The start of the new financial year is a great time to review your business activity during the previous year and use what you have learned in order to plan for the new financial year. Here are some tips to make the planning more productive.
Get your team involved
Business planning works best when it’s a team effort. Involve your key staff and your advisors such as your accountant, your mentor (if you have one), plus others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning (e.g. an IT expert if you envisage a major website overhaul).
Hold a planning meeting and invite people to discuss all their ideas and suggestions; also, try to hold the meeting away from the business to avoid distractions and interruptions that daily activities can create.
Review your business
Start with a review of your business as it currently stands, focusing on three key questions:
- Which things that work well for us at the moment should be kept?
- What’s not working − what should we drop or do less of?
- What has the most business potential for the future?
Decide on changes
Combined thinking with your staff may produce some required changes. For example, when planning for the new financial year you may need to change your existing products and services, seek new markets or distribution channels, or change your business model entirely.
While these changes require a general consensus, bear in mind that resistance can arise when people feel that their comfort zones or their jobs are being threatened. Address these issues right at the start.
Figure out capacity
Any changes will likely require some investment in new skills, new products or services, or changes in capacity. If so, ask your accountant to complete a return on investment (ROI) analysis. This will enable you to calculate how much extra business needs to be generated for a reasonable return and whether extra staff and/or funds are required for the anticipated growth.
Get everyone on board
So you’re planning for the new financial year and have established where you want to take the business. Concentrate on the next 12 months by setting some end-of-year goals, then work backwards to create the stepping stones that will take you there. Your role now is to get everyone on board by clearly communicating the plan to them.
Consensual goals are more motivating than imposed goals, so get at least your key staff involved in the goal setting. Immediate goals are easier to focus on than longer-term goals, so make sure each person understands what is required from them this week, this month, this quarter and so on.
Maintain the focus
Business planning is done at the beginning of the year when optimism and motivation levels are high, but this can fade quickly when staff become caught up in their daily activities and new projects.
Business goals will be overlooked unless you set regular meetings to review progress – say every 90 days. Once your staff realise that they will be required to attend and provide progress reports, they will be more motivated to maintain their focus.
If you are looking for help in planning for the new financial year why not speak to the experienced team of professionals at BSN & Co? We can assist you develop a strong plan based upon a review of your activity last year and your goals for this year. Call us today on 9204 3733 for an obligation free meeting.