14th August, 2018

Future-proofing your business

No one can predict the future, but you can be prepared for whatever it may throw at you.

In business, there are some proven steps, that can help make your future as successful and as stress-free as possible.

Ann King is the owner of First Class Accounts Beecroft in NSW, and specialises in helping plan, review, and set goals with her clients to make sure they’re prepared for the future.

She’s learned a few things along the way.

The Pulse: Hi Ann, tell us a bit about yourself 

Ann King: I run a bookkeeping business in Beecroft NSW. I’ve got over 30 years of commercial accounting experience, and I’ve owned my bookkeeping business since 2009. I help local businesses not only manage their books, but I also help them plan for their future, set business goals and help keep them accountable. I love my clients like family, and I work hard to make sure they can focus on doing what they do best.

The Pulse: How can small business owners future-proof their business. 

Ann: The key to success comes from knowing your numbers. You need to be profitable, and you need to set yourself measurable goals to help you grow each year. It’s quite simple, and it comes down to a few critical steps.

The Pulse: We here at MYOB love numbers, can you elaborate on how they can help business owners succeed?

Ann: Your numbers tell you everything. No matter what your business – client based, service, retail, hospitality, trades – you need sales.

These sales might be different depending on what you do, but it should always be measurable.

Then you need to spend time each month reviewing your predicted budget vs. your actual sales and see what’s going on.

MYOB has excellent tools where you can plug your budget in, then add your figures in at the end of the month and it can compile a report for you. Use these tools so you can always be on top of your numbers.

This helps when it comes to setting goals, and for any growth you might be looking at investing in. It’s also imperative to be on top of your cash flow.

The Pulse: It can be hard to do the work to plan when you’re doing everything yourself – how would you approach finding help?

Ann: It’s possible to do your books on your own of course, but everyone needs a good accountant, and you need to make sure that the accountant is working in your best interest.

They should be thinking about your accounts in April/May, and you should be getting a plan together to tackle tax and plan for the future early on.

Working with a good bookkeeper can help you if you’re not into advanced analysis or predictions.

Plugging numbers into a spreadsheet is one thing but sitting down and analysing them and figuring out where things went wrong is another. If you’re not comfortable with these tasks, get yourself a bookkeeper who can help.

The Pulse: Something a lot of businesses have trouble with is the concept of setting goals – which is crucial to future planning. Any tips on how best to approach this?

Ann: Many business owners want to earn more, but they don’t break it down into how they can do it. They also don’t have a reason behind their goals.

I think this is an essential step – there has to be a desire there to achieve and knowing why you want to improve revenue or go global helps you stick to your goals.

READ: Get SMART to measure your goals

When I started my business, I had a revenue goal that I wanted to achieve to support my lifestyle. I knew I could achieve it because I had a formula that I could adhere to.

People thought I was crazy, but I got there, because I wanted it, and I had calculated that it was possible. I knew I just had to get the right number of clients in.

This meant I had to focus on marketing and networking – things people wouldn’t necessarily think of when they want to improve profit. However, that was what was going to get me more clients, which equaled more revenue.

Once you break things down, you can meet smaller, achievable goals every week – this helps your bottom line – and because you’re on top of your numbers, you can see your hard work paying off!