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Start afresh in the New Year

It’s the new financial year! While it’s possibly only bankers and accountants that get excited by the start of a new fiscal period, it is a good time for business owners to start afresh, here’s some things you can do:

Take a moment

It’s been a busy time doing the end-of-year financials and stocktake, but don’t be tempted to just roll straight into doing what you were doing before. As Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same over and over again and expecting different results”. Look back over what went well over the past year and what didn’t.  Don’t dwell on the past, but use it to make informed decisions about where you’re going. If you have business partners take some time out from the business together to reconnect and set some goals for the coming year.

Rediscover the Why

Why are you in business?  If your answer is: “to make money”, then ask yourself why this business, or why this industry? Is it a family legacy? Is it something you are passionate about? Why do your clients or customers care about what you offer them? Why do your employees want to work for you? Why do people want to shop with you? Why you are different? Asking yourself why can open up a fresh way of thinking about your business and re-motivate you.

Get your team fired up

Once you remind yourself why – then tell your team.  Don’t keep your passion a secret. Share your vision for the future of business with your employees. Research shows that a team that feels part of something will produce better quality work.  If you’ve noticed morale waning, then consider a team building day to help you improve communication and increase productivity.

Sharpen your own skills

Many small business owners are good at organising training for their employees but they neglect themselves. In the “Seven habits of highly effective people” Stephen Covey talks about a lumberjack who was frustrated because he wasn’t getting anywhere cutting down a tree. Turns out he was using a blunt saw, but didn’t want to lose time by stopping to sharpening it. Pick one area that you want to “sharpen” and make a commitment to take time out to work on it.

De-clutter

Give your office or retail space a good clean out, tidy up all your filing, clean the display shelves, remerchandise your products, and give your email inbox a good clean out.  (My team mates will laugh when they read this as I always have the largest inbox! This July is clean out time for me!)

Check your figures

July is a great time to do some planning on your finances. Check in with you accountant to look at things like:

  • Your pricing strategy – little tweaks to how you price your products and services can really improve your bottom line.
  • Your wages (are you paying employees correctly*, how long since you looked at the Modern Awards relating to your employees’ for updates and changes, are you withholding the right amount of tax and paying the right super, are your payslips right?), do you have insurances in place that cover you and your business.

*If you have more than 20 employees you should be using single touch payroll (STP) now, and for all other businesses, you need to be looking into a STP system that will work for you as you’ll need to have it in place by 1 July 2019.

Set the Budget

Once you’ve checked your figures, then prepare your budget for 2018/19 year.  Don’t just do it because the bank is asking for it, but really work on developing a cash flow budget you can review each month and use as a management tool in your business. If this all seems too hard, talk to your accountant about helping you with your budgeting and setting up the best reporting methods using an accounting package that will best meet your needs.

Taking some time to do these things every July can ensure you’re setting your business up for success.

 

This article is general in nature. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. Principal Wealth Management Pty Ltd trading as BMO Financial Solutions ABN 53 109 336 601 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) 229883. McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd and its Authorised Representatives do not accept any liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied in documents, blogs or articles on this website.

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Megan James

About the author

After growing up on a cotton and grain property near Dalby, Megan went on to complete her Bachelor of Business, and spent more than 12 years in Brisbane and Newcastle working in public relations and communications roles in Govt-owned, private and consulting businesses across a range of industries including energy, health, property development and charity before returning ‘home’ to Dalby. READ MORE


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