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Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint Australia

What it takes to thrive as a small business in the new financial year

By Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint in Australia

The crossover into the new financial year can be a busy and overwhelming time for small businesses. However, it can also be an opportunity to refocus your goals and refresh your business strategy ahead of the new financial year.

From preparing your tax return and working out your deductions to conducting stocktake and updating your records, these tasks can seem to take up all your spare time. However, equally important is dedicating energy to reviewing and planning for the year ahead.

Here are my top tips and tricks to ensure that your small business is on the path to growth in the new financial year:

  1. Consider what it is you want

Begin by taking a look at your business as it stands. Reevaluating goals and identifying concrete objectives to guide your business through the new financial year is an important process for achieving these goals within your chosen timeframe.

You should also consider where the opportunities for growth are within your business so you can water them. Brainstorm ways of optimising your business as is, or creating new avenues such as new products or services for your customers.

  1. Paperwork – Boring but necessary

Having an organised filing system for documents associated with your business can help to fix problems before they arise. Take the new financial year as an opportunity to become your most organised self yet.

Regularly updating sales ledgers, credit notes and disposing of outdated paperwork will greatly aid in ensuring your business is capable of achieving growth.

Issuing invoices in a timely manner can greatly streamline the running of a business. With many small businesses currently experiencing delays when doing so, issuing invoices early and attentively following up will allow your debtors plenty of notice to pay their receivables and improve business efficiency for all involved.

  1. Stay informed

As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power.’ Keep track of your competitors and the products and services they offer in order to harness knowledge that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Stay abreast of industry news and developments and share any new trends with the rest of your team. This information can provide you the opportunity to refine your competitive advantage and achieve further business growth.

  1. Supplying the best

Regular assessments of your suppliers are integral in ensuring that you gain the maximum value for money that the market permits. Comparing rates and prices from other suppliers will confirm you are minimising your operating expenses. Search for any new deals or discounts on offer and always aim to negotiate terms to your advantage.

However, don’t forget the importance of maintaining close working relationships with your current suppliers and ensure an amicable parting if necessary.

  1. Take some time to enjoy your success!

Make sure to take some time out of your busy EOFY schedule to enjoy and reflect on your successes as a business. Running any kind of business is stressful so don’t forget to take a well-earned break to re-charge for the year ahead.

Employees are also at their most productive when feeling valued and acknowledged, so reward your team with a staff event or even just an acknowledgement of their successes.

Melissa Haywood’s career started almost 20 years ago, straight out of university, into Direct Marketing. She built her career first managing databases and direct mail, followed by an expansion into a Marketing Director’s role that also managed, email, website, display marketing, search marketing and social media. Today, Melissa Haywood is now Head of Vistaprint in Australia and applying all her skills to the exciting world of customised products, helping everyday Australians grow their own businesses successfully, no matter what the size.

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Melissa Haywood

Melissa Haywood

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