Forecasting Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Category Archives for "Forecasting"

Review your expenses and save yourself money

Review your expenses and save yourself money

Review your expenses - and save yourself money


Running a business will always mean incurring certain expenses or 'spend'.

Whether you’re a large family business or a small fledgling startup, there will be costs, overheads and supplier bills that mount up – and these expenses will gradually chip away at your cash position, making it more difficult to grow and make a profit.

So, what can you do to reduce your spend levels? And what impact will this have on your overall margins, profits and ability to fund the next stage in your business journey?

Getting proactive with your spend management

Spend management is all about getting in control of your expenses – and, where possible, aiming to reduce the level of costs and overheads that you incur as a company.

Why does this matter? 

Well, excessive spending eats into your cash flow, reduces your profit margins and stops you from achieving the profits that you’re capable of as a business.

So if you can get proactive with your spend management, you can actually make your company a far more financially productive enterprise – and that’s great for your overall business health.

So, what can you do to reduce spend and slim down your company expenses?

Here are some key ways to reduce expenses:

Reduce your overheads

Your overheads are the unavoidable costs of running your business, producing your products or supplying your services.

If you have bricks and mortar premises, these overheads will include rental payments, utility bills and even the cost of paying your staff.

Drill down into the numbers and see where there are opportunities to reduce these overhead costs. That could mean moving to smaller premises, or reducing the size of your workforce, to reduce payroll expenditure.

Put limits on staff expenses

If your employees can claim expenses, or buy raw materials and equipment with the company’s money, these costs can soon start to rack up. It’s a good idea to put a spending limit in place, so each staff member can only spend up to an agreed amount.

Having a clear expenses policy helps, as will training up your staff in good spend management techniques. Expenses cards – such as WebexpensesSoldo or Pleo – allow you to quickly set spend limits, track expenses and pull your expenses data through to your cloud accounting platform for processing.

Look for cheaper suppliers

If you can reduce your supplier costs, this will go a long way to bringing down your overall spend.

If you’ve been with certain key suppliers for years, look around for new quotes, look at current market prices and see if you can negotiate better deals. And if your old suppliers aren’t flexible enough, try swapping to newer, more eager suppliers who will be willing to meet you in the middle on price.

Make your operations leaner

The bigger your operational costs are, the less margin you’ll make on your end products and services.

One way to resolve this is to aim for a ‘lean approach’, paring back your staff, resources and operational complexity to the bare minimum.

By making the business as lean as possible, whilst still delivering the same output, you keep your revenue stable, but reduce the spend level that’s eating into your cost of goods sold (COGS). The smaller your COGS, the more profit you make on each unit or sale – and that means better cash flow, more working capital and bigger profits.

Talk to us about improving your spend management

If you’d like to get in control of your expenses, we’d love to chat.

We’ll review your current costs, run forecasting, and help highlight the key areas where expenses can be cut. Then we’ll help you formulate a proactive spend management programme, to reduce your unnecessary spending.

Preparing your business for a sale

Preparing your business for a sale

Preparing your business for a sale

Selling your business is a big move for any owner. You’ve built this company up, scaled it and put years of hard work into making the business a success story. So, when the time comes to sell, you’ll want to know that you’re getting the best price, and the best future for your legacy.

We’ve outlined five ways to maximise the value of your business, with practical steps for making your company the most attractive prospect on the market.

5 steps to prepare you for a sale

The first thing to underline is that selling a business is rarely a fast process. Most owners will begin planning their sale years in advance, working to an exit strategy that sets out all the key milestones. Your aim is to leave the business in great shape, with stable finances, a solid team and a customer base that will continue to provide solid revenues for years to come.

So, how do you achieve these goals?

1. Assess your reasons for selling and your desired timeline

What’s the key motivation for selling your business? Are you retiring, looking to move on to other opportunities or hoping to unlock your equity? Once you know your reasons, you can decide on some core goals for the sale, and set a realistic timeline for the sale.

2. Get your financial house in order

'Doing your financial housekeeping’ will mean preparing financial statements, submitting outstanding tax returns and making sure you have access to any other documentation that potential buyers will want to see. You may also want to work with an M&A expert to discover the company’s true market value.

3. Make your business attractive to buyers

Any buyer wants to know they’re taking on an attractive business proposition. Making the business feel more attractive means improving your marketing and sales strategies, beefing up your operations and ensuring you have a positive cashflow position. You should also think about creating a transition plan for the buyer, so the handover is as smooth as possible .

4. Find the right buyer

It’s important to feel like you’re handing your legacy over to the right owner – and getting the price you need. This may involve working with a business broker or marketing your business yourself. Make sure you vet potential buyers carefully to ensure that they are a good fit for your business and your existing team.

5. Negotiate the sale terms

Achieving your desired price could involve a fair amount of negotiation. You’ll need to sit down with your buyer to discuss purchase price, payment terms and other conditions of the sale. Be prepared to compromise and be willing to walk away from a deal if the terms are not right for you.

Talk to us about getting your business ready for a sale

If you’re intending to sell your business in the next five years, it’s important to start planning now.

Coming up with a sale plan and a robust exit strategy takes time. As does sorting out the business housekeeping and finding the best possible buyer for the company.

As experienced bookkeepers, we’ll help you:

  • Get organised, locate the relevant documents and improve your record-keeping
  • Clean up your business to identify any financial issues
  • Expand your business network, to help find the best buyer for the company

Following these steps will greatly increase the market value and price of your business.

Get in touch to talk about your sale plan.

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

As the festive season approaches, it’s a great time to let your customers and team members know how much you appreciate them. 

In a year that has presented its challenges, when it comes to deciding on Christmas gifts for your customers and team, finding the right balance between generosity and sensitivity is important. It’s not easy to know how much to spend or whether it’s appropriate to throw a party.

Let's explore some Christmas gift ideas that go beyond the traditional, and are appropriate for both your clients and team.

The traditional route: gifts, cards and donations

The traditional approach often involves food-related gifts like hams, hampers, or bottles of wine or spirits. While these can be easily ordered online and delivered, it's essential to consider potential delays and the possibility that recipients might be working remotely. To navigate these challenges, opt for non-perishable items or those with extended shelf life.

For clients who you have a close relationship with, consider personalised gifts that align with their personal interests.  This more personal approach demonstrates your attentiveness and can strengthen your professional relationship. Additionally, a handwritten card adds a personal and cost-effective touch that resonates well during the holiday season.

Another option is a making a donation on behalf of your clients or team members. This adds a meaningful element to your gift-giving as many people really appreciate an email or card that lets them know you’ve donated money to a charity on their behalf. For that extra touch you can include details like, “The local foodbank will use this donation to feed families on Christmas Day.”

Building Stronger Connections: Coffee, Lunch, and Face-to-Face Interaction

Treating high-value clients to a coffee or lunch can be a powerful gesture. This not only allows for a more personal connection but also creates lasting memories. While this approach may involve a higher cost, the impact on client relationships can far exceed that of a traditional gift.

Consider the preferences of your team when deciding on gifts for them. While hampers are a classic choice, it may not be universally preferred. A Christmas bonus is appreciated, but it's essential to consider the tax implications. A supermarket voucher, on the other hand, retains its full value, providing a practical and tax-efficient alternative. Engage with your team to understand their preferences; some may value a paid day off more than a physical gift.

Budgeting for Generosity: Tailoring Gifts Based on Relationships

Working out how much to spend on each client can be challenging. One approach is to categorise clients based on their spending with your business and their overall value to your business.

Consider giving high-value clients more substantial gifts, while smaller clients may receive more modest yet thoughtful tokens of appreciation.

Need help with Christmas budgeting?

If you find yourself wondering how much each client has spent or are unsure about your Christmas gift budget, we're here to assist.

Get in touch with us, and we'll analyse the numbers to provide insights tailored to your business. We'll help make sure your generosity aligns with your financial capabilities, making this festive season memorable for both you and your clients.

Get in touch and we’ll run the numbers to give you the insights you need.

Have You Got a Plan for Growth in Your Business?

Have You Got a Plan for Growth in Your Business?

Have You Got a Plan for Growth in Your Business?

Growth doesn't have to be a daunting prospect. It can be a straightforward process if you approach it strategically and methodically.

Rather than seeing growth as synonymous with increased risk, longer hours, and more headaches, consider it as an opportunity to maximize your business's potential within your industry.

Let's explore some practical tips and insights on how to plan for growth, all while keeping it simple and straightforward.

1. Take a Look Back to Move Forward

Before you start charting the path for growth, it's crucial to understand where your business stands today. Begin by conducting a growth audit. This involves analysing all available data and information to gain insights into how your business has evolved.

By documenting your past growth patterns and identifying the factors that contributed to your current position, you can make more informed decisions for the future.

Embracing modern technology, such as cloud accounting software like Xero, can significantly streamline your business growth journey. Xero provides you with real-time access to your financial data, anytime, anywhere. This accessibility ensures you have up-to-date insights into your financial health, enabling you to make swift, data-driven decisions. Integrating cloud accounting software into your operations is not just a step towards modernisation, but also a strategic move towards informed business growth.

2. Create a One-Page Growth Plan

Once you have a clear understanding of your business's history and current standing, it's time to plan for future growth. This doesn't have to be a complex, multi-page document filled with jargon and buzzwords. Instead, aim for simplicity. Create a one-page growth plan that outlines your big objectives and the practical steps needed to achieve them.

Consider what specific tasks need to be accomplished and which team members will be responsible for them. By breaking down your growth objectives into manageable tasks, you can make progress more efficiently.

3. Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A successful plan for growth isn't just about setting goals; it's also about tracking your progress. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your growth objectives. These KPIs could include metrics such as revenue growth, customer acquisition rates, or operational efficiency improvements.

Regularly review these KPIs to ensure you're staying on track. By monitoring your performance, you can make necessary adjustments and keep your momentum going in the right direction.

4. Gain Perspective by Taking a Step Back

As a business owner, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your company. However, taking time to step back and gain perspective is essential for effective growth planning.

Consider seeking expert assistance to help you build a comprehensive business plan. We can provide valuable insights and expertise to assist you in charting the path for growth. We can work with you to identify the necessary steps to achieve your growth objectives, offering a fresh perspective that goes beyond the daily grind.

Embrace Growth as an Opportunity

Planning for growth doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming. By conducting a growth audit, creating a one-page growth plan, monitoring KPIs, and seeking expert advice, you can set your business on the path to sustainable and rewarding expansion.

At our First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray, we're here to help. Talk to us about understanding your numbers and assisting you in developing a clear and actionable growth plan.

Remember, growth is not about taking unnecessary risks or working longer hours—it's about making informed decisions and seizing opportunities. With the right approach, your business can achieve the growth you're aiming for.

Applying for a business loan

Applying for a business loan

Applying for a business loan

Applying for a business loan can be a daunting task, especially with all the paperwork and number-crunching involved. However, it's important not to take lending lightly, regardless of how easy it may seem to take on debt.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, we understand the challenges that business owners face when seeking financial assistance. So today we're sharing some valuable insights and tips to keep in mind throughout the business loan application process.

Present a clear business case

While banks are experts in money, they’re not necessarily knowledgeable about your area of business.

It's crucial to present a clear story that connects the dots for them. Show the bank how the loan will unlock business growth, ultimately ensuring that they will be repaid. By presenting a compelling business case, you can make the bank's job easier and increase your chances of securing the loan.

Essential documentation

To support your loan application, you will need to gather certain documents that demonstrate the financial health and viability of your business. Make sure you have the following:

Income statements and balance sheets 

Provide financial statements from the past two years to showcase your business's financial performance.

Up-to-date financial statements

Keep your financial statements current and accurate. These documents reflect the financial position of your business and help lenders assess its stability.

Business plans or project plans

Outline the direction your business is taking, including your growth strategy, market analysis, and future plans. This will demonstrate to the bank that you have a clear vision for your business's success.

Tax returns 

Provide recent tax returns to verify the accuracy of your income statements. This helps the bank evaluate your income stability and repayment capacity.

Bank account statements

Include bank account statements to validate your business's financial transactions and cash flow.

Leveraging accounting software

Using cloud-based accounting software, like Xero, can significantly simplify the loan application process. These platforms generate comprehensive reports and financial data on demand, providing essential information to support your loan application.

With features such as income and expense reports, growth trends, and forecasts, you can present a well-rounded picture of your business's financial performance and potential.

Talk to us when applying for a business loan

Navigating the complexities of the business loan application process can be overwhelming. At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we are here to support you every step of the way.

From organising your financial documents to analysing your business's financial health, we can help position your business for success. 

Secure Your Business Loan with Confidence

Applying for a business loan requires careful preparation and attention to detail. By presenting a clear business case and providing comprehensive financial documentation, you increase your chances of securing the loan you need to take your business to the next level.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, we understand the unique challenges faced by business owners, and are here to assist you throughout the loan application process.

Contact us today to get the support you need and put your business in a better position for success.

6 warning signs you're undercharging & tips to increase prices

6 warning signs you’re undercharging & tips to increase prices

6 Warning Signs You're Undercharging & tips to increase your prices

As we head through 2023, business owners are continuing to face a challenging year ahead. With the cost of living increasing and the possibility of more interest rate hikes, it is more important than ever to ensure that your business is charging appropriately for your services. It's important to have clients value your worth and understand that your time and expertise are valuable.

If you're unsure if you're charging enough for your services, here are 6 warning signs you're undercharging & tips to increase your prices. 

1. Flat pricing for two years or more

In most industries, prices increase slightly each year to keep up with the market. If you've kept your prices the same for two years or more, it may be time to review your fees and make sure that they're competitive.

While it's understandable to want to keep prices stable for your customers, leaving your prices unchanged for too long could lead to missed opportunities for revenue growth and leave you vulnerable to competitors who are adjusting their pricing.

In today's dynamic business landscape, where the cost of living and interest rates are constantly fluctuating, it's important to periodically review your pricing to ensure that it remains competitive and aligned with your business goals.

One potential solution to flat pricing is to adopt a dynamic pricing strategy, where prices are adjusted regularly based on market conditions, customer demand, and other factors. This approach can help you stay ahead of the competition and maximize your profits, while still offering value to your customers.

Another option is to consider offering tiered pricing, where you provide different levels of service at varying price points. This can give customers the flexibility to choose the level of service that best fits their needs and budget, while also providing you with opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

By regularly reviewing your pricing and exploring different pricing strategies, you can ensure that your business remains competitive and profitable in 2023 and beyond.

2. Your profit margins are shrinking

If you find that your profit margins are shrinking despite working more hours or taking on more clients, it's a clear indication that your pricing is not aligned with your business goals. While it's important to stay competitive, it's equally important to ensure that your pricing allows you to generate the profits you need to sustain and grow your business.

To determine whether your profit margins are healthy, it's essential to track your expenses and revenues regularly. You can use accounting software or work with a financial management professional to help you analyze your financial statements and identify areas where you can cut costs or increase revenue.

By paying close attention to your profit margins and adjusting your prices accordingly, you can ensure that your business is on track to achieve your financial goals and thrive in 2023 and beyond.

3. Overworking with no room for expansion

If you're overworking yourself and can't afford to hire additional help, it's a sign that your prices are too low.

While being busy is a good problem to have, overworking yourself to the point where you can't afford to hire additional help is not sustainable in the long run. If you find yourself in this situation, it's a clear sign that your pricing may not be aligned with your business goals.

To address this issue, you could consider raising your prices to better reflect the value you provide to your clients. Additionally, you could look for ways to streamline your processes and increase efficiency, which can help you get more done in less time and reduce the need for additional staff.

Another option is to explore different pricing models, such as performance-based pricing or project-based pricing, which can help you charge for the value you deliver rather than the time you spend. This can give you more flexibility to scale your business and increase your profitability while still providing value to your customers.

By taking a strategic approach to pricing and exploring different pricing models, you can ensure that your business is profitable, sustainable, and able to grow in 2023 and beyond.

4. No questions asked about your quotes

If all of your new clients accept your quotes or charges without any questions or attempts to negotiate, it's possible that you're charging too little for your services. Your clients may be thrilled to be getting a good deal, but it's important to make sure that you're not undervaluing your skills and time.

So, if you find that all of your new clients accept your quotes or charges without any pushback, it may be time to reevaluate your pricing. While it's great to have satisfied customers, it's important to ensure that you're charging what your services are worth.

To address this issue, you could consider conducting market research to see how your competitors are pricing their services. You may also want to look at your pricing structure and determine whether it reflects the true value of your skills and time. If you're consistently undercharging, it may be time to adjust your pricing to better reflect your expertise and the value you provide to your clients.

5. Clients don't treat you well

Do your clients take you for granted or fail to appreciate the work you're doing? If so, it could be a sign that you're undercharging for your services. When clients feel like they're paying too little, they may not fully understand the value of your time and expertise.

To address this issue, it's important to communicate the value of your services to your clients. This could involve explaining your pricing structure and the amount of time and effort that goes into each project. It may also be helpful to set clear expectations upfront, including deadlines, project scope, and any additional fees that may apply.

Another solution is to cultivate a client base that truly values your services. This could mean shifting your focus to a more niche market or simply being more selective in the clients you take on. By working with clients who understand the value of your expertise, you can build stronger relationships and increase your profitability over time.

6. Overbooked and turning away clients

If your business is thriving and you're turning away clients because you're fully booked, it's a clear sign that you're in high demand and providing valuable services to your customers. However, if you're not charging enough for your expertise and time, you may be leaving money on the table and missing out on potential growth opportunities.

One effective solution to this problem is to raise your prices. By increasing your rates, you can maintain your level of service quality while also boosting your profitability. However, it's important to be strategic when implementing price increases. Research the market rates for similar services and adjust your prices accordingly. You don't want to price yourself out of the market or lose your existing clients, so consider implementing the price increase gradually or only for new clients.

Another alternative is to outsource services like bookkeeping and payroll as an effective way to free up your time and focus on revenue-generating tasks. By delegating these tasks to professionals, you can ensure that they're handled accurately and efficiently while also reducing your workload.

Being fully booked is a great problem to have, but it's important to ensure that you're not leaving money on the table by undercharging for your services. By raising your prices strategically and implementing efficiency-boosting strategies, you can continue to provide high-quality services to your clients while also growing your business.

What should you be charging?

Setting the right price for your services can be a challenge. You'll need to do some research and evaluate the market to determine where your competitors are pricing their rates. Additionally, you'll need to take into account your level of expertise, the value that you provide to your clients, and your overall costs.

One strategy that many businesses use is value-based pricing. This approach involves setting your prices based on the value that you provide to your clients. By focusing on the outcomes and benefits that your clients receive from your services, you can set prices that are more in line with your worth.

At First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray, we understand that finding the right pricing strategy for your business can be challenging. We're here to help, and we can provide guidance and support to help you determine the right rates for your services. Our team has extensive experience working with businesses in a variety of industries, and we can provide insights and advice that are tailored to your specific needs.

In addition to helping you set your prices, we can also provide support with other aspects of your financial management. From bookkeeping to payroll, we can help you streamline your financial processes and improve your profitability.

Staying sustainable

As we enter 2023, it's more important than ever to ensure that your business is charging appropriately for your services. By keeping an eye out for the 6 warning signs you're undercharging and implementing the appropriate tips to increase prices you can improve your profitability and ensure that your business is sustainable in the long term.

At First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray, we're here to help. Whether you need assistance with pricing, bookkeeping, payroll, or other financial management services, we have the expertise and knowledge to support you and your business. We understand the challenges that businesses are facing in 2023, and we're committed to providing you with the guidance and support that you need to succeed.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help with your pricing, bookkeeping or payroll today.

Planning a financially stress-free holiday period

Planning a financially stress-free holiday period

Planning a financially stress-free holiday period

Holiday breaks are a chance to recharge for the year ahead, especially after the year we have had.

We look forward to warmer weather and finally setting up an out-of-office email for the break. However, for business owners, this time can be stressful without careful cash-flow planning.

Here are some simple strategies that can help you plan for a financially stress-free holiday period.

The strategies and tips shared below are generalised, however, we are here if you need to budget and prepare a cash-flow forecast.

Decide your Christmas and holiday break dates

Deciding when to take Christmas and holiday breaks is an important decision for businesses.

First, you need to consider your staffing and resourcing needs; how many people will be taking leave over the break period and who will be covering for those employees that take annual leave? Can your business afford to close entirely or run with a smaller team?

Once you have decided on your dates, share them with staff, customers and suppliers. It can provide peace of mind for customers; if they know how long you will be closed they can plan their spending accordingly. This will help ensure that your business runs smoothly during this time and that your customers are taken care of.

Budget and plan for annual leave

One of the most important aspects of budgeting and planning for annual leave is to factor in the pay rates for staff. At Christmas time, in most cases, these rates will be higher than standard hourly rates, so it's important to take this into account when creating your budget. Additionally, you must also take into account statutory public holidays. These days must be accounted for when calculating annual leave entitlements, and they cannot be carried over or swapped for another day.

Another thing to consider when budgeting and planning for employee annual leave is leave loading or long service leave. Staff may be entitled to receive this type of payment, which can add up to a significant amount of money depending on how long an employee has been working for your business.

By using software such as Xero, you can forecast your annual leave accrual and plan ahead. This will help ensure that you have enough money budgeted for staff wages during the holiday season. If you need help with this process, get in touch with us. We can provide you support to make sure that your annual leave planning is as accurate as possible.

Decide leave payments

There are many things to consider when deciding how and when to pay out your employees' leave payments during the Christmas break. For example, you may want to consider their preferences and travel needs, as well as any other financial factors that may impact your decision.

When it comes to making this decision, it is important to keep in mind the needs of both your employees and your business. Ultimately, the choice that works best for everyone will depend on a variety of factors, such as employee preferences, budget constraints, and company policies.

If you are unsure about what to do in this situation, it may be helpful to speak with your staff or consult with an HR professional for guidance. Whatever you decide, it is important to communicate clearly with your team and ensure that everyone feels supported throughout this process.

Overall, there are many things to consider when deciding how and when to pay out your employees' leave payments during the Christmas break. However, by carefully weighing all the different factors involved, you can make a decision that works well for both your employees and your business.

Review your work in progress (WIP)

Plan to complete jobs or services that can be invoiced and paid before Christmas (remember if you don’t invoice and get paid before Christmas, you may not see the money until mid to late January).

  1. Send out invoices as soon as the job is complete. This will ensure that your clients have the invoice and can make payment in a timely manner.
  2. If you haven't already, sign up for online invoicing and payments. This will make it easier for your clients to pay you, and they can do it from the comfort of their own homes.
  3. Follow up with clients who haven't paid yet. A gentle reminder can go a long way in getting those payments in before the holidays.
  4. If all else fails, consider offering a discount for early payment. This may incentivize your clients to pay sooner rather than later.
Stocktake

Do you need to order in goods now to be able to complete your work in progress? Check that there is stock on hand available. If there is going to be a partial stocktake at the end of this financial year, now could be the time to get some extra stock in to make sure that you can complete orders.

If you are planning a stocktake for your business, it's important to prepare well in advance and make sure that you have all the necessary equipment, staff, and resources to complete the task effectively. This may include getting the help of a third party stocktaking company or enlisting your suppliers or distributors to provide you with any stock data they have on hand.

You should also communicate clearly with your team about what will be involved in the stocktake process and make sure that they are aware of any changes to your usual operations, such as working hours or product handling procedures. By planning ahead and taking the time to prepare for a stocktake, you can ensure that it runs smoothly and gives you the accurate data you need to make informed business decisions.

Capacity planning

It can be difficult to find the time and resources to complete a project before Christmas, but with careful planning, you can ensure that everything is done in plenty of time.

Start by prioritising which tasks need to be completed first, and make sure you have the necessary staff or equipment to get the job done. If possible, try to avoid taking on new projects or clients during this busy period, as your focus and energy will be elsewhere.

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that you can't do everything yourself, so delegate tasks where necessary and ask for help from colleagues or family members if you need it. With a little bit of planning and flexibility, you'll be able to make the most of the festive season and complete all your projects on time.

So if you're looking for a stress-free Christmas, take some time now to plan out your capacity and resources so that you can focus on what really matters this holiday season – spending quality time with friends and family.

Making an arrangement with the Tax Office

If your budget forecast indicates you won't be able to meet your tax obligations, it is possible to apply for an instalment arrangement. There are costs associated with this, however it may provide a solution that gets you through the holiday period. Talk to us, we can help.

Plan for the new year

In addition to the tasks above, having a solid plan for getting your cash-flow back in shape after the break is essential. To help you with this, look at reviewing your forecasts and budgets (including debtors), ensuring you have good management information available, and checking that all your key operational systems are running smoothly.

Talk to us about enhancing your financial support

If you identify that you'll need financial support over Christmas, now is the time to organise short-term financial relief like an arranged overdraft or loan, rather than hoping it will come right. Please let us know if you need any help with cash-flow forecasting, budgeting or finance applications.

How to say thank you this Christmas

How to say thank you this Christmas

How to say thank you this Christmas

It's that time of year again! The temperature is getting warmer and holiday music is playing everywhere.

That can only mean one thing - it's time to start thinking about Christmas gifts!

If you're like most business owners, you want to reward your team for their hard work over the past year and thank your top customers for their loyalty.

But what's the best way to do that? And how can you stay within your Christmas budget? Keep reading for some tips and ideas.

Ideas for Rewarding Your Team

One of the most common ways to reward employees at Christmastime is with a bonus. A bonus is a great way to show your appreciation for a job well done and give your team members a financial boost during the holiday season.

If you decide to go this route, be sure to run the numbers beforehand so you don't overspend. Talk to us about doing this for you.

Alternatively, you may also want to consider giving each member of your team a gift card or voucher that they can use as they please. This allows them to buy exactly what they want or need, which is always appreciated.

Another thoughtful way to show your team how much you appreciate them is with a personalised gift. This could be something as simple as a mug with their name on it or a gift basket filled with their favourite things.

Whatever you choose, make sure it comes from the heart and shows that you know and appreciate them as an individual.

Ideas for Thanking Your Top Customers

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it's important to show them how much you appreciate their loyalty.

You could send them a handwritten thank-you note along with a small token of appreciation, like a branded keychain or pen.

If you really want to go above and beyond, invite them to an exclusive event or give them VIP treatment when they next visit your store or office.

Whatever you do, make sure your top customers feel valued and appreciated this Christmas season.

Your Christmas budget

Your Christmas budget is an important consideration when it comes to gift-giving.

To stay on track, set a budget at the start of the season and decide in advance how much you are willing to spend per person for both your team members and clients.

You might like to create categories based on how much your clients spend with you and how valuable they are to you. Your top customers might all receive a larger gift, while the smaller customers might get something more modest.

It's important to understand what you can afford to spend. We can help you run the numbers to understand this.

Saying thank you

Christmas is a great time to show your team how much you appreciate their hard work and thank your top customers for their loyalty.

There are many different ways to do this, so take some time to decide what would work best for your business.

And don't forget to stay within your budget! With a little planning and thoughtfulness, you can make this holiday season one to remember for all the right reasons.

Learning to make good business decisions First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Learning to make good business decisions

Learning to make good business decisions

Making good business decisions is easier to do when you have excellent information at your fingertips – and that’s the value of having great reporting at the heart of your business.

Any cloud accounting software worth its salt will offer you straightforward ways to run your financial reports and track your important metrics. That’s standard in the new digital world. And this level of reporting gives you real, tangible data on which to base your decision-making. But good decision-making isn’t just about the numbers.

As well as having an effective understanding of your finances, you need a sense of what's good for your business, how decisions will impact on your growth and what your future path looks like.

Run management information at least once a month

Modern cloud accounting software makes it easier than ever to run detailed, up-to-date reporting on your financial position.

With the click of a button, you can run numerous in-depth reports and statements that show your past and future position. Doing this regularly gives you a wealth of financial information on which to base your decision-making and strategic thinking.

At each stage in your business' growth, you’ll have to make important decisions about your next step. So, it’s important to think about the financial implications of any new projects, the amount of cash in your business and the availability of new sources of funding.

Use metrics and projections to inform your decision-making

Setting up a custom dashboard to monitor the most important metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is definitely a good idea.

Most accounting apps will let you tailor your dashboard, so you can pick and choose from KPIs that are most relevant to your business.

Set clear and democratic targets for all of your main KPIs and track them on a weekly basis, so you’re monitoring the financial heartbeat of your business.

If cashflow is looking poor, look at freeing up some cash, or borrowing money to fill the gap. If sales revenues are dropping, put some renewed vigour into your sales activity, or get a new marketing campaign underway to raise awareness of your most profitable products and services.

Talk to your board and executive team when scenario-planning

You may be the sole founder of your business, or you may be part of a bigger team of co-founders. But the reality is that no one person can make all the decisions in a busy business.

To get the best overview of a challenge, or to come up with an effective way to grab a potential opportunity, you need to talk to your team – that’s the only way to get an effective consensus.

Talk through the current threats and opportunities and run through as many different potential scenarios as possible. What’s the best-case scenario, and how can you achieve it? What’s the worst-case scenario, and how do you plan for it, if things don’t go according to plan?

Work closely with an experienced external adviser

When you’re working in the business 24/7, it’s hard to see the business in an objective way.

Your judgement on some issues can be overly emotional and clouded by internal or political factors. Working with an experienced accountant, business adviser or business coach brings a fresh perspective to the business – both financially, strategically and emotionally.

Having a trusted external advisor on the team definitely helps you get your numbers straight. But they can also bring their knowledge and experience to bear on your strategic thinking, your decision-making and the impact of the business on your own mental health and wellbeing.

You can open up to them about your worries, share your aspirations for your business and bounce strategic ideas off them – taking some of the pressure off your shoulders.

Track how you’re measuring against your goals

To meet your goals and make good business decisions, it’s helpful to monitor and track your progress against these targets.

If you refer back to your reporting and KPI metrics, you can easily measure your performance over time – and take action if progress is starting to slip.

Areas to keep an eye can include your:

  • Cashflow position – to make sure there’s enough cash in the business to keep your project moving forward and heading towards the agreed end goals.
  • Sales figures and revenue – so you can see how you’re tracking against your sales targets and if the intended revenue from the project is being achieved.
  • Budgets and expenses – to check that you’re not overspending on your project and that the team is being sensible with costs, expenses and essential overheads.
  • Gross margin percentage – so you can keep the business profitable and aim to meet your profit targets for the period, or year-end.
    Growth against targets – to keep the business performing well and growing at the rate you predicted to meet your growth target for the period.
  • Making a few bad decisions along the way is all part of the learning process. But by monitoring your performance and talking to the best advisers, it’s easier to keep the business on track.

Talk to us about forecasting and understanding your numbers. We’ll help you integrate the best possible management information apps into your business to help guide your decision-making.