We often hear people say you should ‘work on your business not in your business’, but what does that mean? As the business owner or manager there are so many competing pressures for your time, where do you start?
Well, as the new financial year draws near, it is a good time to take a few moments to reflect on the year that has been and think about the year that is coming.
Here are some key steps we believe you should be taking right now to focus on letting you ‘work on your business’ (these don’t have to be massive tasks – they just need you to put your thinking cap on and focus):
1. Analyse the financial results of the past year – the year may not be over yet, but now is a good time to review your results with an impartial eye. What was the trend in sales? What has caused the trend? What has happened in key cost areas like cost of sales and wages? Take a step back and look hard at the results. Don’t be judgemental. Just seek to understand what has happened – GOOD and BAD – and the true reasons for why it has happened.
With that information at the ready, you can then start to look forward…
2. Prepare a budget for 2013/14 – what do you expect the new year to look like….. more of the same………significant growth…….hard times ahead……? Whatever it may look like for your business, the only way to be prepared for decision making is to prepare the most realistic budget you can.
Now you have a base to be strategic…
3. Review your strategy – even if it is not written down, every business has a strategy. What is yours? Is it relevant for the business conditions you are in now and the ones you foresee based on the budget you prepared? What do you want to achieve? Being clear about this will help you set the scene for a positive future.
4. Decide on your plan – having decided where you are going in your strategy, now you need to be clear about how you are going to get there. A succinct and targeted business plan will enable your whole team to help you achieve your goals for the business. (Don’t forget, you may need to update your budget based on the new plan you have set!!)
Having put in all this good planning effort, now it is critical that you…
5. Make it happen – now you can focus on implementing your plan….one step at a time! This needs your ongoing focus for the rest of the year and the help of your whole team. The payoff should be a good one. But don’t forget that the world changes…..so your plan may need to change too to meet new challenges. Be flexible, but stay focused and we think you will see the benefits in no time.
And if you need help…
Our Outsourced CFO™ service assists business owners to maximize their return from their business.
Please contact David or John on 07 3221 4465 if you have any questions about this article or need any assistance with working on your business.