It’s 2019 at last, which means it’s time to look back on the last twelve months and see what you have achieved, and plan for what’s in store for the year to come. For business owners, this could mean reviewing your marketing efforts, adjusting your pricing, looking at new products or services you could bring in, and maybe even reviewing your finances.
Talk To Your Accountant On A Frequent Basis
We never cease to be amazed by the number of people who only speak to their accountant once a year, at the end of their financial year when they’re panicking about that all-important filing. But an accountant is for the whole year, not just for that one month, and odds are you’re paying for them give you advice as well as file some paperwork. Accountants have a lot of knowledge around everything finance for businesses, and if you take the time to talk to them, they can probably help you improve your business. From giving you tips on how to get the right tax benefits and giving you a heads up on what your tax bill you will look like, to making sure you’re spending money in the right way. Your accountant will also have more services they can offer to help you manage and improve your business that you don’t even know about yet. In short, having a good working relationship with your accountant could be a huge bonus to your business. If you only do one thing on this list in 2019, make it this one, and talk to your accountant more often.
Invest In Some New Systems
With things like Making Tax Digital on the horizon and the world of IT moving so quickly, it’s easy to get left behind. We come across a lot of businesses who are still running legacy systems or working with software that doesn’t quite do everything they want – so they’re using various kinds of software to bridge all the gaps. This January, take some time to sit down and review the systems you’re actually using to manage your finances, and assess if they still meet your needs. If they don’t, then it’s time to invest in some new, more effective systems. For example, integrating a cloud-based app for areas such as CRM, Time tracking or POS to a cloud-based accounting system could give you access to real-time financial data about your business, helping you make informed decisions quickly.
Review Your Financial Goals
Now is a great time to look back, reflect on the past year and ask yourself some important questions. For example:
- Did your business grow?
- How did your revenues and profits compare with the previous year?
- Are your sales trending up, or down?
- Have you been spending too much in the last 12 months?
- If you made a list of goals last year, have you achieved them? If not, why?
These are only basic questions, but the answers will give you a good idea of how much your business has changed in the past 12 months. If it’s all looking positive and business is growing, then give yourself a big pat on the back and begin to analyse those figures in greater detail.
But if things haven’t improved, or worse have started to decline, then it’s important to find out why. You can dig into the figures and try to find out why, where things went wrong and what you can do to improve. If you’re not sure how to do that, then it may be time to talk to a financial professional who can do it for you.
There are a lot of costs involved in running a business, and it isn’t always easy to control what they are. But when it comes to costs associated with your internal processes, you have full control over what they are and how high they get, both in time and money. Spend some time working out where you could improve your processes and be more efficient. Remember, the time you devote to routine admin tasks, inefficient processes or crunching numbers to generate reports is time that could be better spent on revenue-generating activities. If you haven’t done it already, look at using applications that can automate processes and trim the fat, so you can run the most efficient business possible. And if you keep well-managed accounts, you will be able to make all of these decisions simply and quickly.
At Purple Lime, we work with business owners who want to improve the way their business is run at ground level. Our range of services can provide you with real-time financial data, reports and advice, putting you in control of your business. We become your finance department, helping you understand the numbers in your business and helping you forecast for the future. To find out more, just get in touch with the team today.