4 things to do to make 2019 your most successful year yet
It’s January, there’s always a lot of buzz around goals and setting our sights for the year. Don’t leave your business out of the new year, new you plans! It’s time to implement four things to make 2019 your most successful year yet.
With most of the small and medium sized businesses we work with, the challenges we see boil down to a lack of planning. We get busy and let things slip, sometimes we don’t know what planning we should be doing or need to be doing. We’ve got your back and here are four of the most important things to have in place for a great year ahead.
1. Digital accounting software and real-time numbers
Business owners have to make decisions on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. If you don’t have up to date financial information, you might not be making the best choices.
If you haven’t noticed already, we love Xero. It’s efficient, we can automate so many of the mundane tasks and used effectively, you can have those management reports in days rather than waiting until the following month for the figures.
✓ Move your accounting software over to Xero, the migration isn’t as painful as you might think.
And it’s important to note that Making Tax Digital is coming, it’s going to be mandatory to manage your tax affairs digitally by April 2019 and this step will prepare you to take advantage of that.
2. What are your key indicators?
We love a good dashboard and knowing what numbers or key indicators to monitor can help you take action quickly. You’ve heard the saying you can’t manage what you don’t measure!
Don’t fall into the trap of only looking at indicators such as turnover and profit. Sure, those are important but they’re a small part of the story. Where does turnover come from? Sales. Sales comes from leads, leads come from marketing… you get the idea. If turnover is important then so is lead conversion.
✓ Select the right indicators for your goals and scorecard. Keep the numbers up to date, keep them visible.
3. Budgie, budgie, budget !
No we’re not talking about birds but we do want to parrot this little point home. With the numbers in real-time, having your scorecard and knowing your potential you can take this to the big leagues. A budget is a great tool for tracking, accountability and to see at a glance how you’re doing against goals. There’s a kicker here though… budgets and cash flow forecasts need to be best friends.
If you’ve budgeted for a large increase in profit, it might not mean a large increase in cash flow. Think about operating cash, your debtor days, VAT, corporate tax.
✓ Ask your FD to pull the levers and run a simulation on what happens to cash if turnover increases by 10%, 20% or even 30% and plan, plan, plan ahead. Profit is theory, cash is reality.
4. One page plan
We’re big on simplicity. It’s daunting thinking about writing a fully fledged business plan, why not start on one page? This is a great way to get your mind to focus, from here you can build outwards.
Oh, one last thing – take action. By implementing one or all of these steps to your business you can add massive value but you have to go for it. Having a financial director can help you follow the plan and reach your goals quicker so if it all seems a little daunting we’d love to help you on the journey to financial fluency.