When the Commission of Audit report was released last week – replete with sweeping cuts to public spending – it became clear that this years’ budget would be taking no prisoners. We’ve been living beyond out means for too long, and the party is over.
Regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on, there’s a message for business amid the chainsawing of health, education, family payments and the pension.
Whatever your favoured term – trimming the fat, picking the low-hanging fruit, reigning in spending – perhaps what must be cut, is the whole ‘feast or famine’ dichotomy.
We all do it. When money is plentiful, the would-be cautious eye on the balance sheet starts to wander. However that’s precisely what business can’t afford to do.
Managing your finances properly regardless of the fiscal climate lays the foundations for future growth and the creation of more jobs in the longer term.
I know cutting costs when business is booming can be hard. If it were easy, everyone would already be doing it. But being complacent only makes it more likely that stomach-churning adjustments, like redundancies, may be necessary when the good times end.
So, when the budget knife falls next week, ask yourself: “what changes can I make to my business? How can I curb my expenses?” Forget about how unpopular your decisions might be, and look at what actually needs to be done and whether cuts need to be made. Can you afford to continue putting them off?
Managing your business finances is hard, let alone the entire nation’s. But if the government is prepared to ask the hard questions, it should serve as a timely example for business owners.