‘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

ABC (Australia) - - FINANCE - Graeme McDon­ald A mem­ber of the Money Re­sources Group

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...

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