February is a great month to look at your work schedule, your staff rosters – and be clear about the best products and services you have on offer.

What's your schedule for the month?

A schedule is a list of planned work, and work in progress.

If you don't schedule, your work will be held up – delaying payments and cash flow. Customers will also go elsewhere if they don't get what they want when they expect it.

How to schedule

  1. Keep records of all incoming work – include date received, work due, payment received, each process needed to complete the order, and the date of process completion.
  2. Match incoming work to staff.
  3. Look at ways to reduce hours of existing staff or get temporary staff depending on work needs.

Keep your costs and payments optimised by:

  • watching for staff cost blowouts due to time delays on the project, plus additional costs not budgeted for
  • making sure the invoice goes with the delivery of the goods or service for faster completion of payment
  • arranging progress payments for larger projects

What sells best – with the highest margin?

If you know what you sell the most of – and what makes the most money – you can direct your marketing to those things, which will increase your profit.

How to find out what sells best

  1. Calculate your margins.
  2. Make a list of your best products and services – highest selling and margin.
  3. Review your marketing plan to find ways to promote these products and services – such as a small discount for multiple popular items, package less popular items with popular items to increase overall sales.

Increase sales of your best products and services by:

  • placing your best items where your customer can see them – this applies to physical locations and online stores
  • asking your customers why they buy your most popular items – you'll receive valuable insights to tailor your services and product lines

Review staff rosters against sales and projects

You could be wasting money overstaffing in periods with low sales volumes.

How to do review staff rosters

  1. Compare staff rosters to sales and get the right ratios – watch out for overuse of casual staff or overtime.
  2. Hire additional staff on normal rates to save costs.

Make sure you have the right staffing in place with:

  • daily rosters that include sales and project times and costs for quick reference each month
  • flexible staffing arrangements in place so staff allocation can be quickly adjusted to changing sales or project volumes