The start of a new financial year let’s you look forward with a clean slate. Take time to identify the key steps you can take to make sure this is YOUR YEAR, the one where you achieve the business success you’ve been aiming for. We’ve got some thoughts on where you could be focusing your attention.
1. Get comfortable with your numbers
I know what you’re thinking, “An accountant would say that.” But consider this: if you don’t understand how spending resources (your time and money) relates to the value you create, you could easily be wasting your money. Who wants to throw money away?
This financial year take time out each month to review your profit and loss and balance sheet. (link to other blog about financial statements) Understand the return on investment that you are achieving on the time and money you are investing in your business. Ask yourself if there might be smarter, more profitable ways to use these limited resources.
2. Get technology that makes life easier
Technology provides options to improve your return on investment very quickly. Depending on your industry there will be solutions that help you do your job faster (saving time) or do your job better (a step toward increasing your sales). Take a little time to save a lot of time this year: explore technology options!
One area all business owners struggle with is staying on top of the bookwork. Time spent entering data, producing invoices and juggling receipts is time away from high-value activities. We recommend a couple of tools to free up your time:
Xero: This cloud based accounting software makes invoicing and cash flow easy to manage. The interface is beautiful and is links directly to your bank accounts to give you real time financial reports.
Expensify: This app makes it super simple to produce an expense report that will keep the tax man happy. Add cash expenses, automatically import credit card transactions, capture mileage – all in a flash.
3. Walk in your customers’ shoes
It is far too easy to forget the customer in the day-to-day, fire-fighting world of the business owner. Make a new year’s resolution to get to know your customer better. You will be amazed the opportunities that will arise.
If your are marketing locally, then get out from behind the desk or the cash register and talk to your customers. If you sell globally, conduct polls, after sale customer surveys or research. However you choose to listen to your customer, get to know their pain points, needs and dreams. Then ask yourself, “What can my company do to ease their pain, meet their needs or realise their dreams?”
4. Stop worrying about the state of the economy
Brexit, Donald Trump, hung parliament….seems like every day there’s a new reason to worry about the economy. Our advice: don’t let media gloom and doom get your down!
If you sell products or services that are truly helpful and valuable to your customers, they will keep buying. Instead of fixating on the economy, keep your eyes on the customer!
5. Stop trying to do it all yourself
Trying to do it all yourself can literally strangle your business. Big statement: but true.
If you limit the ability of your business to grow, to the number of hours you have in the day, you will hit a wall very quickly. Even in the very early stages of your business, consider what tasks might be better managed by someone else. Consider a bookkeeper or a virtual assistant. Outsource design and copywriting. And before you decide you can’t afford it, ask yourself how much faster your business could grow if you had the time to focus on getting new customers.
MJA Business Solutions is dedicated to helping businesses to grow and thrive.