10 Tips For Small Business Owners In The New Financial Year
We don’t want to alarm you, but it’s June already. As a small business owner, you’re probably thinking about what you need to do come the end of financial year (if you haven’t started, check out our step-by-step guide). It pays to be thinking broadly about your business right now, so that after you’ve met your tax obligations and any other short-term priorities, you can start to plan ahead for your future. Read on for some of our top tips to help you start the new financial year on a positive note.
1. Review your business plan
If you were scrupulous when developing your business plan last financial year (or earlier), it can be difficult to let that go, and make changes to your goals or plans – even if those changes seem critical to the sustainability of your business. Our tip is to focus on current insights about the health of your business, and not on the insights you’ve had in the past.
Research shows that companies that write and review their business plan regularly, grow 30% faster than those without one, so making sure your plan is up to date should be a priority.
2. Review your marketing plan
The same goes for your marketing plan. It doesn’t matter how innovative, unique, or exciting your product or service is if no one knows about it – a well-structured and thoughtful marketing plan can do wonders for your customer base, brand awareness and financial success. See our business planning tips for marketing and sales.
3. Consider new team members
What if all hands-on deck isn’t enough? It might be time to grow the number of employees you have in your small business (or hire your first one), which can be a big moment – and the new financial year is a great time to do exactly that. Make sure you know the law in regards to employees, and think carefully about what skills or essential knowledge a prospective employee will need to bring to the table.
4. Find a schedule that works for you
Time management tips are all over the web (we love these ones from Lifehack), but our main tip would be to look back at the times you were most productive in the past year, and analyse the factors that contributed to it. Were you well-rested, having just returned from a vacation? If so, you need to remember to schedule in some time off. Perhaps you’re more productive in the mornings: if so, consider starting your day earlier than traditional working hours would dictate, and leave earlier at night. It’s your small business, so you call the shots.
5. Get on top of your accounting
Hire an accountant if you need one, or consider an accounting software like Cashflow Manager. We know that investing in technology can be intimidating, but the potential benefits far outweigh any hesitancy you might have. Spending less time on accounting means spending more time on your business, and that can only be good for your bottom line.
6. Analyse your cash flow
Building upon the last tip, cash flow is incredibly important to the sustainability of your business.
Closely look at what your business’ cash flow was like over the past year to prepare a budget for the coming financial year. That way, ebbs and flows won’t be so worrying, and when funds are tight, you can sit back knowing that your business budget has been designed in a way to stay afloat in the trickier months.
7. Get on top of your record-keeping
Record keeping, and bookkeeping tips are often drummed into small business owners repeatedly, and for good reason. The end of the financial year is a litmus test for how well you’ve managed your administrative tasks over the last twelve months. Now, as you head into a new financial year, work out your favourite way to record information and stick to it. If you’re not an organised person by nature, a task management platform like Airtable or Notion might be helpful for you.
8. Network, network, network
Some people are natural at networking, and even find it enjoyable. Others, not so much. Whatever your opinion when it comes to networking, you’ll find the process can be incredibly helpful to growing your small business. Forbes claimed that networking is crucial to any career: that it’s “not only about trading information… [it] serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.”
Whether you enjoy networking or not, if you feel there’s a chance it could benefit you or your business, it’s worth putting yourself out there. See our networking tips for some ideas on how to start.
9. Review your online presence
Digital marketing can be a lucrative business, but you need to keep ahead of the curve to maximise its effectiveness. That doesn’t mean your business needs an account on every new platform that rises to fame, but it pays to be aware of the latest social media trends and algorithm changes, and make sure you’re using the latest features available to you on the platforms you’ve embraced.
10. Meet your tax obligations
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the obvious, at least once. It’s tax time! This is the time when all your record keeping throughout the year will become handy, as well as your accountant (if you have one).