut graph visual is only available on the Web app.
Beyond simply providing an excellent service, special incentives are a great way to nurture the relationships you don’t want to lose:
- Discounts – Your best customers deserve a little savings. For example, if they buy products in bulk, offer 20% off. If they book you more than once for services, give them a repeat customer discount of 15%.
- Rewards – One of the best ways to encourage repeat business is to offer rewards for subsequent purchases The U.S. Small Business Administration’s website has ideas for rewarding your customers, including loyalty punch cards, email opt-ins, and more.
- VIP programs – Design a tiered VIP or loyalty program that offers exclusive services and rewards for each level. Any programs that help you build relationships with loyal customers will continue to reap rewards in the long run.
Let Invoice2go reports shed some light on your cash flow trends so every decision you make is backed by the best kind of data – your own.