We’re more than halfway through winter and, for many, thoughts are turning to spring and warmer weather.
It can also be a time for sole traders to start thinking about what they can do to spring clean their business.
Business advisor MYOB is encouraging business owners to consider how to start a good spring that will put them on a strong footing for the rest of the year and into the next.
“Do some systems need streamlining for greater efficiency so I can hit the warmer months with more time up my sleeve?” MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says in a statement.
MYOB says a review of the previous year’s performance reports and an assessment of processes and systems will provide clarity around what is and isn’t adding value.
A sole trader may need more information to make decisions or help with basics like cashflow, billing and understanding compliance costs. If that’s the case, it may be time to get rid of old systems like pen, paper and spread sheets and consider cloud accounting software.
Reed says a key revenue generating activity that surprisingly few small to medium enterprises have is a business website, noting it puts a business where their customers are and can “significantly” increase the likelihood of an annual revenue rise.
“If you don’t have one, consider the business return you’ll get from taking 20 minutes to create one,” he says.
MYOB says its latest business monitor found that Australian SMEs with a website were 60% more likely to have seen a revenue increase in the year to February 2013.
The firm also notes that isolation can be a challenge for business owners, especially smaller owner-operators.
“Exploring the web for like-minded operators can be a terrific way to plug into the wider business community, regardless of your geographic location or working hours,” Reed says.
“If you’re not involved in LinkedIn groups or reading industry forums and blogs then consider getting better connected.”
He says that now we’re a month into the new financial year, it’s an ideal time to check your business’s progress against your plan.
“Successful operators use a business plan as a living document, regularly referring to and reassessing it,” Reed says.
“Rather than making a plan and filing it away, use every opportunity to revisit your progress towards goals and to celebrate key milestones.”
And visit your accountant, Reed says.
“They have an in-depth understanding of your business and can help benchmark your performance against similar businesses. By doing so they identify ways for you to make valuable improvements to your market offering, productivity and bottom line.”