It’s only a few more weeks until the end of financial year for New Zealand businesses, and a few months for Australian organisations. For some businesses, the end of financial year can be a long awaited relief, for others it’s a long awaited concern. In either instance, the end of financial year marks the beginning of a new chapter for all businesses and a time to reflect, re-evaluate, rearrange, renounce and reward.
Below are 5 ways that any consultant or small business can enter the new financial year with a bang and make the most of it.
What did you do well? What didn’t you do well? Realistic reflection is one of the hardest things to get 100% accurate, and when it comes to business, there are so many elements to critique it can be challenging. By splitting your business into different areas for evaluation you can break this process into manageable segments.
One of the most important elements to reflect upon though, is your customer success level. Analyse your conversion of leads to clients as well as your client retention rate. Survey your clients to find out how happy they are with your service. This information is crucial for the success of your business in the new financial year, when clients may be tempted to take their business elsewhere.
After reflecting honestly on your business and finding the areas that may need some TLC, it is the perfect time to make any necessary changes to your brand , processes, tools, or certifications/qualifications. Re-evaluate the following areas to see if improvements or innovations can be made:
- Software solutions: Are there better, more efficient ways for you to do business using technology?
- Job descriptions: Do the positions in your business need to be adjusted to better reflect accountabilities?
- Branding: Could your brand use a refresh? Think about your logo, business cards, website and marketing collateral.
- Processes: Got some red tape that could be cut? Sometimes we get so bogged down in “business as usual” that we don’t think innovatively about how something can be simplified.
- Memberships / Certificates: Are your memberships providing you with the benefits you want? Is there a certificate or accreditation you could complete in order to boost your credentials?
Change is as good as a holiday, right? So here’s a challenge: change at least one physical aspect, procedural aspect and cultural aspect of your business.
- Physical Changes: Is your office layout conducive to productivity?
- Procedural Changes: This can include a change in the layout of your documents, an overhaul of your software providers (check out our blog about how to implement new software without disrupting your business), or perhaps a new way to present your proposals to clients.
- Cultural Changes: Consider the weak points in your culture and how to strengthen them. How about implementing some “Take 5” break times throughout the day to prevent brain drain? Maybe introducing "walking meetings" can help get staff active, or perhaps it’s time to hire an HR Manager. Your aim here is to invigorate your employees.
The end of the financial year doesn’t always affect everyone in a business on the surface, but perhaps it should. Instead of viewing it as a time that is just about “the numbers”, it can become a time for everyone to restart and ‘rearrange’ with new goals and ideas for the year to come.
As time passes, inactivity can make it harder for you to move up and out of your comfort zone, and ultimately strive for more. Renouncing bad habits, poor operations, and harmful behaviour (such as complacency) on a continual basis will not only keep you and your employees vigilant and sharp, but will diminish any adverse behaviours before they become instilled in your culture.
Reward and Recognise
Reward yourself! Look at what you have achieved over the year, and reward yourself and your employees for the goals met. When employees, their work and their efforts are valued, their satisfaction, motivation and productivity rises. Their work continues to improve and they strive for success. You too need to recognise and reward your own work in order to stay motivated for the new year.
The old cliche of “failing to plan, is planning to fail” does hold an element of merit when it comes to business culture, operations and goals. The start of a new financial year is as good a time as any to implement change, evaluation and improvement. For those kiwis reading this you have 20 business days left of the financial year to reflect, re-evaluate, rearrange, renounce and reward. Now’s the time to get ready to take on the new financial year like a high performance bull out of the gates!