As the weather warms up and Christmas carols fill the air, many Aussies are starting to think about their summer holiday plans and how they can make the most of the sun. Meanwhile, many small business owners are occupied by work to hit the ground running in the new year.
The dawn of a new decade brings endless possibilities and the setting of New Year’s resolutions for the 12 months ahead. But for those goals to come to fruition for small business owners, it’s necessary to first build the foundations on which you can set your business up for success in 2020 and beyond.
Here are a few ways to get your business ready to roll in the new year:
Eliminate the paper trail
Businesses have evolved a great deal since the days of the Rolodex and stack of receipts. As a small business owner you’re not just a tradie or a graphic designer; you’re also the office manager and administrator, and it’s easy to waste a lot of time managing the paper trail. However, thanks to technology, everything from your customer details to your financial accounts can now exist online; easily accessible to you anywhere, anytime. The benefits of ditching the paper trail are numerous, but two of the most significant are better operational efficiencies and lower costs. Time is money for a small business, so why not make 2020 the year you ditch the paper trail?
If you can quickly locate a customer’s data or the status of their invoices from your smartphone or computer rather than sifting through a cluttered desk, your business is operating more efficiently. It means that, in the year ahead, you can focus less on administrative tasks and spend more time doing what you do best. While going paperless can be a little daunting initially, especially if you’ve relied on physical documents for a long time, your small business can really stand to benefit. After all, a clean work space is a clean mind, and isn’t that a great way to kick-start the new year?
Look after cash flow
Small businesses are a diverse, heterogenous group, but one thing that binds them all is the importance of achieving a consistent and reliable cash flow. The Christmas period can be an expensive one, so what better time to sit down to get on top of your finances and budget for the year ahead? A good way to do so is by looking at your cash flow from previous years, and asking yourself whether you were financially comfortable throughout the year – especially during slow periods.
Take some time for you
While ditching the paper trail and taking control of your finances are great ways to give your business a boost in the new year, it’s important that you don’t forget the most important part of your small business: you. The life of a small business owner can be a busy one, so whether Christmas represents peak season or a slow period in your industry, try taking some time for yourself. The importance of resting and recharging can’t be underestimated, and might just be the most important thing you can do to get your small business ready to tackle the year ahead.
The approaching new year is an important period for Australia’s 2.1 million small businesses, but it needn’t be a stressful one. Instead, it’s an opportunity. By implementing some simple processes now, you can get your business ready for whatever next years holds. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to take a bit of time off for yourself this Christmas too.
Chris Strode is the founder of Invoice2go, the mobile invoicing app that gives small businesses and contractors control over their time and business. As a small business owner from a family of tradespeople, Chris created Invoice2go out of frustration with the lack of simple invoicing options available.