5 step health check for your business

If you’re hoping to make the new year a rewarding and productive one, now is the time to start making the changes.

Here are five tips to help you get this year off to a better start:

1. Critically review your past performance

Honesty is essential when reviewing your business’ performance throughout the past year. Look at what worked, what didn’t, any seasonal trends and/or opportunities for improvement. Make a list of action items for yourself and use this information in your planning.

2. Reassess your business plan

If you haven’t already, now is the time to review your business plan to ensure it still reflects your business goals. If you don’t have a business plan, it’s time to create one. Prioritise goals and make a detailed plan that will allow you to achieve your top priorities. Make sure you set realistic deadlines for the activities that will matter most and give yourself time to prioritise business development.

3. Maintain proper records

Get help and stay on top of your books. If finance is not your area of expertise or you just don’t have the time you need to do it well, it’s beneficial to seek advice from an accountant who can help identify areas of improvement to make your life easier.

SARS requires businesses to keep detailed records for a minimum of five years, so it’s important that you have a secure data back-up system that will keep hold of your information. Many accounting software systems now back up data automatically for you, saving you the hassle of having to remember.

4. Review your systems and procedures

Make sure the way you work is working for you. Review all of your systems and processes and replace any that aren’t working with a more productive or cost-effective solution. Look to customers and employees for feedback about their experiences to help you identify problem areas. Look at what are you doing manually that, for little or no cost, could be automated? Ask your accountant for advice on how you could streamline your systems and logistics to give you more time to spend on growing your business.

5. Celebrate successes

So many business owners dwell on the challenges without acknowledging their achievements. Celebrate your successes and you’ll be more likely to build on them.

Make this financial year one to remember.

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