Mid-Year Financial Checkup: 5 Steps Every Business Owner Should Take

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Remember back in January? Those goals you set for your business?

Like so many of us, your it’s-a-new-year-let’s-crush-it enthusiasm has probably faded a bit. And maybe, now at the halfway point of the year, your business’ fiscal fitness isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be.

Not to worry; mid-year is the perfect time to relax, re-center, and re-focus on those financial goals for a strong year-end finish.  

As a launchpad, we’ve gathered key pointers and considerations for you to add to your checkup to help your business get financially fit — and ready for the second half of the year:

Tip #1: Evaluate costs and ROI

Look at your expenditures and their return on investment. Are you paying a monthly subscription fee for a service, but maybe not getting much out of it? If it isn’t producing a solid return, consider stopping the service and re-purposing those dollars into something else that does more for your business.

Tip #2: Review your cash flow and billing strategy

Do you have cash tied up in unpaid invoices from customers? Many businesses do. And many businesses spend unnecessary time and energy trying to collect those payments.

Instead of repeatedly sending invoices and making phone calls, take a different approach. Consider setting up recurring billing through your business management software to automate invoices, and ensure reliable recurring revenue. This is an especially effective approach for membership-based businesses that have monthly membership fees like fitness clubs, yoga studios, and martial arts schools.

Tip #3: Utilize your software’s financial reporting to gain insight

You’re investing in a business management software, why not use it to its fullest capacity? Most software programs have dashboards and detailed financial reports to help you get a read on key business elements like revenue, sales and value, active members by program, and membership packages.

Utilizing these reports will provide important actionable insights and benchmarks that you can then use to take immediate action and improve business performance.

Tip #4:  Review your online merchant processing statements to get a good read on volume and trends

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with Payments Insider, a new, interactive, online portal that houses all your business’ payment information.

The portal gives you online access to your merchant account credit card statements from the past 13 months. All statements can be filtered by location, statement type, and date range — and you can click on any of the values within the statement for greater detail.

Be sure to pay attention to the tables and graphs provided that break down transactions by sales, returns, chargebacks, card/dollar/transaction amounts and average ticket price. These visual representations of your payment activity can help you quickly identify areas of strength, and those that could use a little help.

Tip #5: Readjust your goals

Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity and a means for guidance and direction. You’ll likely need to readjust your goals based on your past 6-month’s business performance. And that’s OK! Most of us do. The key is to make smart goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound), get them in writing, make an action plan, and stick with them. And be sure to celebrate any and all progress!

Review Your Finances Regularly

Just like taking your car in for regular maintenance checkups, it’s important to take your business into the shoppe on a regular basis. Get under the hood, take a hard look at your business finances, and see what needs to be fine-tuned to improve performance.

Do that, and no doubt, you’ll thank yourself come December 31. You’ll smile hard as you reflect back on the year and how you helped your business achieve peak financial fitness.

Have a success tip of your own? Share it below.
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What’s an ACH Payment? How Does ACH Benefit My Business? (Video)

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The year 2000. That’s when I moved out of my parents’ house, and into the real world.

I remember a big part of my adulting was setting aside an hour or so once a month to “pay the bills”. Paying the bills required my checkbook. (Not a real book, a small 3” x 6” — usually pleather — folder with a pad of paper checks and ledger inside.)

Paying the bills meant I’d write out each check, fill out the remittance slip, put the check and slip into the supplied return envelope, and slap a postage stamp on the envelope. I’d then take my stack of envelopes to the mailbox for the post office to pick up and deliver. Delivery would take anywhere from 1 to 3 days depending on the vendor location.

Quite a process.

Today, all my bills are paid electronically online as ACH payments. It takes about 10 minutes to pay all 6 of my bills. I haven’t yet made the jump to automatic ACH, but know many who have. Automatic ACH means no time at all is spent “paying the bills”.

What’s an ACH payment?

You’re probably familiar with ACH payments and don’t realize it.

Have you ever gone to pay a bill online and you’ve been prompted to enter your bank routing number and bank account number? That’s an ACH payment.

But let’s back-pedal a bit. That acronym. What’s it stand for? ACH is the Automated Clearing House — the clearing center for all electronic payments that happen between banks and financial institutions in the U.S.

When people talk about ACH they’re usually referring to ACH processing — the process of moving funds from one bank account to another. Or an ACH payment — an electronic payment/eCheck — where you, the customer, give authorization for an institution to debit funds directly from your checking or savings account for bill payment.

How does a business benefit from ACH?

The benefits of ACH payment are clear for consumers: It’s much more convenient. Making an ACH payment is a lot faster than writing out a check and getting the payment into the mail on time. Plus, money is saved by not having to buy postage stamps.

For a business, there are many benefits to taking ACH payments, too. Some of the top benefits are:

Faster processing time — With ACH payments, it’s all online, so the processing time is much faster which means you get your money quicker. ACH payments are usually processed within 1-2 business days versus 5-6 business days it takes for the check to arrive in the mail and process it.

Cost-effective — With ACH payments, the funds are transferred from bank account to bank account electronically which makes the transaction cost very low and therefore, a more cost-effective payment method for businesses than accepting credit and debit card payments.

Especially cost-effective for businesses and organizations with recurring billing — The more transactions you have, the more transaction fees you pay. And if you run a business that charges a monthly fee, like a gym, or have customers that pay on a recurring basis, like a utility company, you have lots of transactions. ACH is particularly attractive for these businesses and organizations because they can accept payments in a cost-effective way.


Think ACH is right for you?

Obviously, ACH offers both businesses and customers the opportunity to save time and it provides major convenience. For businesses, you’re able to secure payments faster and save on transaction fees with ACH.

If you’re interested in learning more about ACH, or signing up to take ACH payments, give us a call at 888.244.2160 or fill out our simple online form. We’d be happy to go over the rates for ACH with you and help you get set up so you can start saving and streamlining your payment process.

Kristen Campbell is the Brand Manager at Constellation Payments. She is responsible for managing all marketing initiatives and programs including channel partner and merchant success programs, public and media relations, internal and external communications, and customer engagement. You can reach Kristen by sending an email to

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3 Fulfillment Mistakes that Can Kill a Subscription Business

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You have a great product with great marketing and PR. You also have decided to add a subscription model to your offerings, so that you can have an ongoing revenue stream from your customers. But beware … if you don’t avoid these three errors at fulfillment, you and your company will suffer:

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3 Creative eCommerce Models that Yield Substantial Subscription-Based Revenue

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It pays to consider (and reconsider) all options. We live in a day and age, where today’s “King of the Hill” can become tomorrow’s old news.

Markets are disrupted at a pace never seen before. Disruptions used to be slow, because getting capital for unproven concepts required capital that was hard to find outside of banks or venture capital firms.

Today crowdfunding platforms like have changed how and at what pace new concepts can be taken to market. The new rule is: “innovate or die.”

There’s no doubt that if you sell a consumable product like razors or diapers that there’s a lot of money to be made by offering those products as an ongoing subscription. Customers agree to pay or on a schedule and have their credit cards charged, and their products delivered, on a schedule. These make sense right away.

But there are other ways to leverage the power of a recurring billing model. Here are 3 options worth investigating:

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DIY Recurring Payments? Read This Before You Go Any Further

Moving to or adding a recurring revenue model will definitely cause a spike in customer sales. It will also increase the number of interactions you have with each customer. This is important to consider if you are planning a DIY approach to automating the recurring transactions (i.e. coding it yourself).

Trying to build and implement your own payment processing platform is a complex undertaking and can cause real headaches, missed revenue opportunities and big client problems due to billing errors. Administrative costs will be higher too. In-house programming will also inhibit your ability to quickly change your offerings, because every change requires new coding. Here are some key things to consider:

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The Most Important 100 Words to Read Today

Being competitive is about taking action. Research will only get you so far. That’s why today’s post is short.

Instead of reading tons of content, DO SOMETHING … right now.

If your company already sells recurring products or services, or is considering it, one thing to be comfortable with is change. Markets … regulations … technologies change. You must too.

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The Subscription Revolution: What You Need to Know

The winds of change are working their magic across the consumer and corporate marketplaces. The digital economy is growing exponentially, and with it, the popularity of the subscription-based business model.

As companies and the industries they function in mature, the adoption of innovations in pricing and packaging become increasingly necessary. With it, comes the opportunity to build value in customer relationships. Without it, one’s company risks being lost in an increasingly-crowded marketplace.
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How to Reduce Churn and Increase Your Bottom Line [Infographic]

If you have a subscription or recurring revenue business, you need to understand churn. Why? Understanding it, and how to lower it, can exponentially increase your business’ revenue.

Use this infographic as your quick guide to proactive churn management – and get on your way to a better bottom line and predictable cash flow.


FREE Report

7 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Offering Recurring Billing to Your Clients

Are you making these billing mistakes? Download this FREE report for quick tips on retaining your ongoing client relationships and increasing recurring revenue.

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Why Subscription Business Models Make Good Business Sense

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Make no mistake. The move to the subscription economy is in full swing. The traditional single transaction-based product purchase model is being replaced by a subscription-driven relationship-based model. This new paradigm puts the customer and their relationship with your company as the highest priority.

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Subscription Billing Solutions: Reduce “Churn”, Raise Revenue

If you have a business that involves a recurring or subscription billing arrangement between you and your customer, you need to understand churn.

Churn is the number of customers or subscribers that end their recurring relationship with your company. If you’ve ever cancelled a magazine subscription, you’ve contributed to that company’s churn.

Churn is an inevitable part of a subscription model. Understanding churn, and the ability to master it, can make a huge impact on the bottom line of your business.
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