‘Tis the season to reflect
One of the best Christmas presents you could give yourself is some time to ensure your business operations are under control, writes Graeme McDonald
Well, how did that happen? Suddenly it’s Christmas time. Now, of course as I write this there are still a few weeks to go, but as I reflect on the year it feels like it was January only a few weeks ago.
I firmly believe the older we get the quicker the years tick by. Do you ever notice that we never really seem to have the time to take a break from the grind of work and are constantly putting off things to tomorrow that need to be done today?
If you’re self- employed, this can be a constant battle and it often seems to be our personal life and relationships that feel the brunt of all this.
You may be wondering what this has to do with my normal finance comment topics. A lot, actually. Over the years in my job I have had the opportunity to work with businesses that range from sole operators with one bus to multi-nationals and extremely large operators who overlook more than 400 vehicles, and within that mix of clients I have seen varying levels of prosperity.
There are the obvious traits of success, including: being organised, methodical and active within the day-to- day business, planning each day and ensuring deadlines for jobs and reporting are met.
Let’s face it, being a business owner is a big thing. It’s not for everyone and it has both its advantages and disadvantages. When times are good and business is okay, it can mean that you enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle: modern fleet, nice car and a couple of good holiday breaks each year dependent on your style of business.
The alternative is not so much fun. If you are constantly chasing your tail with paperwork, reports and repairs, it can very quickly spiral into a mess.
In most cases, this can resolve itself with a bit of time spent reviewing your business. For most of the readers of this magazine, the time for review and tidyup is now in December. Even in my business I allocate a few days between mid-December and mid-January to head into the office and organise myself. It can be as simple as getting the filing done, making sure you have your financials under control, and checking and planning what maintenance needs to be done. All this is stuff that often gets put in the ‘I’ll get to it soon’ pile.
So I can see many of you still scratching your head wondering where this is all going. One of the most common reasons for business failure over the years is mental strain. Believe it or not, financial and business stress is one of the biggest problems in business. It has an effect not only on the owner but, more often than not, the family as well.
So how do you handle these things? In some ways it is as simple as allocating 15 minutes a day to make sure your filing is up to date. Instead of looking at cat videos, spend 10 minutes looking at your financials each week from your reporting system.
Finally, there is no shame in asking for help to get on top of these things. Speak to your family to help with basic filling and admin items, engage your accountant to complete an interim review of your financials, and finally, don’t hold it in. If you are feeling stressed, there are many avenues to find help. We all have family and friends – often it can be as simple as sharing the problem and getting it out in the open.
Anyway, all that aside, I wish you, your staff and families a very Merry Christmas and a great new year. Remember, use this time to take a moment and reflect on the year and celebrate the successes.
Well, enough from me for this month and, for that matter, this year. If you have any questions or want to discuss any matter, please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call, I’m always happy to listen and give you my opinion.
Theviewsexpressedabovearethoseofthewriterandnotthoseofthe Publishersofthismagazine.Ifyouwanttoknowmoreonthis,oryou haveasuggestionforanarticlepleasefeelfreetoemailmeon graeme@ moneyresources.com.au. Theaboveinformationand/orscenariosare...