business growth Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Tag Archives for " business growth "

Do you have a business plan

Do you have a business plan?

As we continue to face challenging times, to make a success of your business you’re going to need a robust business plan.

With a one-page business plan behind you, your company has a real sense of strategic direction and a set of core goals to refer to and track against.

But what are the key elements to include in your one-pager business plan?

We’ve listed some of the foundational areas to cover, so there’s real purpose behind your business.

What to include in your business plan

Lots of online resources will suggest that a business plan is an easy document to create, but a good plan will take time and plenty of thinking to get right.

As business advisers, we’ll help you put together a plan that gives you a clear strategy for the next six months and beyond, with measurable goals to include in your plan. The resulting document will help give you clarity on your direction, and where to invest time and money.

A business plan will also be an essential document if you are looking for investors or external funding. Any loan providers or private investors will want to assess the risk in your business, your cashflow position and the underlying profitability of the enterprise – so bear this all in mind when outlining the financial details of your plan.

If you haven't written a plan before, a template is useful.

Start with the following headings:

Business description

Your business description should include a mission statement, your key goals and your objectives as an enterprise. A good mission statement explains:

  1. what you do
  2. why you do it
  3. who you do it for.

It should be short and to the point and be used to inspire your marketing and drive the everyday internal running, ethos and tactics of your business operations and team thinking.

Business profile

A profile section tells me how long you’ve been in business, the specialty products or service niches that you focus on, and the key strengths of the company. It will also outline your business strategy and how you aim to achieve your targets, increase your customer base and grow the business over time.

Business environment

This section sets out the environment that you trade in as a business. So you should outline things like the key trends in your industry, your close competitors in the market, and the size of your current customer base. You can also include any research or market research you’ve compiled regarding your intended market, industries and customers, to give your plan some factual foundations.

Business strategy

A SWOT analysis demonstrates the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats in the business, allowing you to refine your business strategy and maximise your success. Identifying your key strengths and opportunities helps you to focus your efforts and resources in the most productive areas. And knowing your weaknesses and threats helps you look for areas of improvement, and where you may need to safeguard the company against specific risks, threats and competitors.


Your financials section sets out the basic financial drivers of the business idea. For new businesses, this will mean outlining your projected expenses, budgets, sales targets and profitability projections etc. For existing businesses, you can include your profit and loss, balance sheet, sales trends and projected budgets etc. Cashflow and revenue forecasts will also be essential if you’re approaching lenders.

Talk to us about creating your one-page business plan

We’ll help you create a tailored business plan, to guide you through the threats and opportunities that lie ahead, with solid financial management for the next stage in your growth.

10 ways to improve your margin

10 ways to improve your margin

10 ways to improve your margin

Improvements can always be made at the margin. Small tweaks to your processes or systems can make a massive difference to the end result. It’s the same with your business margin; a 1% increase in your gross margin on $500,000 of sales is an extra $5,000 on your bottom line.

The best part about improving your margin is that you increase your profit without needing to lift your sales.

Here are 10 ways to improve your margin

1. Negotiate better prices with your suppliers.

As they say, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’, so if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

2. Update your pricing model.

Make sure you’re using the most recent supplier prices and that all costs are included in your price.

3. Back cost jobs regularly.

Review exactly what you spent on 2-3 jobs each month and compare the actual cost to what you anticipated the cost would be when you quoted the job.

4. Get rid of slow-moving items or work that has a poor return.

Selling old stock at cost will drop your margin, but if you replace those items or jobs with higher-margin items, you’ll achieve a higher return in the long run.

5. Set budgets and targets with your team.

Give your team something to aim for. Celebrate success when the targets are achieved.

6. Report your results on a cloud-based, real-time system.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure! Regularly monitor your most important Key Performance Indicators on your dashboard.

7. Reduce wastage and re-work.

What processes need to be updated to help reduce wastage and re-work? Or, if the processes are correctly documented, what training do you need to provide to your team to ensure the processes are being followed to reduce wastage and re-work?

8. Review your sales process.

Does your sales team know which products or services have the highest margin? Do they know how to upsell to those higher-margin products or services? Identify the sales skills gaps in your team and implement training.

9. Make a plan.

There are plenty of areas for improvement in your business. Unless you write them down, you’re unlikely to bring the correct focus to them. Make a plan to improve one area at a time.

10. Involve your business advisors.

Not only to help you with idea generation and building a plan, but also to hold you accountable to do the things you need to do.

We can help you lift your margin. Contact us today!

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill

proactive business

Tips to being a proactive business

Tips to being a proactive business

Recent times have certainly shown us that the future path of your business can change in an instant. Usually, due to influences that are far beyond our own control.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing global economic recession have both had a negative economic impact on the business world. So, when a challenge arises, you need to be ready.

The key is to be proactive. Be prepared, have a ‘Plan B’ and react in a proactive way to the uncertainty. But what elements of your business should you focus on to get your downturn plan ready?

How to be a proactive business

To keep your business afloat, you’ll need to be agile, innovative and resourceful. And being flexible in the face of adversity is also likely to play a big part in your survival. 

No business owner has all the answers, and there are some important steps to take if you’re going to overcome the challenges of a downturn.

Proactive steps to take will include:

Enhancing your business knowledge

Knowledge is power, and being in control of your business data gives you that knowledge. The latest cloud reporting tools, like Futrli, help you to understand the financial numbers and forecast the future path of the business, allowing you to make truly informed decisions.

Improving your cashflow

During a downturn, money will be tight and your cashflow position is more likely to be poor. To improve this, you need to be proactive about reducing overheads, billing promptly, following up on overdue invoices and making sure that the minimum amount of cash flows out of the business, and the maximum flows in.

Negotiate with your suppliers

If you can wrangle a better deal from your suppliers, that goes a long way to enhancing your cashflow position. Negotiate with your suppliers to agree on better terms, or cheaper prices. And talk to your landlord about a reduction in rent – or even a rent holiday if the situation is extremely dire.

Accessing additional funding

When your cash reserves get tight, there may be a need to look for additional funding. This could mean asking your bank manager for an extended overdraft, approaching business lenders for a loan, or even looking at attracting private investors or private equity firms that may want to pump money into the business – although you’ll need a strong business plan for investors to be willing.

Evaluating your market offering

To generate enough revenues to survive, you need your products and/or services to be selling. To that end, it’s worth evaluating your market offering and making some changes. Do some products deliver a much higher return than others? If so, you could make more money by focusing purely on these products and having a tighter and more profitable product range.

Evolving your marketing and sales

Communication with your customers during a downturn is vital. Keep them in the loop and let them know that your products/services are still there for them. And reevaluate your marketing channels to make sure you’re hitting the right audience. Is your online presence as good as it could be? Are you providing enough information on your website and social channels to help solve your customers problem? If not, what else could you do to bring in more enquiries and sales.

Learning to pivot and diversify

Some sectors, for example, the travel and hospitality sectors, were badly hit by Covid. If this happens, you may need to pivot into a new niche or sector to find a new audience and more revenue streams. You can also diversify your product range to meet the needs of a wider range of customers, bringing in more revenue streams and bumping up your cash position as a business.

It’s all about having that Plan B in place. When (and if) a downturn hits, you’re then primed and ready to respond.

The better prepared you are, and the faster you react, the more likely it is that you’ll ride out challenging times successfully.

If you’re looking to improve your business planning, or improve your financial model, come and talk to us.

Are you playing the growth game

Are you playing in the growth game?

Are you playing in the growth game?

What’s your business growth looking like and where were you 12 months ago compared to today?

If you haven’t given it much thought it is probably because you’re always stuck in the day-to-day operations. But it is worth spending some dedicated time to do some reflecting and planning.

Growth doesn’t need to mean more risk, more hours and more headaches. To be successful, you first need to identify where the opportunities for growth are in your business and industry. Then establish what you and your team are going to have to do in order to maximise these opportunities – and navigate the likely obstacles you’re going to have to climb over.

Here are a couple of tips to get you thinking about growth:

Do an audit to document your growth over time

Analyse all the information you have to understand how you got to where you are right now. This will help you to plan for future growth.

Put a one page plan together

Include the big objectives and what you’ll realistically need to do in order to achieve them. (identify the tasks and people)

Establish some key performance indicators

Keep the momentum up and visit these regularly to ensure you’re on track.

As a business owner, it’s really tempting to try and do it alone, but you can get bogged down in the demands of day-to-day business. The truth is that you need to take time out of the business to get some much needed perspective. We can help build your business plan and identify the steps you’ll need to achieve it.

Business growth can be perceived as something scary, but when you have a plan and it’s done right, it can be empowering and rewarding.

With a bit of planning, the right systems, people and resources, there is tremendous opportunity to grow and scale your business to the next level to hit your growth targets.

We can help you get started.

Contact us here.

Team developing great leadership

Developing great leadership

Developing great leadership to scale your business

There are several aspects of successfully scaling up your business one being having comprehensive systems. Another being developing great leadership.

Have you heard the quote,

“What got you here won’t get you there”?

These are wise words (and the title of a book we encourage you to read!) are from Marshall Goldsmith.

When choosing to scale your business many leaders focus on their systems and teams, which is important. But you should also focus on scaling yourself.

Developing great leadership

Most reasons why businesses fail, directly and indirectly, point to leadership failure.

From poor planning to poor hiring, poor communication to poor process, poor capacity to poor execution - most things can be fixed with great leadership.

Scaling the business will make new demands on a leader’s time and attention. And it’s critical that these are both focused on the right things:

1. Planning

Setting a clear vision and relevant business goals. Having a regularly reviewing progress. And resetting goals to drive performance improvement.

2. Inspiring

Motivating others to achieve more than before. Showing them their potential to make an impact.

3. Empowering

Enabling your team to find their own solutions by guiding them with your support, trust and encouragement.

4. Culture

Demonstrating allegiance to your team and standing for the business’s core values.

5. Innovating

Continuous improvement in people, product, and process.

6. Personal growth

Developing and supporting your future leaders with mentoring and guidance.

Great leadership is about influencing others in the direction of a common goal.

While there can only be one leader of a business, there are different areas that need individual leaders. People can lead multiple areas initially. But, as the business grows, look to empower others. Delegate the leadership of some areas to ‘leaders in training’.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how well do you rate your performance on the above six categories?

Where can you scale your leadership?

If you need help? Get in touch.

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” - Ralph Nader

Finding the balance

Finding the balance

Looking for a little more work-life balance?

Sometimes it seems impossible when you are in the thick of it. The following ideas might help provide some light at the end of the tunnel.


Work often dictates to us, rather than the other way around. Create a list of all the things that need doing and categorise them. For example, work out the tasks that are ‘important but not urgent’ and ‘urgent but not important’. Task or project management tools like Trello can simplify your workload and and help to prioritise your time.


Letting go can be an opportunity for others in the team to shine. Alternatively, bring in a contractor to help clear the load and you may find they bring in new ideas, create opportunities or streamline the process. Don’t limit yourself to what’s on at work - think about what would help at home too, such as a meal kit delivery to simplify the end of the day.

Book it in the diary

We are all guilty of putting off an exercise class or a coffee catch up because work takes over. These events are important for your mental and physical health and may give you space for creative thought or the ability to think with more clarity. Plus, you’ll return to work feeling more productive. Book it in and consider joining a group so you are more committed to turning up!

Use the technology to help you

‘Always on’ technology such as smart phones are designed to make life easier but we’ve ended up busier than ever. So choose the apps and tools that can reduce the stress. Whether it’s for communication and meetings, or your filing and accounting. An app could save you time and allow you to get on with other things - read more on apps. We can help with the right accounting software solution to reduce the paperwork.

Share with your network

Are there individuals in your network who face the same challenges or can help you achieve your goals? Set up a monthly breakfast to catch up, support and learn from each other. You’ll go back to work with new inspiration.

Do what you love

At the end of the day, your work is ‘part of’ your life not separate from it, so if you enjoy it, you’ll feel you have more ‘balance’.

Get in touch to talk about how we can help you achieve balance in your business.
Business man with umbrella what is the forecast

What’s in the forecast?

What’s in the forecast?

When we set out on a fishing trip or hike, we always check the weather forecast.

It’s no different in business. The forecast tells us if there’s bad weather (poor cashflow) in store based on the direction we’re heading.

Your forecast will tell you:

  • 1
    Whether you have enough sales in the pipeline to give you the desired level of profit you want for the year.
  • 2
    Whether your margins are appropriate.
  • 3
    If you need to review your pricing or production processes.
  • 4
    If your business is running as efficiently as it could be.
  • 5
    Where savings can be made.
  • 6
    Whether you should invest more to get a better return.
  • 7
    How much money you need to set aside for tax.
  • 8
    How much money you can draw out of the business each month without running short.
  • 9
    How much debt you’ll be able to pay off.
  • 10
    Whether or not you will be able to meet all of the bank’s requirements.

The difference between a business forecast and a weather forecast is that, when the business forecast is showing bad weather, you can do something about it to make the sun come out. The forecast will tell you what’s going well and what’s not, so you can make adjustments to reduce the impact of bad weather.

Just as you wouldn’t go fishing without checking the forecast, you shouldn’t run your business without an annual forecast. So, don’t live in your raincoat, waiting to get soaked - take control and talk to us about getting your forecast done so you know what to expect.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” - Alan Lakein

We’re here to help you, every step along the way. Get in touch!

Photo of light bulb with INTEGRITY conceptual words isolated on white

Hold me accountable or else what?

Hold me accountable or else what?

Most business owners understand that the only way to ensure something gets done is to document what is expected, assign it to the right person, and set a due date. But what do you do if the task isn’t done? What are the consequences of this inaction?

Think back to your school days when you had homework... 

Maybe you were super organised and got stuck in as soon as the work was assigned, or perhaps you completed it on the school bus the morning it was due. Either way, why did you get it done? Chances are there were clear consequences set by your teacher if you didn’t complete it - a few whacks with a stick or a lunchtime detention – that’s what we call accountability and consequence.

Unfortunately, many business owners forget these lessons from school. Sure, we set the tasks and actions, assign them to people and, if we’re really good, set a due date. From there, we so often forget to hold the person to account. Very rarely is there a consequence for the person responsible for the task. The consequence for the business owner, however, is ultimately a poorer performing business.

Here’s seven rules to tighten up your accountability:

  • 1
    Ensure at the outset that everyone is clear about why the task is important.
  • 2
    Assign the task to the right person and be available to give support.
  • 3
    Be specific and crystal clear with all communication. Remember, they don’t know what they don’t know.
  • 4
    Ask them to repeat back the instructions, to ensure the message was interpreted correctly.
  • 5
    Set a realistic time-frame and provide delivery instructions and expectations.
  • 6
    Agree on consequences for inaction.
  • 7
    Have quick catch ups to check progress is on track.

Now, ask yourself…

What actions can I take to improve accountability and outcomes for my team? What changes or improvements do I need to make to my planning processes and reporting systems? And most importantly, who is the best person to hold me to account as a business owner? Accountability goes both ways, especially if you want to be an authentic and effective leader.

"Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result."Bob Proctor.

Group of business people discuss building a better business.

Building a Better Business in 10 Steps

Building a Better Business in 10 Steps

What are you doing to build yourself a more successful business? There’s no magic bullet, it’s about taking small steps every day to get a bit better than the day before - it all adds up. 

You're in business

Congratulations! That takes courage and commitment. It’s not easy, and at times you might find yourself questioning why you’re even doing it, but you’re here because you had a vision. You decided being in business was a better way to achieve that vision than working for someone else. And, you’re right; you just have to work on it. Good things come to people who hustle.

Continuous development

You’re likely an expert in what you do… maybe you’re a mechanic and know the inside of a car engine like the back of your hand. Or, maybe you’re a fashion retailer who can style anyone. This doesn’t mean you’re an expert at running your business though. It’s hard taking time out of working in your business to work on it. But doing this is essential for its success.

There’s no magical overnight solution to building a more successful business. It’s about taking small steps every day to get a bit better than the day before.

So, what should you do to build yourself a more successful business?

We’ve broken it down into 10 essential steps:

  • 1
    Get clear on exactly what it is that you want
  • 2
    Be open to change and new learning
  • 3
    Define where you are now (warts and all)
  • 4
    Make a plan
  • 5
    Get your organisational structure right
  • 6
    Be a better leader
  • 7
    Be held accountable by someone independent
  • 8
    Build strong networks
  • 9
    Monitor your progress
  • 10
    Keep your well of happiness full

These are the 10 most important things you should be working on to ensure you achieve your goals. Small, incremental changes can have a massive effect on your success.

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

We’re here to help you, every step along the way. Get in touch!