Be financially ready for the new year
Forget joining the gym, giving up smoking, or taking up meditation, we have some hints and tips for business owners that will set you up for a more prosperous 2018.
One of the traps business owners can fall into is believing that having a great product or service is all you need to succeed. The unfortunate reality is that managing your business carefully and planning the next steps in your business journey could make all the difference between success and failure this year.
For many businesses, the new year is a time to take stock of what’s happened in the past 12 months, and to make some decisions for the year ahead. Whether it’s planning to improve your cash position, take on new staff, or simply to improve relationships with suppliers, a fresh look at your business finances can help you along the next stage in your business journey.
Business finance tips for 2018
1. Review financial targets, budgets and processes
Make sure you’re fully prepared for the new financial year and schedule time to speak with an accountant or financial planner, or your regional growth hub.
Start the new year by revising your financial goals, sales targets and short-term and long-term business vision. Taking time to re-examine your business from a bird’s-eye perspective can enable you to identify key priorities and inefficiencies that you will need to tackle in the new year.
Take time to simplify bill payments, invoice payments and consolidate debts to improve cash flow management and efficiency. Also think about the nature and scope of your business, which may have changed considerably over the past 12 months. Review your business, product and public liability insurance policies to ensure they are still relevant for the changing nature of your current business practices.
2. Call in professional help
Business finances are never static, and complacency can potentially lead to the failure of any business. Just like an athlete who is regularly training, revising and improving, business owners should constantly revise and review finances, identify weak spots, refine, tweak and improve. Over time, small changes can lead to drastic improvements in business efficiency and commercial viability.
And if accounting, understanding your business finances, and general cash flow management are giving you nightmares, then don’t lose sleep over something an experienced financial expert can help you tailor and streamline, and seek external advice. If you have them, the first port of call should be your own investors, who offer an incredible source of financial expertise and support. Your bank manager, accountant and any other financial advisor can offer help, as can regional growth hubs across the UK.
Depending on the stage you are at in your business journey, you may also wish to consider bringing in expertise in-house. Even small businesses can benefit from a non-executive director with strong financial acumen, for example, so consider all your options.
3. Review business finance options