Happy new financial year to Australia’s SMEs! With the EOFY in the rear vision mirror – now is the time to recharge and begin the business race anew.
The beginning of a new financial year is the time to make things happen. With a little professional business advice and advanced planning, you can take charge of your new-financial-year destiny.
Reflect & learn
Don’t let July pass by as another month in the year. Take a step back for a moment and reflect on the last financial year. Did your business run as smoothly as it could last year? Why or why not and how can it be improved? Does your business need a technology or tools upgrade? Has your market changed and competitive analysis is in order? These types of questions will enable business owners to progress many facets of their business.
Reflecting on how well operations ran last year while considering your goals for this year will assist in establishing more effective processes and systems. For example, updating your technology to streamline bookkeeping processes and boost cash flow should help cut administration time and let you concentrate on other aspects of business or life.
Obtaining a big picture view should enable you to review the fundamentals of your operation to help ensure your business is working to its full potential.
Plan & refine
Start by setting some specific and inspiring goals around key areas of your business that you wish to develop. Those goals are different for everyone. They might include finding more time to spend outside work, boosting revenue, experimenting with new lead generation activities, moving into new products or expanding the team. Limit your goals to three or four, and ensure they are easily measurable.
A business plan for 2014/15 is vital as it is your road-map that shows you the path to hitting your goals. If you have one already, great - now is the time to review and fine tune it. This will enable you to address issues from last year and reduce the risk of them revisiting.
It is much easier to create and refine a business plan with someone who can see your business from the outside - a trusted accountant, financial advisor or a friend who has the right experience and will give you honest, independent feedback. The benefit of an accountant is not only can they offer expert advice on how best to tackle challenges and stay on top of your financial position, they can help implement growth strategies tailored to your business.
One of the key activities I think we don’t do enough of in business is to stand back, reflect and celebrate our successes. We know it’s not easy to run a business; it takes hard work, courage and determination. The businesses that focus on and celebrate success create more success. This helps to ingrain success within the culture. It’s about celebrating the small wins as much as the big wins – from sharing success stories to celebrating new leads, financial growth, work anniversaries and more. It’s easy to see what is not done – but let’s face it, small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy and there are lots of things that you do well. It’s important to recognise the success that you and your team achieve throughout the year.
MYOB’s top five tips for a happy new financial year
- Create a business plan. It can be just one page. Ensure it has measurable goals and it lays out a path to achieving those goals. If you have one already then revisit it with today’s and tomorrow’s market in mind.
- Work closely with an accountant or financial advisor throughout the year. They can provide strategic business advice and planning, and assist with sales and growth forecasts, cash flow and more.
- Streamline productivity and processes for a more efficient team and business. There are constantly new tools available to assist you with this. For example, a recent survey of MYOB clients who upgraded to our online accounting systems revealed they are saving around 10 hours per month compared to their desktop accounting systems. They also have the peace of mind that they’re always compliant with legislation changes.
- 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. Work out what you’re exclusively good at and where possible delegate other activities.
- Conduct an audit of your suppliers and delivery channels – are they still the most appropriate / affordable; make sure you ask for better prices from your suppliers where possible.
Establishing a good mix of clearly defined goals and strategic activities in the new financial year can help put you on a pathway towards success.
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Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, CRM, websites, job costing, practice management, inventory, mobile payments and more. MYOB also provides ongoing client support via many 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 spends more than AU$35 million annually on research and development. For more information, visit myob.com.au.