2012 is shaping up to be another challenging business year in which small business will need to be organised and switched on to succeed. Geoff Steer offers some advice on how to make sure it's a year in which your business thrives.
How can you ensure your business is poised to thrive, rather than “dive”, in the year ahead?
The following business finance resolutions are a good place to start:
A working budget: Successful budgeting is one of the most important and most difficult aspects of business.
Determining your break-even point, budgeting for profit and cashflow are the basics and provide a kind of road map for the year. But equally important is the ability to make it workable, by being flexible enough to counter unforeseen problems and by reviewing your budget regularly.
A wealth creation plan: You work hard and take many risks to be in business, yet too many business owners neglect to convert their business success into personal wealth. If you haven’t already, put a wealth creation plan in place so you are adequately rewarded for your hard work.
Keep things simple: I have seen first hand how overly complex business structures and plans can clog an enterprise. If you are starting out, a simple yet effective business plan is a major asset. But even businesses that are tangled in a complex web can start to make amends by reviewing their plans, policies and procedures, by asking hard questions and getting good advice.
Emulate the successful: I wrote recently of the seven success factors that are shared by successful business across all industries and sectors – things like having a good value proposition, strategic planning, culture, processes and procedures. The success factors aim to eliminate weak links, and are a proven pathway to business growth.
While there are never any guarantees in business, those that attend to all of these areas will be best placed to survive tough times, to pounce on opportunities and to thrive.
Geoff Steer is a Founding Partner of Matthews Steer Chartered Accountants. Geoff’s knowledge of taxation matters combined with his financial planning skills enable him to provide a complete financial service for professional, executive and small business clients. Geoff was recently ranked one of Australia’s top 10 financial advisors by the AFR Smart Investor Magazine’s 2011 Masterclass. www.matthewssteer.com.au