Archive for 'Business'

It’s Bigger On The Outside – Faking Business Growth To Grow The Small Business

Posted on 14 August '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Making your business seem more significant than it actually is can go a long way in helping you secure larger clients.

Appearing larger can help customers feel more secure when dealing with you and possibly give your voice or presence more authority. Exaggerating elements of your business regarding first impressions is easier than you might think, and many of the available strategies are cost-effective.

Put Extra Effort Into Your Website:

Your website is one of the first places potential customers will visit to size you up. The impression that your website makes on them can seriously influence how your company is perceived. A website with a dated design, difficult navigation or poorly written copy can instantly give a negative impression. Poor-quality websites suggest you’re a small, amateur company that doesn’t care about online presence. This can alienate an entire group of potential clients.

Work On Your Social Media Presence:

Developing an active and current social media presence can help a business connect with its customers and assist in making it appear more prominent and experienced. Social media sites increase the amount of information that can be found on a business and are usually far more engaging and cost-effective than traditional forms of advertising.

People generally assume that businesses with a lot of online material have been there for a long time. Businesses with many followers on social media can create a sense of age and experience, enhancing the brand’s image.

Invest In Your Promotional Materials:

Professionally designed business cards with consistent stationery and letterheads will give business credibility. For example, printing the details on cheques and envelopes rather than writing on them by hand are small and cost-effective options that can assist in building professional reliability.

Continuity over different marketing platforms also promotes a sense of brand unity. Using professionally designed images on all company material will demonstrate your reach and stability in the market.

Get A Virtual Office:

For businesses that cannot afford a full-time receptionist, setting up a virtual office can have the same effect at a much cheaper cost. Having a virtual employee answer phone calls and manage customer service from an outside location means eliminating the costs of actual employment while giving the impression that the business is much bigger than it is.

Turning A Vehicle Into A Company Car:

Visiting clients is essential in specific industries, such as businesses within construction or maintenance. Pulling up in a company-branded car can build respect and show professionalism. However, check with an accountant about the tax treatment involved with company cars, if buying a company car is the right move for the business or what records may need to be kept for work-related expenses involving the car.

Assess The Location:

There are many external elements of a location that can affect your business. Look at the traffic in the area and work out how it can support or hinder you, as well as what services are in the area in which you choose to locate. Consider asking other businesses in your desired location for some advice on the best providers for services such as gas, electricity, water, phone and internet. Access for both customers and employees is also a large factor when assessing the location. Consider whether it is easy enough for clients to find and employees to travel to every day. Making your business accessible can allow you to obtain a wider pool of staff.

Remember your legal and environmental obligations when choosing a place to set up your business, and check with the local council for any planning and building restrictions if necessary. For example, consider how possible noise produced by your business would affect the local community. Before making any big decisions, consider seeking further legal or professional advice. This gives the added benefit of your brand getting noticed on the street.

Spreading The Word:

To get the attention of more prominent potential clients, it may be necessary to spread the word on some of the other big-name clients the business has had. Once a business has obtained a few large contracts, using them to help promote services and secure other clients can be highly beneficial. Business owners can mention previous jobs in meetings or display work for other clients

When It Comes To Tax, Is It A Business Or A Hobby?

Posted on 24 July '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

There are critical differences between having a hobby and running a business, and they mostly have to do with your tax, insurance and legal obligations.

Understanding the characteristics of businesses and hobbies is essential to ensure you correctly determine your activities.

Are You In Business? 

While there is no single, defining factor that determines whether or not you are in business, some of the factors that you still need to consider include:

  • You intend to make a profit – or genuinely believe you will make a profit from the activity – even if you are unlikely to do so in the short term.
  • You’ve made a decision to start a business and have done something about it to operate in a businesslike manner, such as:
    • registered a business name
    • obtained an ABN.
  • You repeat similar types of activities.
  • The size or scale of your activity is consistent with other businesses in your industry.
  • Your activity is planned, organised and carried out in a businesslike manner. This may include:
    • keeping business records and account books
    • having a separate business bank account
    • operating from business premises
    • having licenses or qualifications
    • having a registered business name.

The Benefits Of Running A Business 

If you run a business you can:

  •  apply for an ABN to use in your business transactions
  • have the flexibility to manage your time and work your own hours
  • register a .com.au website or a .au website once you have an ABN
  • access to government information, services and concessions for business
  • establish a business identity when selling to customers and other businesses
  • claim tax deductions for business expenses against your taxable income.
Is It A Hobby? 

A hobby is a pastime or leisure activity conducted in your spare time for recreation or pleasure. While you may create a business from the starting point of a hobby (such as crocheting or painting, etc), that is not the primary purpose of the hobby.

The Benefits Of A Hobby

Having a hobby allows you to:

  • gain personal enjoyment and satisfaction from the activity
  • gift or sell your work for the cost of materials
  • do it in your own time or when people contact you
  • have no reporting obligations of a business.
What Are The Differences? 

The key differences between a business and a hobby are as follows:

  • Declaring Payments:

You do not need to declare the amount made from your hobby to the ATO. However, you must declare your income to the ATO in your annual return as a business.

  • Claiming Tax Deductions:

You cannot claim a deduction for any losses from your creative work if it is a hobby. As a business, you can claim for deductions on your expenses and generally need an ABN to do this.

  • Keeping Records:

You do not need to keep records of your hobby for the ATO, however it’s good practice to keep records in case your circumstances change.You must keep records for your business for tax and other obligations.

  • Licences & Permits: 

Generally, you will not need to hold licences and permits for your hobby. However, you may need licences and permits specific to your type of business.

  • Australian Business Number (ABN) eligibility:

As a hobby, you are not eligible for an ABN for a hobby, however if you sell goods or services to businesses, they may ask you for an ABN when they pay you. You can use a Statement by a supplier form to avoid the business withholding an amount from the payment to you for not having an ABN. The statement lets the business know you are selling the goods or services as a hobby.

As a business, it is not compulsory for businesses to register for an ABN, however getting an ABN is free and makes running your business easier, particularly if you have to register for other taxes like GST. Without an ABN, other businesses must withhold 47% from payments they make to you for tax purposes.

  • Selling Goods

If you’re selling goods, you’ll need to comply with Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Your customers have automatic rights if they buy a product that breaks easily, doesn’t work or doesn’t perform as generally expected.

If you are not sure about whether your activity would be classified as a business or hobby, you can seek professional advice from an accountant, legal expert or business adviser who can help you decide what exactly it is that you’re running.

Cash Flow Health Check In The New Financial Year

Posted on 3 July '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Throughout the financial year, there may be periods where your business finds itself facing a recurring problem with its cashflow.

Small businesses with cash flow issues may find themselves more at risk of failing or suffering significant financial hardship – during these critical times in the business landscape, this is not an ideal situation.

Cash flow provides a business with stability so they can pay employees, avoid loan defaults and pay the overheads necessary to keep their business up and running. Follow these tips to boost your cash flow to secure your business’ future.

Perform A Business Health Check

Preparing financial statements will give you an objective insight into the health of your business. Identifying if you have a cash flow problem is the first step to coming up with solutions. The following reports will allow you to see if your cash flow is up to scratch.

  •     A balance sheet will tell you what your business is worth on any day. The value of your business is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets.
  •     Profit loss statements reveal if your income is meeting your expense requirements. If your profit is dipping below your expenses, it is time to change.
  •     Cash flow reports reveal the money going in and out of your business over a set period and identify peak and off-peak periods

Use A Business Budget

After analysing your cash flow situation, is your cash flow cyclical?

Creating a yearly budget is not only imperative to receive financing in future, but will also help you identify the best months to save to cover the quieter months.

Where applicable, business owners can consider flexible rostering, whereby employing casuals and using a flexible roster can help you cut back on hours when you need to improve your cash flow in quiet periods.

When you have identified your quieter periods of the year, try to find additional revenue streams for when cash is low. Is there a product or service that could be introduced? Work with your team for new ideas to cover low cash months.

Get On Top Of Your Accounts Receivable

Allowing late repayments jeopardises your cash flow and can put you in a tight financial spot. Avoid being out of pocket by implementing some of these credit policies:

  • Collect the debts on time – allowing late payments means that you’re without those funds for longer
  • Offer an early bird discount to incentivise early repayments – it pays to repay that kindness
  • Set credit limits and payment terms – know exactly what your terms and conditions are so that you can make sure that those who owe you are abiding by them
  • Make credit applications and carry out credit checks on all new customers
  • Penalise late payments with interest – set a specific interest rate that will apply and which you deem as fair.
  • Consider cutting down on inventory – unsold stock can be a waste of funds, and if you’re finding yourself with plenty of it, you may not need to be ordering as much.
  • Request upfront payment or a non-refundable deposit where viable, especially when dealing with large orders.

If you’re looking for assistance with invoicing, chasing payments or a general checkup of your business’s cash flow situation, accountants like us are equipped to help. Speak with us to find out what we can do for you.

Creating New Roles In Your Business? Here’s A Few Tips

Posted on 16 June '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

As businesses grow, you will inevitably need to create new roles and hire new staff.

Adding a new member to your team is always challenging; when hiring someone to fill a new position, there is even more pressure to make the right call.

Business owners who can allocate workplace responsibilities efficiently and logically stand to reap significant benefits in the long run.

The challenge is not just choosing the right person but also making sure that you have clearly defined the new role and established your expectations. You should spend time thinking carefully about the skill set, experience and aptitude you will require from your new employee.

Even in times of high turnover, many owners are anxious about the financial commitment of taking on new staff members. While paying additional wages may seem like a gamble, failing to take on the extra labour you need will almost certainly damage your business.

You and your current employees will have much more stress to deal with, and chances are that efficiency and quality may suffer down the line.

In situations where you are worried about taking on a new staff member, it is important not to make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced person on the sole consideration that you are able to pay them a modest salary.

You need to think very carefully about what your business needs today and what you may require from your team as you continue to expand.

For example, as things get busier, you may find that you will need to devote more of your time to dealing with suppliers, and as a result, you will need someone you can trust to manage day-to-day matters at your store.

Hiring new staff and defining their roles within your business is incredibly important to your future success. Staff are the most important asset that a business has, and how management has defined roles and responsibilities can significantly impact employees’ abilities to perform.

Before you start recruiting a new staff member, you should write down all of the tasks you would require a new employee to complete and the responsibilities you may want them to take on in the future.

Once you have written down everything, you can think of, take a step back and look at the list.

At this point, you need to consider whether it will be in the business’s best interests to have a single person take on every task.

You may realise that some of the tasks are suited to an entry-level position, whereas others require specific skills and experience.

If this is the case, you should consider various options for restructuring the division of work between existing roles so that the new role will be suited to a specific type of candidate.

There is also always the option of creating a part-time position, or even two part-time positions,  instead of a full-time role as well, pending business budgets & expenses.

Many businesses will require extra help in busy periods such as the Christmas holidays. When hiring someone for a specific period, you should be upfront with them from the start and clearly explain the dates you have in mind.

Hiring and creating a new role for your business requires careful planning, particularly around payroll, classifying the employee, or even integrating and onboarding them into the pre-existing structure. Speak with a professional business adviser if you are unsure about any of the procedures you may need to implement during the hiring process.

Which Structure Would Suit Your Business?

Posted on 21 May '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

One of the most important decisions you must make before starting a business is in what structure your business will be operating under. This will be reflected in all facets of your business, so you should spend time understanding the implications of each structure before making a decision.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship business structure is a type of business with only one owner. However, that owner has complete authority and control over every aspect of the business. Sole proprietors are generally easy to set up as they do not need to be registered as a business, but you may need a license to operate (depending on the field).

There are liabilities that you need to be aware of when it comes to undertaking a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietor’s income through the business is treated as personal income. However, if the business runs into debt & bankruptcy, your personal and business assets will be at risk as the owner is accountable.

In summary, with a sole proprietorship:

  • You have complete control of your business
  • The owner and the business are not separate legal entities
  • Your business assets and liabilities are not separate from your personal assets and liabilities
  • You are personally liable for debts and obligations of the business
  • Generally a low-cost structure to set up

Partnership

A partnership is a business structure comprising 2 or more people who distribute income or losses between themselves.

There are 3 main types of partnerships:

  • A general partnership (GP) – is where all partners are equally responsible for the management of the business, and each has unlimited liability for the debts and obligations it may incur.
  • A limited partnership (LP) – is comprised of general partners whose liability is limited to the amount of money they have contributed to the partnership. Limited partners are usually passive investors who don’t play any role in the day-to-day management of the business.
  • Incorporated Limited Partnership (ILP) – is where partners in an ILP can have limited liability for the business’s debts. However, under an ILP there must be at least one general partner with unlimited liability. If the business cannot meet its obligations, the general partner (or partners) becomes personally liable for the shortfall.

Individual states and territories have different laws regarding partnerships. Following these according to what is set out for your state is essential.

In a partnership:

  • Partners share control and management of business
  • An ABN must be obtained and used for all business proceedings
  • Each partner pays tax on the share of net partnership income each receives
  • Each partner needs to provide separate tax file numbers and are responsible for their own superannuation arrangements
  • Minimal reporting requirements and inexpensive to set up
  • Must register for GST if turnover exceeds $75,000.

Company

A company as a business structure is a separate legal entity, unlike a sole trader or a partnership structure. This means the company has the same rights as a natural person and can incur debt, sue and be sued. All directors of a company must have a Director ID. 

As a member, you’re not liable (in your capacity as a member) for the company’s debts. Your only financial obligation is to pay the company any amount unpaid on your shares if you are called on to do so. However, directors of the company may be held personally liable if found to be in breach of their legal obligations.

Companies can be expensive and complicated to set up and generally suit people who expect their business income to be highly variable and want the option to use losses to offset future profits.

Companies and directors have key legal and reporting obligations they must comply with. Some of the more common obligations include:

  • update Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) within 28 days of key changes to company details
  • keep financial records
  • understand and comply with all your obligations as a director

A company, in summary:

  • Is a separate legal entity from its owners
    • All profit, tax, and legal liability are direct to the corporation
  • requires you to understand and comply with all obligations under the Corporations Act 2001
  • requires an annual company tax return to be lodged with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • requires you to complete an annual review and pay an annual review fee
  • directors are required to have a director ID.
  • Members are not liable for the company’s debt (only liable if you breach legal obligations)
  • Complex business structure plus extensive documentation and record-keeping
  • Wider access to capital

Trust

In a trust structure, a trustee holds your business for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries).

A trustee can be a person or a company an is responsible for everything in the trust, including income and losses. They are the ones legally responsible for its operations.

Trust structures are expensive and complicated to set up, and are generally used to protect the business assets for beneficiaries. The trustee decides how business profits should be distributed to the beneficiaries.

In summary, trusts:

  • Have an expensive set-up and operation
  • Require a formal trust deed outlining the operation required
  • Trustee responsible for yearly administrative tasks
  • Assets are protected
  • Difficult to dissolve or make changes once established.

Setting up a trust is best done with a licensed professional to assist with the registrations and documentation.

It is best to consult with a professional business adviser before deciding on a structure for your business, as they can provide more information based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Why not start that conversation with us today?

Time For A Business Health Check Up

Posted on 4 May '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

With the end of the financial year approaching, now is the perfect time to conduct a business ‘health check’ so that you can come out at the start of the new financial year greatly improved and ready to go.

Clients And Customers

Client and customer loyalty is something all businesses should aim for, but if your clients’ values are misaligned with yours, conflict is inevitable. Hence, now is the time to re-evaluate which clients you want to keep loyal and which ones you can see a co-operative future with.

Re-assessing your target audience and deepening your understanding of the wants and needs of your clients would help improve your marketing and sales strategies. If you have clients who frequently struggle to pay you on time or are rude to your employees, assess whether your attention is worthwhile and if you would like to continue to work with them when the economic situation improves.

Employees

Your employees are another stakeholder to check up on during this downtime. Your employees will always be your business’ representatives, so make sure they are up to standard and help them improve their skills. Teach your employees more about your business goals.

Conducting a business health check and strategies and improving the team atmosphere by introducing team recreational activities. Your relationship with your employees now during a global crisis will dictate how they feel about you as a leader and if they can rely on you in the future. Foster respectful, strong and healthy bonds between you and your employees; only good things will come your way.

Suppliers

The critical question to ask when reviewing your suppliers is whether or not you are getting what you need from them at a reasonable cost. If you feel that your suppliers are asking too much from you or letting you down with their product quality, take the time now to look for other options. As businesses struggle through current economic conditions, suppliers are becoming competitive, and more options are needed. Do your research and decide on the suppliers you want to work with for the long term.

Financing

Managing your finances is always difficult but is now more important than ever. Your budget and profit predictions for this year are likely going rogue, so reevaluate your finances and research other funding options such as commercial rent, interest rates and banking services.

Consider how you can minimise cost while maximising efficiency and productivity, save as much money as possible during these downtimes, and review your investments in detail to determine whether or not they are worthwhile.

Want to know more about strategising your business’s plans for the next financial year? Speak with your friendly business advisers, and let us help you work out the best trajectory for your aims and objectives for the next 12 months.

Does Your Family Business Have A Succession Plan?

Posted on 11 April '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Family-run businesses form an essential part of the economy. Tradition, success, history, and their unique dynamic can create a thriving business that many may wish to see continue.

However, as with any business, the conversation about succession and how to continue the business into the future needs to be had.

With only 1 in 4 family-operated businesses considering their approach to succession formally, succession in a family business is one of the most significant viability risks to the actual business and needs to be addressed accordingly.

Family business succession maintains the strong connection between the two most important things in a family business owner’s life; their business and family.

Every family and family-run business is unique, and every transfer or succession of a family business will also be executed differently.  If you are thinking about what your family business’s plan is for succession, you may want to consider keeping these critical factors in mind:

  • Where is your business going? What do you want for your family and business? What are your goals and your time frames for achieving those goals?
  • Is the vision you have for your business shared by your family?
  • You must understand each individual’s perspectives and motivations that the succession impacts. Ongoing communication is vital to gaining this understanding, but an advisor can be employed to unbiasedly look at the situation independently and take the emotion out of a conversation.
  • Create a plan to plot out the path of the business’s future, the challenges it may face along the way, and what it is currently facing.
  • It’s important to remember that a family business does not have to be succeeded by a family (though it’s an outcome you may want). Always consider what your family members wish to do, and consider alternatives if none wish to take over the business.

A succession plan for a family business needs to be created to move forward. It should detail all of the actions you intend to take (including the steps involved with both management and ownership succession).

It needs to be flexible, adaptable and ready to evolve as businesses (as well as families), change over time. Your succession planning process should be transparent and understand and align with the goals set for the business’s further development across the generations.

The most effective succession plans:

  • Preserve and generate family wealth
  • Minimise disharmony and disruption
  • Minimise the impact of tax
  • Encourage personal growth of family members
  • Fund the retirement and family lifestyle

In a family business, communication is critical. A lack of early, constructive communication and planning on succession results not only in disagreement between family members and personal stress, but it also leads to business underperformance and potential erosion of family wealth.

Ensure that all aspects of the succession plan are conveyed to the appropriate parties and that they understand their roles and positions.

Want to know more about how succession planning could assist you with your life goals? Speak with your trusted advisors in preparation for this step.

How Do Partnerships Operate?

Posted on 19 March '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Starting a partnership may be a high-yielding decision whether you are in the business game or setting your sights on a new business venture.

A partnership business structure is an incorporated business with 2-20 owners. The individual owners work together to achieve the business’s goals, sharing responsibility and profits.

In a partnership, control or management of the business is generally shared. A partnership is not a separate legal entity, so you and your partners are liable for all debts and obligations of the business. A formal partnership agreement is common but not essential (it is a recommended course of action though).

The specifics of partnership laws will vary depending on your state or territory.

There are two types of partnerships – general and limited. A general partnership is where all partners are equally responsible for the day-to-day management of the business.

Whereas a limited partnership has at least one general partner who is responsible for controlling the day-to-day operations and is liable for the debts and obligations of the business.

The passive partners in this type of partnership are called limited partners. Limited partners generally contribute a defined amount of capital, and their liability is limited to the amount of capital that is contributed.

Consider the following advantages and disadvantages before starting or joining a partnership:

Advantages

A partnership structure is easy and inexpensive to set up. Unlike operating as a sole trader, there is increased opportunity for income splitting, more capital available and higher borrowing capacity.

Working as a team can also provide more perspective than working as an individual. High-performing employees can also be made partners.

From a tax perspective, partnerships do not need to pay taxes on their income. Each partner pays tax on the share of the net partnership income they receive. Paying superannuation is the responsibility of each individual partner, as partners are not considered employees.

Additionally, there are limited external regulation and reporting requirements.

Removing partners is generally straightforward. The only condition is that at least two partners are left in the business. If a partner wishes to resign from the partnership, it is relatively simple to dissolve the partnership and recover their share.

Disadvantages

This type of business structure carries unlimited liability, meaning the business owners are liable for the business’s debts. They are subject to reasonably cover what is owed or risk seizure of their personal assets.

Each partner is responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business (with the extent depending on the type of partnership), including the actions of other partners.

This can cause disputes and friction among partners, resulting in unfavourable circumstances. For example, one partner may have a different vision or opinion on administrative control or profit sharing for the business compared with the other partners.

Although adding and removing partners is simple, partners will most likely need to value partnership assets which can be expensive.

If choosing to structure a business as a partnership, it is important to consult with an advisor to ensure that it is done correctly and compliantly to maximise the benefits (such as concessions, liability etc.) that could be infringed upon otherwise.

If you’re not certain of where or how to start your partnership, come speak with us as your business advisers. We’re ready and willing to help.

Strategies For Creating A Business (And Growing From There)

Posted on 26 February '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Creating a business is not an easy avenue to explore. It requires commitment, frequent planning, substantial financing and good business sense. However, not only do you have to think about the beginning of your new venture, but you also have to think about the company’s continued growth.

To be a successful business, growth is the standard measurement of progress. Several criteria can be used to gauge this in a commercial enterprise, including:

  • Sales revenue – Value of business generated by the company in a given period
  • Market capitalisation – Value of equity to investors or owners
  • Profitability – Net profit after taxes and operational expenses
  • Customer retention – Size of the existing market
  • Customer acquisition – Number of potential customers from the total market share
  • Company assets – Assets legally owned by the company after subtracting liabilities

Generally, several strategies can be followed to develop and sustain business growth (depending on your preferred approach towards increasing your business activities).

Market Penetration

Even the smallest start-up company needs to have a way to break into the market and stand out from its competitors. Several techniques can be combined with other ideas to distinguish your company. These include:

  • Offering lower prices
  • Being more willing to bend to market demands through availability/logistics.
  • Adding value-added services while maintaining an acceptable quality standard
  • Exceeding customer expectations.

Market Development

Using careful planning and precise execution to generate business in a new market is another strategy for your business to further its reach. Understanding the business conditions of a market allows companies, big or small, to sell existing products in new markets that can develop new sales opportunities.

It could also mean reaching out to other areas of opportunity such as classifying the market according to age, income class, spending personas or other distinctive conventions. Depending on the industry, you can also redevelop a new product/service line based on the overall demand.

Product Development

Know what your customers require/ are looking for and become their solution. Answer the market demand (if possible) with a new product or service that addresses this need.

Companies can use different ways to develop products in an existing market; they could be based on the following:

  • pricing
  • development of new features
  • product positioning
  • other deciding factors could push customers towards choosing what your business can offer.

Business Diversification

While this is a high-risk strategy, it may lead to high rewards. To mitigate the risks, you can lead your business by approaching new ventures with calculated risks and weighing the potential rewards if it succeeds. Additionally, some diversification strategies allow some flexibility for pivoting from the initial business plan to allow a safer way that can lead to growth.

If you are considering the next step for your business, why not consult with us? As business advisers, we can assist you with strategies to help develop your business to its fullest potential.

Have You Made Your Business’s New Year Resolution?

Posted on 5 February '23 by , under Business. No Comments.

Coming out of the holiday period is usually a slow time for businesses but there’s never been a better time to get on top of things.

A new year brings business owners great motivation and opportunities to bring their businesses to greater heights. Whether you want to get on top of your business’ finances, relationships, and policies or to finalise your business plan for the year, setting your 2023 business resolutions allows for greater organisation, clarity, and a sense of direction. Many studies show that identifying goals increases the likelihood of achieving them.

Why not consider adopting the following business resolutions?

Review Your Supplier Relationships

While you review your budget for the year, consider if your suppliers are the most competitively priced for their quality of service. Take the time to research alternatives against your performance indicators. If you don’t have any already, establish a system to track and evaluate the performance of your supplier as it is crucial to the efficiency and profitability of your business.

While it is important to cut underperforming suppliers, it is just as essential to maintain good relationships with your suppliers. This includes actively involving your supplier in strategic meetings which involve them in helping with any negotiations further down the track.

Improve Your Branding

Developing and protecting your brand is essential to differentiate yourself in a competitive market. Start by reviewing your marketing strategy and get to know your market by gathering consumer data and conducting customer surveys. Make an effort to consistently improve and update your website regularly and strategically utilise social media channels for a strong digital presence. Consider hiring a marketing consultant that can help guide your brand.

Take A Look At The Books

No matter how well your business has performed in the past year, there is always room for growth and improvement. Alternatively, if your business didn’t perform as expected, look at where things might be stagnating. Revisit where the business spends money and create strategies to lower these costs. For example, if the internet bill for the business is X amount, consider shopping around and looking for a cheaper deal. Small changes in multiple areas could see you make an extra 10 per cent annually without feeling like you are making large sacrifices.

Revamp Social Media Marketing Strategies

Technology is ever-evolving, meaning the way it can be used as a business and marketing tool is too. The start of the year is the ideal time to do your research; investigate emerging trends for social media marketing and try to analyse the direction in which these trends are travelling. Research may tell you, hypothetically, that successful businesses in your industry are steering away from Facebook and are predominantly using Instagram and Tiktok. In this instance, you should be analysing how you can adapt and transform your current marketing strategy to stay current.

Professional and Personal Development

There is always something new to learn; whether that be related directly to your business and the industry it is in or whether it relates to personal skills that will make you a better business person and a better leader. Take some time to look at the courses available to you that will fit into your schedule or that you can adjust your schedule to fit them in.

There are many organisations online that provide courses in a large array of areas, such as developing your technology-based skills, learning how to use specific software and programs, business refresher courses, etc. You may have wanted to learn a new personal skill, such as yoga, rock climbing or a new language; make that a priority in 2022.

Developing your personal skills will help you to become a better leader and all-around entrepreneur. Some businesses may implement personal/professional development days for their employees to boost the business as a whole.

Update Your Business Goals Regularly

Setting your goals is one matter, but following them through requires commitment. For example, make your goals and plans by the quarter instead of the year. By reviewing your business plan, budget, and goals regularly with your team, your goals will be more specific and relevant to the business and will give you greater motivation to achieve them. Another tip for staying motivated with your goals is to build an emotional attachment with them. Motivation to ‘make more money’ could be increased when you consider how that will affect your family and loved ones.