As we head into February, this start-of-year period, small businesses can be forgiven for feeling a little ambivalent. But as work starts to properly kick into gear, there are three things you can do now to set yourself up for a very good year that you simply can’t do at any other time.

Do you remember the holidays?

After the Christmas parties dry up, announcing the end of the Silly Season, you can finally relax. It’s time for travel, for long stints with the family at the beach, the cricket on T.V., and Christmas itself – anything that gets your mind off work. But doesn’t it vanish all too quickly? New Year’s Eve celebrations fade, and the next thing you know you’re back at the office again. Before you can blink, January has flown by, and the work routine is in full swing.

Why does this matter? Because the hint of holidays past can set into the psychology of a small business in January. There is a potential to knuckle down and try to get the ball rolling in the new year, yes. But by now all your staff are back and no doubt you are fully occupied with business as usual.

And this, oddly enough, can be distracting. The busyness of leaving the holidays behind and getting back to business can detract from an opportunity for small businesses to work smarter, not simply harder.

The importance of January timing in a yearly business cycle

If you thought the holidays vanished all too quickly, how soon do you think you will be surprised by the shadows of June and tax time?

Once this end-of-financial year looms, you can throw certain outcomes out the window. So, now is the singular time to take time aside from your daily grind and realign your business around sharp and solid planning. In fact, now is the time to consider a Virtual CFO in Sydney or elsewhere. The professional (yet carefully scoped and budgeted) advice of a Chief Financial Officer can add impressive new horizons to your strategic objectives.

By the time the new financial year catches up to you in July, you don’t want to be faced with startling question: Is my enterprise going to finish this year in a significantly improved position to where it ended last year, or will I be doing the same old thing?

If you want to end this year by reaching the full depth of your businesses’ potential, then you need to act now.

1.Question your end-of-year objectives

This January to February time slot is the perfect time to redefine your objectives and direction. Why? Because now that your staff are back, your clients and customers are ringing, and the energy of the new year is flowing, you can already truly begin to see how your business is performing and where it is going in the current year.

Outsourcing a CFO to assess your operations and see if you are wasting resources on unwise endeavours is all the more pertinent when you have almost the whole year ahead of you to adjust and rectify. The realities of your resources, opportunities, and motivations are now in play since the silly season is well and truly over. You’ve got a great chance to make your end of year targets realistic yet ambitious. So now is the ideal time to ask yourself…

  1. What are my realistic goals for the end of the year?
  2. How likely am I to hit optimum sales targets and expectations by the end of this year?
  3. What benchmarks do I need to meet during the year to ensure I hit or exceed these targets?

2.Review your operational strategy

Time waits for no one. It’s simple common sense. You can do more with your business practically speaking with 10 months in hand than you can with 8 or 6. You don’t have the pressures of tax time and you’re not overrun.

So why not adjust your operations to ensure your best laid plans come to fruition? If you miss out on making adjustments now, any adjustments you do make later may not be significant enough to drastically impact your bottom line by tax time or the end of the year.

  1. Do I have the right staff to implement my reviewed benchmarks for June and the end of the year?
  2. Is it time to invest in additional resources, training, equipment, assets, or staff?
  3. When exactly will I need to decide about these actions during the course of the year to make my benchmarks and targets feasible?

3. Budget for the right expenses

You can potentially make a complete shift or refocus to your resources, staffing, and operational goals right now because you still have the year ahead of you. It should spark you into action. It could get you ahead of the competition.

Even more than that, are you feeling the pinch of lesser sales and fewer clients over the holiday period? Why not plan now to have you finances in a stronger position the next time December rolls around? Once the first hint of tax season inevitably creeps up, you will realise you are limited in how much you can adapt your budget and financials. So now’s the time to plan to have more funds over this year than you did over the last.

  1. What budgeting and tax benchmarks do I need to set in place to maximise my financial and asset value from now, to tax time, and beyond?
  2. How can I adapt my budget to focus on key strategic and operational areas that will ensure I meet my yearly benchmarks and targets?
  3. Is my business structure, financial and asset planning, and accounting realistic?

No regrets?

This now or never mentality should put a smile on your face. It may be that since the year is in full swing, and your business is well and truly back at its usual operations, and you know the weeks and months will pass you by, that you feel a little overwhelmed.

But rather than simply working harder, take time away from your day-to-day to plan how you can work smarter. This will refresh you and your operations. It can make hopes about finishing this year on a stronger note than the last become a demonstrable, actionable reality.

It may well be an ideal time for you to chat with your business advisor in Sydney or elsewhere, or to contract that Virtual CFO to give you the optimum strategy for your small business. After all, if you have ambitions to significantly build on last year by the end of this year, isn’t it best to have the whole year ahead of you?

Important Disclaimer: Readers should not act solely on the basis of the material on this page. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice. Legislation and proposals of legislation are also subject to constant change. We therefore recommend that formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. This news article is issued as a guide to the readers. Calibre Business Advisory Pty Ltd and its associated entities disclaims any losses that may be incurred as a result of the reader undertaking any action based on this article.

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