Article:

Ten secrets to ensure business growth and success this financial year

22 May 2017

Many business owners often find their businesses aren’t growing in the way they originally hoped for when they started. They often get caught up in day-to-day operations and are unable to extract themselves to think strategically about their company’s future.

Many businesses go through periods of minimal growth and need to re-assess their business’s strategic direction. Re-evaluating and putting in place a strategic business plan for the year, three years, or five years ahead is crucial. To help you ensure this financial year is a successful and fulfilling one, see our top tips below.

  1. Partner with an adviser: A third party can be an invaluable external sounding board and provides a neutral view to help you work on your business, as opposed to being stuck in your business. A business coach or adviser can assist in keeping you accountable to the goals you set for yourself and the business, and can be the driver in instigating the changes you want in and around your business.
  2. Work/life balance: Book your holidays first. Prioritise life to ensure you’re always reminded of your ‘why’ – why are you in business? 
  3. Review your existing cash flow or budget: Operating a business without a cash flow forecast is like flying blind.  Review or create a budget for the year ahead. 
  4. Review your business strategy: Identify what you want to achieve and where you want to be in one, three or five years’ time. Document your strategy (even if informally), which will help you stay accountable.
  5. Increase your networking efforts: Put a networking strategy in place. Most businesses benefit from networking and word of mouth, however, very few people have a dedicated strategy.
  6. Make a commitment to learn more this year: Find the areas of your business that need work or improve what you don’t understand. Research and enrol in training in these areas.
  7. Communicate with your employees: Engage with your staff - find out if they’re happy or dissatisfied, ask if they have ideas for improving business processes, saving costs, networking, etc. Your staff are not only your greatest asset but are a fantastic resource for insight into your own business – make sure you utilise their knowledge and ideas.
  8. Review your financial and operational systems: Do you still shuffle lots of paper? Have you embraced automation? Do your systems all talk to each other? How much manual entry is still happening? Implementing cloud-based systems will not only give you enormous and immediate efficiency gains, it will ensure your business has a solid, scalable platform for future growth. Make the time to review and research, or speak to someone who has the right knowledge of a range of products that are available and suitable for your business.
  9. Ensure your financial data is consistently clean and timely. Do you have access to the information you need, when you need it? Does it take two weeks (or longer) to close the end of month process? Ensuring your data is clean transaction by transaction is the only way to ensure you have timely, accurate and relevant information available upon which to base important decision for your business.
  10. Make sure your reporting obligations (accounts/tax returns/business activity statements) are up-to-date: Are you behind in your BASs? Are all your Superannuation, Payroll Tax, PAYG and Workcover obligations in order?  Have you completed year end financials and tax returns for prior years? If not, now’s the time to get on top of it.

While this is not an exhaustive list of important elements for business to manage effectively, they should all be considered as part of any organisation’s business planning process. If you would like assistance with determining how to grow and increase your business success, please contact your local BDODrive adviser.