New Year's resolutions for every SME's to-do list

14 Jan 2014

Make 2014 your year for setting & smashing business goals

Happy New Year! Early January is a time of great promise and excitement for many business operators as they picture what could be a year of big achievements. Astute operators harness this momentum to define and refine their New Year’s resolutions and business goals.

With this in mind, New Zealand’s largest accounting software provider, MYOB, shares its top tips to help SMEs devise New Year’s resolutions that will direct them towards business success.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says, “January is the ideal time to reflect and to give new strategies and goals the green light, instead of taking a ‘business as usual’ approach. Operators who commit to clarifying their priorities early in the piece will likely reap the rewards. It can mean the difference between flourishing and floundering.

“When setting New Year’s resolutions, big or small, the first step is to plan. Set some specific and inspiring goals around key areas of your business that you wish to develop. Begin by asking yourself what you will stop doing as well as start doing in 2014.

“Whatever your business goals, such as driving efficiencies, harnessing the power of cloud technology, or finessing your finances, establishing your New Year’s resolutions can help you approach the year with renewed vigour.”

MYOB’s suggested New Year’s resolutions for SMEs:

1. Learn from last year’s hits and misses

Place the previous 12 months’ trading under the microscope. Analyse the strategies that worked, those that didn’t, and work out the ‘whys’. Why did some products or services succeed when others flopped? What changes could you make in 2014 to ensure mistakes aren’t repeated, and opportunities aren’t missed? Get the ball rolling with a SWOT analysis – a useful technique for understanding your business strengths and weaknesses and for identifying the opportunities open to you and the threats your business may face.

2. Stay on the business track

A solid business plan will help you make better business decisions about the strategies you need to continue to operate and grow. If you’re looking for annual growth of 100%, you will need a different strategy to one that shoots for 10% growth. Then, to ensure you tick off your to-do list in 2014, make strategic planning a weekly or fortnightly task. Ongoing strategic thinking is great for defining goals and objectives within a timeframe, helping to ensure you and your team have a consensus about where the business is going and how to stay on track.

3. Don’t try to be all things to all people

Are you the director, IT person, admin manager and salesperson in your business? Wearing multiple hats can be exhausting. Avoid micromanaging if you are lucky enough to have employees. Delegate intelligently. It can be challenging letting go, but if you don’t delegate, growing your business could become a pipe dream. Why not outsource tasks you loathe, so you can spend more time on growing the business?

4. Grow to love your numbers

Many business owners consider themselves too busy to check or understand their financial statements. Learn about profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements and don’t shy away from the numbers. Making time to understand your financial documents will give you greater control and a clearer picture of your business and its performance. It can help you make smarter decisions and improve your ability to communicate productively with your accountant and other advisers. With cash flow ranking in the top three pressure points for SMEs in the latest MYOB Business Monitor report, it’s time to add cash flow expertise to your toolbox. Ask your trusted accountant or bookkeeper to guide you.

5. Don’t be afraid to embrace technology

Cloud-based accounting software, convenient mobile apps, online business management tools… today’s business technologies can save you time and drive significant efficiencies. For example, SMEs utilising MYOB’s bank feeds - a service that automatically feeds bank transactions into cloud accounting solutions MYOB Essentials or MYOB AccountRight- say it saves them an average of 10 hours per month. The average value they put on this time saving is NZ$548.

Establishing a good mix of clearly defined goals and strategic activities before the pace of business picks up can help put you on a pathway towards 2014 success.

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, customer service and more visit the MYOB website,  The Pulse blog, MYOB Twitter, MYOB Facebook , LinkedIn or visit our recently updated MYOB New Zealand YouTube Channel.

-ENDS-

For further information or immediate comment, please contact:

Sarah Putt

MYOB

Tel: (09) 925 3515

Mob: 029 777 0256

Email: sarah.putt@myob.com

Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841

Mob: 0275 243 629

Email: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB New Zealand

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.