Although it’s hard to believe, the end of the financial year is fast approaching. While this can be a frantic time – especially if you’re racing to get all your financial reports sorted by tax time – it can also be a fantastic opportunity to reflect and set goals for the new financial year.
Just like the end of the calendar year gives you a chance to reflect, the lead-up to July is a good time to look at how your business operates. To start the new financial year strong, it’s important to review your results and processes from the previous financial year to determine what’s working well and what needs refining.
Explore your current business practices and find out what the most time consuming and stressful tasks are. Do some research to seek out solutions to these pain points and start implementing over the next 12 months.
Look at your business as a stranger would
Slowing down can present opportunities to reflect on your financial decisions, accomplishments and weaknesses. A useful way to think about this is to look at your business from an external perspective. If you weren’t involved in the business, how would you view the financial health of the business? Is there anything you would change heading into the new financial year?
Examine your existing customer base
Another useful exercise is to look into your existing customer base. Are you relying too heavily on a small number of customers? Should you look at diversifying your customer base? Review revenue by measuring the customer as a percentage of total revenue. How could other existing customers be upsold or new customers acquired? Ultimately, these questions are what will help you grow your business as you head into the new financial year.
Put together an ambitious yet achievable strategy
To achieve business growth in the new financial year, you’ll need some sort of business plan or financial strategy. As essential as reflecting on the previous financial year is, it’s equally important to start thinking ahead about the goals you’ll strive for this year. Having a clearly defined set of goals that drives your business forward will help inform every decision and will keep your long-term purpose aligned to your business growth.
Create a financial forecast
While ambitious goals and a clearly defined business strategy are important, you also need to have a framework for measuring and, ultimately, achieving these goals. Having a clear path toward these ambitions will empower your team with responsibility, as well as keeping them accountable to these goals and providing them with vision.
To do this, work with your accountant to prepare a business strategy that includes a financial forecast for the next 12 months. Basically, you want to get this down to a metric or two (for example, number of customers per month and the value of each customer) to see what you need to do to reach your goals. This sets a goal for your budget to work towards, while a cashflow forecast assists with making sure you can meet all your payments at the same time.
Communicate roles for the new financial year
When it comes to business growth and starting the new financial year on the right foot, communication is key. Learning about the needs of your team and listening to their ideas and areas they’ve identified as needing work is vital if you want to grow your business.
A good place to start is asking your team what tasks and projects they enjoyed working on the most. Then, determine which of those were most profitable and find how these can be replicated. If team members like working on jobs that are most profitable, then delegating these out to team members would be a good way to remain productive and engaged with the work.
Provide opportunities for feedback
Continue to speak to your team in a range of formats (meetings, discussions, brainstorms, reviews, feedback sessions etc) to find out what is working well and what isn't. This also holds true for clients, who are great resources to learn from. You can discuss their favourite and least favourite things about your business. You are much more likely to find things you otherwise would have missed had you not talked and communicated openly.
If you don't communicate well, you risk losing valuable team members and clients, or overlooking various issues in the business. If you’re serious about growing your business then you need to be open to fresh perspectives that can help you get a better idea about the future of your business and how your staff might be better utilised in the new financial year.
It’s easy to make confident business decisions when you have the right financial partner by your side. Book a discovery call with Project Alfred to find out how we could help you start the financial year strong.
Enter your details below to continue to our pricing calculator. We’ll ask you a series of questions and give you an indication of pricing based on your needs.
If you’d prefer, you can get in touch with our team to customise a bookkeeping and accounting package to suit your needs.