I love the Business Victoria website, it provides lots of advice on starting, buying, growing, and selling your business and I highly recommend it to all Australian small business owners.
And recently I saw a great article on there on ways to make adjustments to your business to help move from a negative, to a positive, cash flow. Not all of the tips can be done using Google Workspace, but I did notice ways in which a small business owner could maximise their Google Workspace investment.
So this article focuses on those tips that can be done through Google Workspace – check out the full article for even more ideas on improving your cash flow!
Tips for using Google Workspace tools to improve your cash flow
Encourage customers to pay early
Ok, this is a no-brainer. The sooner you get paid, the better your cash flow is going to look!
- Invoice your clients as soon as you’ve delivered your products or services.
- Set reminders via Google Tasks or set an actual event on Google Calendar to make sure you do this sooner rather than later.
- Google Keep is another great way to get reminders
- Regularly follow up on outstanding payments and debts.
- Again, use Google Tasks or Google Calendar for this. One trick I use, is to attach the original email to my Google Task. Then when the task pops up, I just click on the attached email and can forward it to the recalcitrant client quickly and easily!
- Google Keep is another great way to get reminders but you can’t access linked emails via the mobile app so I tend not to use it in these situations.
- Have processes in place that allow you to quickly resolve customer disputes.
- List those processes in a Google Doc that you (and any employees) can easily access no matter whether you’re on the computer or the mobile device.
Understand what the customer wants
Familiarise yourself with what problem your product or service solves for your customer. The more you know about what the customer wants, the easier it will be to meet their needs.
A great way to do this is through surveys in Google Forms:
- Ask your current customers or clients why they chose your product or service.
- Send out surveys to people who’ve perhaps signed up to your newsletter but aren’t yet a customer or client. Ask them what they want to see from your small business!
Improve your online presence
Ok, this isn’t purely Google Workspace, but it does involve using Google tools.
- If you’re the sort of business that should be using social media (and not every business does need to use social media for marketing) create a Google calendar for social media posts and stick to it!
- If you’re a local business, then make sure your Google Business Profile is up to date and optimised.
If you know how to reach your customers and understand their buying habits, you can develop marketing activities to encourage repeat business.
Follow up on every enquiry and answer every phone call. Again, this is an no brainer in theory but in practice it can be quite difficult to do.
Some ways to ensure people are able to get in touch with you, and that you can answer enquiries in a timely manner:
- Make sure your contact details are correct on all your online sites and that your opening hours are correct as well! (again, not really a Google Workspace tip but definitely something all small business owners should do).
- If people often ask similar questions, add the question and answer to your website as a FAQ or do a video post or similar on it. Then create a Gmail template that references those resources, and the next time someone emails you with this question, use the template to respond with the pre-linked information!
- You could even just have a Google Doc with all the relevant information, and send that as a view only link to people.
- Use Gmail filters to batch emails so that you know which ones have come from online contact forms to allow for quick responses.
Finally, forecast your cash flow
Monitor your sales trends and upcoming expenses, and prepare regular cash flow forecasts to identify potential cash flow shortages in the near future.
This is key – if you’re not able to cover your expenses with the cash in your bank account at any given time, then you’re not going to be in business for very long.
Business Victoria has an excellent article all about forecasting cash flow, and a free template that you can use to forecast and record cash flow. (in Excel sadly).
Want more personalised help?
I hope this article was of assistance to you, but if you want more personalised help then why not get in touch?
I specialise in helping small business owners just like you work better with Google Workspace so you can save time and money by streamlining your business processes; increasing your productivity; and improving client and employee comunications.