The last twelve months have been tough for businesses around the world. And while there’s no denying that times have been not been without their challenges for Australian business owners, we can be proud of the fact that we remain competitive in the international market place, with significant future growth signalled on the horizon.
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With the end of the financial year upon us, it’s a good opportunity to celebrate! Granted, it’s not a traditional time of celebration, but it can be a great time to recognise what you have achieved and give yourself and your team a pat on the back.
Business owners are showing enthusiasm going into the next twelve months.
In the latest MYOB Business Monitor, 61 percent of business owners surveyed said they are confident about their business prospects in twelve months’ time, which is 10 percent higher than recorded in the July 2009 survey.
Recovery from the economic downturn is underway. In the latest survey, more than a third of business owners report higher levels of upcoming work/sales in the pipeline. In part, this could be because the economic downturn forced some business owners to diversify their product and service offering to remain viable – as shown by the 21 percent of business owners who report that they have increased the variety of their products and services in the last six months. More variety and competition in the market has encouraged Australian business owners to become more savvy in key areas and reinforced the value of strong relationships with suppliers and customers.
Reflect on the past twelve months
As we celebrate the end of the 2009-2010 financial year, now is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on the milestones you have reached over the past year. This could be something as simple as keeping your business profitable over the last twelve months, retaining key staff, or investing in specialised training to improve your skills and the overall efficiency of the organisation. Whatever you have achieved over the last twelve months, be proud of it!
Record your journey
Business owners are often surprised when they write down what they have achieved. It can be so easy for achievements to fade into the background – to get lost behind problems that have arisen, or even just the day-to-day activities that keep us all so busy. Take the time to make note of your achievements, and your challenges, as a record of your business, and make a commitment to do so at regular intervals over the year ahead. This information can then be used (in an edited form) when it comes time to preparing a ‘CV’ for your business – whether it’s for business planning, funding applications, bank loans or entering business awards.
Whether you have a team of two or 200, it’s important to recognise everyone’s hard work. If your business has performed well over the past twelve months, then it’s important to reward the effort and commitment of the people who have helped make it happen. You don’t have to host a lavish party – just do something thoughtful to show you appreciate them. This could be as simple as hosting a Friday night barbeque. A small gesture can go a long way to boosting staff morale and building a positive work culture. How you manage staff – and whether you show appreciation for their efforts – regardless of market conditions, speaks volumes when it comes to key staff retention in the long term.
The next year is an exciting time for Aussie businesses. But in order to look forward, it is also important to take the time to review, record and be rewarded for the year past. Take the time to celebrate the end of financial year and then you can look forward to the next.