#Immediacy on speech making

The simplest, and easiest, way is to make your own copy invoices ...

The simplest, and easiest, way is to make your own copy invoices do the work, for you by placing them, visibly, in a container' marked with the payment date. One such system, operated by a small printing company, uses three 'concertina' files. Each section in the file represents, and is marked with, a working day, and into it is placed any invoice due to be paid on that day. This, without any records at all, tells the clerk in charge which invoices are due for payment each day and, by comparison with today's date, any which are overdue and by how long.

The 'first' file covers the present month, and the others the next two months. As one becomes cleared it is used to start another record for the third month ahead. Variations on this idea may be preferred, such as using boxes with compartments marked by week or month, or by having a special 'overdue folder' into which outstanding invoices are placed when payments are outstanding for more than, say, seven days.

The 'overdue folders' might be kept on the manager's desk for his personal attention and to enable him / her to see, at a glance, if there is any significant indebtedness. The other side of the coin paying for supplies This aspect of the business is one where, within limits, efforts should be made to avoid the message in the title of this section 'Speeding the cash flow'. When paying out, the usual preference is to slow down the cash flow. The objective should be to seek legitimate and fair ways to do it without damaging your reputation and business.

Suppliers who are treated badly may well discontinue giving credit and, possibly, spread the word that your business is giving them trouble.

Where a business has had a good relationship with a supplier, and payments have been made on time, it may well be possible to negotiate a longer period of credit in temporary periods of difficulty. Most suppliers will want to keep and encourage a hitherto valued customer, and will often meet an honest and open request for easier terms. It is essential, however, that these terms, if granted, are adhered to. Suppliers may, in any case, be prepared to grant better terms either in payment periods or discounts to a respected and long-standing customer, and it is well worth making an approach.

Alternatively, it is often possible to negotiate a bulk order at reduced price coupled with an arrangement to 'call-off' the supplies at regular intervals. Such arrangements will assist suppliers in their own forward planning and may well be attractive enough to them to prompt more favourable terms. Perhaps it is unnecessary to say that all invoices should be checked to see that they accurately represent the deliveries made, and that the business is not being charged for something it did not order or receive.

It is of course quite legitimate to withhold payment while a genuine error is being cleared up. Selling off the surplus No opportunity should be lost in selling off any unwanted stock, machinery, office equipment or whatever. It is not unknown for businesses to have idle equipment probably bought for a particular job or project which is gathering dust and occupying valuable space. Whatever amount of money was paid for such items, and whatever 'website value' they may have, it is better to dispose of them and convert them into cash which can be usefully applied elsewhere in the business.

Keeping unused or unwanted items amounts to a loss of income, at least to the extent that any sale value could be sitting in a building society account earning interest. What you can do right Now Online : Brainstorm ways to increase your cash sales. If one or two of the best ideas are applied, what effect will this have on profit? How good is your invoicing system? Review the system, check how it works, and the time lag between fulfilling the order and mailing the invoice.

Try to find a way to cut, say, 25 per cent from ...

Try to find a way to cut, say, 25 per cent from the time lag. Try, as far as practicable, an experiment by invoicing in smaller amounts. Monitor the results to see if there i... read more

Fortunately, dealing with tax is not wholly a matter of coping with ...

Fortunately, dealing with tax is not wholly a matter of coping with more and more onerous impositions on business. Governments do, ... read more

A basic qualification eg by examination. However, these attributes alone should not ...

A basic qualification eg by examination.

However, these attributes alone should not be the only criteria on which your choic