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Cost of living

Coping with the skyrocketing cost of living

Coping with the skyrocketing cost of living

Whether it’s refilling your petrol tank or paying at the supermarket checkout, the higher cost of living is hitting every household hard.

Across the world, everyday essentials are surging in price, up 7.2% year on year across the OECD. Unfortunately, experts predict that prices will keep rising for at least the rest of the year.

What can you do to try to keep up with the increasing cost of living?

Here are our 12 top tips

Look for ways to earn more
  • Grow your business’s profitability (talk to us about improving your profits) or ask for a pay rise.
  • Take in a boarder or flatmate.
  • Sell your unwanted items online.
Cut back where you can
  • Prepare more meals at home and spend less at cafés and restaurants.
  • Create a budget and keep your spending under control.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you buy.
Find ways to use your car less.
  • Cancel your credit cards and your buy now pay later accounts.
  • Review all your ongoing expenses like utilities, insurance and subscriptions – cancel, switch providers or get better deals.
Invest in your future
  • Think about investing in ways that are likely to outperform inflation – both shares and the property market have historically provided returns higher than inflation.
  • Start a new business, launch a new product or service, or try a side hustle.
  • Teach yourself about money and finances using free tools online and books from the library. Better money management will help you make the most of what you’ve got.

If prices rise by 7% this year, it won’t be easy to increase your income by the same amount. But if you can increase your income by 5%, then make up the rest through savings, while also investing for the future, you can still come out on top once inflation settles down and prices stabilise.

Worried about budgeting, cash flow or forecasting?

Talk to us. We have years of experience through many economic cycles, including previous periods of high inflation – and we’re always here to help.

Plan for 2022

Plan for 2022!

What are your business goals for 2022?

The beginning of a new calendar year is an excellent time to review the year just finished and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, what you’d like to change and new things you’d like to implement.

Last year, there were inescapable impacts on businesses, with some thriving, others failing, and others just getting by. So what kind of year was 2021 for your business?

Take the time to review the year and acknowledge all that has happened, good, bad or indifferent. Examining the year with an objective perspective can provide valuable insights to prepare for the next business year. Planning and goal setting will help provide a focus for your business efforts.

Your Yearly Business Review

  • What were the most significant impacts on your business in 2021? How well did you meet the challenges?
  • What worked well last year? What systems, technology, products or services were successful?
  • What accomplishments can you celebrate?
  • What situation, event or experience provided the biggest learning opportunity?
  • What is the biggest challenge or frustration you face as you prepare for 2022?
  • What did you most enjoy during the year? Do more of it. What did you least enjoy? Do less of it!
  • Analyse your financial reports. Are you earning what you’d like to? Is the business sustainably profitable?

Get Ready for a Great 2022

While there are many metrics you could evaluate to track business performance, we’ve given you just a few ideas to inspire your business planning for 2022.

If you’d like to chat about what you can do differently this year to enable your business to thrive, get in touch with us today.

Upsizing or downsizing: forecasting can help

Upsizing or downsizing: forecasting can help

2020 and 2021 have created a number of challenges for the average business. Depending on your business purpose and strategy, you may need to either upsize, or downsize, to secure the long-term future of your company.

But what are the implications of upsizing or downsizing, your operations? And how do you refine your business so it's fit for purpose and ready to take on your new aims and goals?

The answer is to look carefully at your forecasting and your future decision-making.

Looking at the ongoing needs of your business

Our experiences of the pandemic have demonstrated one very clear lesson – you never know exactly what lies around the corner for your business. But the more prepared you are, the better you can respond, as and when new threats and opportunities do appear.

With this in mind, forecasting and scenario-planning can be exceptionally important tools.

Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, you can plan for two, three or more different outcomes – with different strategies and tactics for each separate scenario. You can’t bullet-proof your business, but you CAN make sure that you at least have a Plan B (or C).

Scaling up, or scaling down?

By making constructive use of forecasting, you’ll be able to see the most viable path for your business. From here, you can make a decision on whether upsizing, or downsizing, is the most appropriate action for the long-term health of your business.

Some key questions to ask during your decision-making may include:

Do you have enough funding to grow, or do you need to downsize?

Knowing how much working capital you have available in the business is a vital piece of information. If you have a healthy balance sheet, a workable funding strategy and access to lenders, you’ll be able to fund your growth. If your cash reserves are depleted and access to finance is limited, now may be the time to shrink the business and consolidate things down – helping you to survive to fight another day, even if it is at a reduced scale.

Do you need more, or fewer, employees?

If your market share has dropped, you may need to downsize your team. And if you've hit a winning streak of sales, you may need to upsize your workforce to meet demand. Look at what resourcing you need and the types of skills, capabilities and long-term knowledge you need from your team in order to meet your new goals and targets.

Do you need to train your existing people?

If your business purpose has evolved, or you're moving more into the online or digital arena, you may need to train up your staff. Upskilling your people helps to bring them more in line with modern digital business practices, software and online customer interactions, all of which helps to increase your operational capabilities and your customer service levels as a business.

Do you need the same number of branches/shops/offices? 

If you've instigated remote working or hybrid working, you may not need so much office space for your people. And if you’ve moved a lot of your business to online selling, fewer bricks-and-mortar outlets will be required. Cutting building lease costs and/or commercial mortgage expenses can be a serious cost-saver for the business. Conversely, if you’re aiming to scale up, it’s likely that larger premises will be needed – resulting in higher property costs, but increased income from your scaled-up operations.

Do you need new equipment, machinery or vehicles?

Knowing what tangible assets you need in the business is an important part of your new business plan. If you’re expanding your operations, new equipment and/or vehicles will be needed to meet the new demand. This is likely to mean taking out third-party finance, or digging deep into your cash reserves. If you’re downsizing, there’s potential to sell-off existing equipment and assets and to free up this equity for other projects in the business.

Talk to us about scenario planning and decision-making

If you’re in the process of evolving or changing your business purpose, please come and chat to us. We can help you review your existing business plan, run scenarios and forecasts, and look at the long-term future path of your business.

managing finances in your business

Managing finances in your business

Managing finances in your business

When you are busy running a business getting your head around effective financial management can be difficult.

If you get it wrong you could end up focusing on the wrong things that are detrimental to your business.

As a business owner, there are four basic areas that you need to consider when managing finances in your business:

Have a plan

It’s important to have a plan to you understand your business expenses, project your revenue and be able to track your finances.

Having a plan allows you to track and review your profits and losses, outstanding accounts, payroll expenses and more.

You should review your plan regularly so you have a clear understanding of your business financials and are able to forecast accurately.

We recommend using online software, like Xero. Online software helps you keep accurate and up-to-date records and is a more efficient and time saving way to stay across your financials.

Cash flow

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Cash flow is the lifeblood of business.

By understanding and tracking your incoming and outgoing cash (or cash equivalent), you can gain insight into trends over time. This gives you more understanding of, and therefore control of, your cash flow.

And that means you can use forecasting tools, like Futrli, to identify opportunities to make adjustments to help prevent fluctuations in your cash flow.

Debt

If you have debt associated with your business, and let’s face it – most of us do, it’s essential to keep an eye on it.

Borrowing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to make sure the benefits of going into debt outweigh the costs.

On the flip side, if you’re owed money, it’s vital to closely manage unpaid invoices and secure any money you’re owed in a timely manner. Read more about having a watertight accounts receivable process here.

Growth

Growth is great, but it does need to be manageable.

When you are looking at growing your business or taking on new clients, work out if you manage the additional work and how it will affect your current setup. What additional resources, tools, personnel, financial investment will be required? And (like taking on debt), will the benefits outweigh the costs.

Successful financial management isn’t necessarily about the specific decisions you make. It’s about understanding the impact your decisions will have on your business.

Talk to us about the Apps and tools available to help you manage your business finances.

benefits of forecasting

What are the benefits of forecasting?


What are the benefits of forecasting?

There are many benefits to forecasting for your business.

First and foremost is that you’re more likely to maximise your profits if you are able to accurately project your revenues and expenses.

Additionally, accurate forecasting helps you to identify potential opportunities and manage your cashflow. And when you have this information you are able to make educated decisions at the right time for your business.

Here are some examples of questions that an accurate forecast of your cash flow could help you answer:

  • Can I start creating a new product/service?
  • Can I open a new office/location or start selling in a different area/country?
  • Can I afford another member of staff or outsourced assets?
  • Can I take more money out of my business?
  • Am I at risk of running out of cash?

How do you create a forecast?

The short answer is you don’t have to do it manually anymore.

Forecasting Apps, such as Futrli, mean that the complex, manual time-consuming forecasting is a thing of the past. Forecasting is now possible with the click of a button.

An added benefit of using Futrli to forecast, is that you can test out your decisions before you make them.

Using automated predictions means you have a second brain on your business 24/7.

Futrli

  • Creates separate predictions for invoices, cash transactions and journal entries
  • Works out how many days it takes for invoices to be paid for every account
  • Accounts for Covid-19 where it sees a potential impact
  • Considers ‘what we thought the month will look like’ compared to current month actuals and adjusts accordingly
  • Reads account names and looks for account-specific patterns
  • Creates staff payroll predictions just like your payroll software does

And the information is presented in chart format, making it easy to understand.

How far into the future should I forecast?

Forecasts are most beneficial for looking at the next year. They should be used in the short term for immediate planning and decision making and medium to long term to assess and extrapolate current trends.

It’s important to remember that the further you look into the future, the less accurate your cash flow forecast will be as there are too many unknowns yet to pass.

Talk to us about forecasting and how Futrli can benefit your business. 

Coming out stronger

Coming out stronger

Coming Out Stronger

What does the future look like?

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges for many people, including business owners.

While we are starting to see an easing of restrictions and a return to (Covid) normal the impact of these challenges cannot be underestimated.

While we cannot be sure of what’s ahead, it’s important to be looking forward and planning for your future.
If you're a small business owner, you can become more resilient and in control by applying these few strategies.

Coming Out Stronger Strategies

  • If you have been receiving JobKeeper 1.0, forecast your eligibility for JobKeeper 2.0 and 3.0
  • Prepare and maintain a cashflow forecast with and without JobKeeper
  • Know the key dates where Government support changes, reduces, or ceases
  • Prepare a breakeven analysis for various scenarios
  • Regain perspective by booking a meeting with your bookkeeper 
  • Set a regular review meeting to review and interpret your monthly numbers and key indicators
  • Do a check of your first quarter profits and do a forecast of your future profits to work out if any 2021 tax needs to be set aside
  • Document your future plans for your business - immediate exit, gradual exit, continuation, diversifying
  • If you haven’t already done it, get your 2020 Income tax done or scheduled for completion as soon as possible
  • Review your systems and processes to see where improved efficiencies can be made, especially through the introduction of apps that can reduce paperwork (and the time involved) considerably

If you are seeking advice on business Apps, we specialise in understanding the different options for different industries and businesses. We provide you with insights and guidance on what Apps would best suit your business.

Or, if you're interested in any of these measures contact us to discuss how we can help you become more strategic, resilient, and in control.