We hope that your Christmas celebration and holiday period this year is a celebration of 2016 being a year well done and we hope that you can find time to relax and recharge before the New Year brings opportunities and challenges again.
The festive season is tricky for businesses. If you are closing the doors, you have to deal with a drop in income while still having to cover usual costs like rent and staff salaries. If you are staying open, you must have the staff to do so, when most people want to be on holiday. And with cloud computing technology and smartphone software for things such as accounting, inventory and point-of-sale data, many of you will be unable to switch off entirely.
So try and put restrictions on it so you don’t risk having your partner dunking your phone in your glass of wine or your kids tossing it into the tide. Allocate time to clear everything and perhaps manage clients’ expectations by setting up an automatic response on your email to let people know you will be clearing messages daily.
We know that for those who decide to shut up shop entirely over the period, cashflow is the main concern. With holiday pay, GST and Provisional Tax all due while business is quiet, getting through January can be a big challenge if steps have not been taken to have cash reserves and banking facilities over the holidays.
While you may take a break, we know that you won’t be entirely able to switch off. It is a good time to:
- Review 2016. What worked? What didn’t? Time to take stock? What is the end game?
- Think about how you can work smarter but not harder in 2017. The next “big thing” is Business Intelligence with new software available that is more affordable for SMEs. It will enable you to understand the “why” of the patterns in your data. You can then develop the insights to provide new perspectives to drive innovation and make better fact-based decisions. Formulate strategies and plans for the next year to make 2017 a BIG one.
Grow organically or by acquisition?
How to fund/manage growth?
- Contemplate how many more years you want to stay in the business, how you might exit
- Is your business worth what you need to retire on or to fund your next enterprise?
- Or is your business not likely to be sellable, so you should be making your money along the way?
- You may want to make 2017 the year that you prime your business for sale.
- Grow your business by acquisition? With a wall of baby boomers needing to make an exit in the next few years, there will be plenty of opportunities, some at discounted rates.
Why don’t you start the year the way you mean to carry on? Engage professionals to help you organise your strategic and business plans and start working towards maximising or optimising your business value. While ideally you should begin a business with the end in mind, to get this right you need to start 3 to 5 years out from your planned exit or transition.