It’s the start of a brand new financial year! Now is the perfect time for SME business owners to review their financial position and growth strategies and put some plans in place to make sure that the 2015/16 year is one of the best yet!
With that in mind, I’ve put together my top 5 tips for a thriving, successful new financial year.
The key to making these tips work for you is to make the time to work on your business not just in your business so if you haven’t already done this, schedule some time away from the office to give yourself the best opportunity to focus with no distractions.
- Refresh your vision
Now is the perfect time to take a considered look at your business and have a think about where the opportunities for growth may come from and where you want your business to be both in the next 12 months and longer term. What does success look like for you? What are your goals and objectives?So pull that plan out, do a new SWOT analysis, have a look at what your competitors are doing and refine your vision!
- Review your budget
Once you know what your goals are the next step is to update your budget. Your budget is your roadmap! With your objectives in mind, take a look at all your outgoings from the past financial year and see if there are any areas that you could cut back or if you could negotiate better deals with your suppliers, for example.
- Get on top of your cash flow
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. Having more money coming in to your business than going out is the ultimate aim for all business owners however, as a business owner myself I know it’s often not quite as easy as it sounds!Creating a cash flow forecast can be a good first place to start. Don’t forget to also make sure you are issuing and following up invoices in a timely manner and carefully managing your debtors. For more tips on managing your cash flow take a read of my previous blog ‘Keeping Your Head Above Water‘.
- Streamline your productivity and processes
The new financial year is the perfect time to re-evaluate how you do things including your business relationships as well as the processes that you undertake within your business. Could you do things more efficiently? Could a new accounting system assist you with minimising your paperwork and credit management?At the very least, make sure you create an organised filing system for paperwork and invoices and stay on top of sales ledger entries, credit notes and adjustments.
- Always have one eye on the end goal
The key to success is never losing sight of what your end goal is whether that be to retire to a remote island in the South Pacific or to sell your business in 10 years for double its current value. Visualise what you want to achieve and surround yourself with reminders of what it is you are working towards.And remember to regularly review your progress and reward yourself when you hit those key milestones!