On the 12th day of Christmas my accountant, Callaughan Partners, gave to me 12 golden tips. Before you start to wind down from 2011 here are 12 tips that will help you break into 2012 with a flying start.
1. Review your pricing structure
Every business should be looking at their competitiveness and benchmark their price against similar businesses. The beginning of the year is a good time to raise your prices slightly for some organic growth.
2. Review your product offering
Some ideas will be more popular around Christmas and summer. Put a big push on those items while they are favoured and then consider the change of product coming.
3. Review your marketing plans
You should be looking at your business and marketing plan and updating them. Make sure they are optimised to help you achieve the best results. Your staff should also be in line with your plans.
4. Review stock levels
You don’t want to be pushing a sale and then run out of stock. look at stale stock and liquidate it to move it on or offer bundled packages.
5. Review your debtors list
Start chasing now. If you can’t get it now you may have to wait until late January or worse, February. Marketing and selling is the aim but without collections your business will not survive.
6. Review you staff
We can only do so much. Finding the right people to employ is a necessity. If they are underperforming you need to point this out and maybe replace them. These people are representing you and your company. Don’t let them make you look bad.
7. Review you systems
Check your guidelines are current. Review your staff handbook and company policies. Check you have correct OHS in place. Check you are compliant in every way.
8. Check your security
At Christmas time people face pressures that make them do silly things. Staff and customers are prone to stealing at this point. Update your security systems and inform staff that you are watching. Be careful how you go about this, you don’t want them to feel you distrust them.
9. Check your funding
If you have credit terms, overdrafts or finance, it might be time to review the terms and maybe look at refinance or consolidating to save money. If you don’t have them and need something to help with cash flow, look at some premium funding or fee funding. This all costs money but will ease cash flow problems.
10. Review your financials
If you are serious about your business and its growth, pay your accountants to do half-year accounts and review your GST and finances. You can also get them to prepare a cash flow forecast for you. Yes this all cost money but it is well worth it considering it can help spot issues before they occur.
11. Have a party
You have to put something on for your staff, they have worked hard all year so let them enjoy it. For your key customers, suppliers & business partners get them a gift, something of small value to let them know you appreciate their business.
Take some time to unwind and spend time with family and friends. Refresh yourself and take the time to rest. Normally you think of new ideas around this time.
From all of us at Callaughan Partners, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. See you all again in January.