As oil and gas prices continue to slide, here in Alberta – where we tend to rely on the industry to help strengthen our whole economy – the outlook heading into 2016 isn’t as positive as we’d like it to be. Even so, we have confidence that the oil and gas industry will recover and that Calgary and Alberta businesses will thrive. The economy is predicted to begin modest recovery, even in Alberta during 2016.
Organizations, regardless of industry, tend to have five primary areas in which they experience the most financial difficulty. Addressing these five financial areas are what we consider the three most important “New Year’s Resolutions” for every Canadian business.
- Improve cash flow.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any organization, and there are several ways to improve cash flow, even when times are tough. One of the quickest ways for businesses – especially small to midsize businesses – to improve cash flow is to improve receivables. If you offer net 30, consider reducing it to net 10. You’re not a bank; you’re a business. Collect regularly and don’t overextend your business by carrying receivables for too long.
IT strategy to improve cash flow: Rather than make capital investments in IT equipment, lease servers or enlist the services of a hosted service provider.
- Take control of your operating budget.
Successful business owners are very aware of their operating budgets and maintain tight controls. This requires running regular financial reports, identifying where cost overruns are occurring, and developing a meaningful, achievable, and realistic budget under which their organizations can successfully operate.
IT strategy to improve your operating budget: Reduce the cost of IT infrastructure by shifting risk away from your organization.
- Replace outdated systems and process.
State of the art equipment and systems allow you to operate more leanly and efficiently. It’s a matter of getting the most out of your assets and your people by making everything work well. Assess your policies and procedures, eliminate redundancies, and tighten protocols.
IT strategy to improve process: Address IT and security risks now, before they become an issue, by including IT in your procedural updates.
The economy will recover. But until it does, we’re dedicated to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses make changes now to remain competitive, flexible, and ready to face whatever challenges come their way. We do this by providing essential IT support and customized services designed to meet the needs of your business. The ITeam will work with you to develop a cost-effective and comprehensive IT strategy that will help you survive economically stressful times. Contact us for a free consultation.