For most small business owners the end of year / new year break is the perfect opportunity to get some work done on your business - to improve it! Here are my top new year resolutions for your business...
Core Business Functions
Let's face it all businesses make money by delivering their core offering to customers. If your business is an RTO you make money by training people, if your enterprise is a real estate agency you make money on the rent role and by selling houses, if you are a in the medical profession it's the advice you provide. So it makes sense to invest in improving your core business functions and outsource the rest. Your non-core business functions are best handled by businesses that deliver a specialised service in your non-core areas.
Completely Overhaul your Bookkeeping
Its 2016 people! We are not living in the 90's. There is absolutely no excuse not to streamline and automate you bookkeeping processes. Make this part of you business hum. The technologies in 2016 mean that the days of time spent entering data and reconciling supplier statements is over. Bookkeeping can be easy and it can almost run itself. Find a progressive firm and talk to them about their solution for your business.
Document a 12 Month Plan
Take the time to plan your financial budget for the calendar year. Look at your revenue for each month and plan your major expenses such as occupancy, staffing, motor vehicles, telephones and IT. Enter your budget into your Xero software and each month end review budget to actual. The other thing about having a business budget is that it tightens the purse strings on discretionary business expenditure and makes you focus on getting a good ROI on any expense items.
Understand Your Cashflow
Many business owners make the mistake of assuming success is on the profit and loss. Earth to Tom reality check here, strip the P&L back to a cash P&L and that's the cold hard cash that your business has earned or lost. A Virtual CFO service backed up by automated and up to date bookkeeping can highlight your business cash flow trends and allow you to better plan major expense items and keep control of the most precious resource - cash.
Hire Quality Talent
Face facts the best businesses have the best people. Make sure your business gets the best people. Hire a quality manager, the best sales people, the best designers, the best chefs. They don't all have to be expensive hires they could be graduates who are smart, intelligent and demonstrate initiative. Look at their academic results and attitude as key indicators of their potential. Just make sure you have the right mix of experience in the firm to develop them.
Training your People
Invest in the development of you staff. Train them properly in both the hard technical skills and the softer people skills. This will be a benefit to both your staff and your customers and as a business owner you get 10 points for good karma.
Upgrade your CRM System
Every small business needs a CRM system. They keep you connected with you customers and allow you to communicate to customers about new products and services. Many of the cloud based CRM systems link in with Xero accounting software which means that it seamlessly syncs and helps your business improve its marketing sales and service.
Ignore the noise and keep to the plan. Having a clear plan of what you are trying to achieve means that you are less likely to get distracted, anything that's not on plan is ignored or minimised.
What About Me
Schedule the important things in your life into your diary, whether its a lesson in golf or swimming or being there for the key events to your family, such as the dance recital or school swimming carnival. You need to keep investing in the things that are important so that you can keep showing up and leading your organisation.