As many of us do in our personal lives, many business owners begin the New Financial Year with, if not resolutions, at least the best intentions. However, in business, setting goals can make the difference between success and failure.
Successful business owners draw up plans and, as part of them, they specify goals for the next year that are specific, measurable and achievable. While many of us let personal goals slide – to our detriment sometimes – business goals must be taken seriously and achieved.
As you set goals for your business, it can be useful to consider what could happen if each goal or objective is not reached. Think about the short-, medium- and long-term consequences as you do your planning and goal setting.
Talking about your plans on New Financial Year, goals and potential consequences – both good and bad – with your team is a useful exercise for all of you. This can help you and your team stay focused and motivated.
Tools To Help You Achieve New Financial Year:
A budget should be a large component of your planning and goal setting. After all, you cannot control income and expenses in any meaningful way if you have nothing to monitor them against. Budgets can help you to avoid unnecessary spending that you cannot afford and that could damage your business or even kill it.
A budget will help to inform your goals. What is your limit for expenditure for each budget item? What income or revenue do you need to ensure you cover expenses and break-even? At what point will you begin to generate a profit? What will you do with your profits? The answers to the questions’ feedback into your business plan.
Most business owners draw up a full business plan before launching or opening their company. If you do not already have a business plan, you are urged to create one. It provides a very useful blueprint of your business and a ‘map’ of how you will progress from where you are to where you want to be.
Unlike budgets that focus on financial matters, business plans address all the facets of your business including finances. They detail what you sell or provide, how it will be marketed, who your market is, your business goals, et cetera.
The other important thing to remember is that a business plan is not a once-off. It needs to be a dynamic document that should be changed, updated and fine-tuned to keep up with the evolution of your business.
Insurance is sometimes considered a “grudge purchase”: something we need to have but do not really want to have to get and pay for. However, this is not a good way to think about insurance as its function is to protect you and your business from the unexpected.
You require business insurance that is based on your business plan and unique needs and that balances the risks that you face that must be covered, as well as the cost of premiums involved. Do not rush into buying insurance as you may have the cover you do not need and not the protection you do require.
Compare business insurance packages online and go through your business plan to ensure you have a package of insurance that is optimal for your business and budget at each stage of your business’ development.
They say nothing is certain except death and taxes. While we try not to dwell on the former, as a business owner it is your responsibility to plan and budget for the various taxes you will be required to pay. If necessary, spend time with a tax consultant so you know what taxes you are liable for and the payment frequency or dates of each.
When you include the various taxes in your budget, do not forget to include a timetable so that all the applicable taxes are paid on time. Not only will this keep your business in good standing, but you will avoid penalties and fees.
Just as you may need to speak with a tax advisor and insurance expert, it can be very helpful to meet with and retain a general business advisor or a coach who can help you stay on plan and achieve your goals. Some business owners need more external help with staying focused and motivated while others are driven and self-directing on New Financial Year.
Be honest with yourself about which type of person you are. Do you need someone to motivate you and ensure you meet goals, or can you keep yourself and your business on track on your own? For some business owners, this function is performed by members of their own team.
Give your business and yourself the best possible chance of success. Draw up a business plan that you work on as necessary and a budget that you stick to. Work and plan to meet your goals and your tax obligations. Protect yourself, your business and your team with the appropriate insurance. Make use of experts and consultants; asking for information and help is always a smart move.