1st August, 2023
As we forge ahead into a new financial year, it’s essential to look back at the previous year’s performance and plan strategies for improved outcomes.
While analysing your successes is important, reflecting on your mistakes can often offer even more valuable insights.
Accordingly, as a small business owner, avoiding common financial missteps can significantly enhance your operational efficiency and profitability and help you achieve your goals sooner.
Take a look at some of the most common business mistakes that can affect SME owners.
Often, small businesses make the mistake of not thoroughly planning their finances.
A well-structured budget isn’t just about knowing where your money goes; it’s about strategising for growth and profitability.
This information will give you a clear picture of your financial health and assist you in making more informed business decisions.
Financial reviews shouldn’t be an annual event only; they should be part of your routine business operations.
Regularly reviewing your financial statements and various reports (which you can obtain from software programs like MYOB) can help detect issues early and allow for timely corrective measures. It’s best to schedule monthly or quarterly financial reviews.
This regularity can provide valuable insights about your business trends, helping you adjust your strategies for improved performance.
Tax obligations are a critical aspect of any business. However, many small business owners overlook the importance of proactive tax planning, leading to missed deductions and potential penalties.
Seek professional tax advice if needed and ensure you know all applicable deductions and tax credits.
Also, if you don’t currently have an accountant or bookkeeper you work with, MYOB can help you find one.
You can search online for a qualified professional near you.
Cash flow issues are one of the leading causes of small business failure.
Having a cash reserve is crucial to cover unexpected costs or slow business periods.
Start the new financial year right by setting a goal to build or increase your cash reserve.
This may involve cutting unnecessary expenses or improving your invoicing and collections process to speed up cash inflows.
While it’s important to manage costs, neglecting to invest in growth opportunities can stagnate your business.
Strategic investments can yield substantial returns, whether it’s a new product line, employee training, or marketing efforts.
Factor these investments into your budget and monitor their outcomes to understand their impact on your business and find new opportunities over time.
In this digital age, failing to harness the power of technology can leave your business lagging.
Consider the areas where technology could boost your business operations and keep updated on trends in tech tools.
Investing in the right software can streamline your processes and also improve your company’s bottom line.
READ THIS NEXT: Automated HR: How to choose the right software for your business
Many small business owners try to handle all aspects of their business themselves. While this might seem cost-effective, insufficient expert advice can actually lead to many costly mistakes.
As you step into the new financial year, consider seeking advice from professionals in areas such as accounting, tax, human resources, IT, and law.
Their expertise can help you avoid pitfalls and set your business on the right track.
Leadership and team management significantly impact your business’s productivity and morale, yet these aspects are often overlooked in small businesses.
Effective leadership extends beyond just overseeing daily operations. It involves inspiring your team, fostering open communication, and leading by example.
Avoid micromanaging your employees. Instead, empower them with the necessary resources and autonomy to perform their roles effectively.
Employee skill development is critical for growth, but many small businesses view training as an expense burden, instead of an investment.
This viewpoint can lead to skill gaps, decreased productivity, and lower job satisfaction (with higher employee turnover).
To avoid these issues, consider investing in regular training and development programs for your team.
Doing so enhances your employees’ skills and also shows you value their growth, improving morale and staff retention.
Both overstaffing and understaffing can strain your finances and hinder your business operations.
This is because overstaffing can increase expenses, while understaffing can overburden employees and affect customer service.
It’s essential to understand your staffing needs accurately. Use previous years’ data to forecast busy periods and hire temporary staff if needed.
READ THIS NEXT: What is employee cost and how do you minimise it?
Recognition plays a crucial role in employee satisfaction and retention.
Unfortunately, many small businesses fail to adequately acknowledge and reward their team’s efforts. This can lead to low morale and high turnover.
Regularly acknowledging your team’s efforts and rewarding outstanding performance can motivate your employees and foster a positive work environment.
Pricing is a crucial aspect of your business strategy, yet many small businesses make the mistake of underpricing their products or services.
Avoid the pitfall of underpricing by understanding the value of your offerings from your customers’ perspective.
Comprehensive market research can help identify what your target audience is willing to pay for the quality and benefits you offer.
With the right strategy, your business can maintain a competitive edge without compromising profitability.
By acknowledging and addressing these common business mistakes, you can set your small business up for success. Here’s to a more profitable, efficient, and rewarding financial year ahead!