Busi­ness smarts

Style Magazine - - Finance - BY LEANNE MCDON­ALD, MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR AND SE­NIOR FI­NAN­CIAL AD­VISER AT CRE­ATE FI­NAN­CIAL SO­LU­TIONS

Per­sonal fi­nances are typ­i­cally top of mind for peo­ple dur­ing the festive sea­son.

Christ­mas is of­ten linked to a rise in house­hold debt and "spend less, save more" is usu­ally among the top three res­o­lu­tions made (and bro­ken) each year.

Busi­ness own­ers are of­ten guilty of wear­ing too many hats and try­ing to ‘do it all’.

Sadly, the con­se­quences of get­ting your fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions wrong can be dev­as­tat­ing. I have seen var­i­ous ‘mis­takes’ through­out the year that have put clients and their busi­nesses in cri­sis.

Busi­ness own­ers gen­er­ally don’t re­flect on their busi­ness’s per­for­mance or fi­nan­cial health un­til the end of the fi­nan­cial year – to their detri­ment.

Sav­ing a fi­nan­cial health check un­til May or June leaves lit­tle time to im­ple­ment any re­quired changes to pric­ing, client base, ser­vices, pack­ages or spend­ing habits.

Analysing all as­pects of your busi­ness over the hol­i­day pe­riod may re­veal that a prod­uct or ser­vice is, in fact, los­ing you money.

Think like your cus­tomers

The best way to re­view your busi­ness is take your­self out of the busi­ness and think like your cus­tomers. What do they want? What are they ask­ing for? What are their prob­lems that you are solv­ing? Then, com­pare this to what you are ac­tu­ally of­fer­ing. Christ­mas is a great time to re­view this as things tend to slow down and you can re­ally work on your busi­ness, rather than in your busi­ness.

Run­ning a fi­nan­cially healthy busi­ness takes time and plan­ning. Be­com­ing prof­itable rarely hap­pens due to luck, ac­ci­dent or magic.

Avoid the Christ­mas cash flow crunch

You may be tak­ing a break over the hol­i­days, but un­for­tu­nately bills will keep rolling in!

You should al­ready be plan­ning Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary work now.

Hav­ing clients lined up, spe­cials ad­ver­tised and work flow planned two months in ad­vance en­sures your cash flow is reg­u­lar.

You can then sched­ule jobs, time and rosters, man­age your diary more ef­fec­tively and re­duce Christ­mas stress!

Lastly, hav­ing a trusted fi­nan­cial ad­viser can have im­mea­sur­able ben­e­fits for your busi­ness!

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