The end of the financial year (EOFY) is a busy time for business owners, but it also offers a great opportunity to chart a new course forward.
With the threat of pandemic-related disruptions lingering, any plans for the new financial year must include plenty of flexibility, and that often means learning to do things differently. Taking the time now to ponder, predict, and plan for the year ahead can give you the headspace you need to stop just reacting to fast-changing events, and start making those changes work for you.
With this in mind, here are the three Ps I suggest business owners embrace as the keys to building a better business for the year ahead.
Running a business can feel like sprinting on a treadmill that never slows down, but it’s important to step off every now and again and appreciate there really is a road behind you. EOFY is the perfect time to do this. Reviewing the numbers gives you a great opportunity to also think about the factors behind them, and what you might have done differently with the benefit of hindsight.
Moving away from just reacting to having time to think is the goal of all businesses, and one of the best ways to do this is to invest in technology that optimises and streamlines processes. Getting rid of manual and repetitive tasks can free you up to spend more time thinking and acting strategically.
The pandemic’s rapid onset meant most plans made for the past financial year bore little resemblance to what unfolded. While there are plenty of unknowns ahead, we’re all veterans now when it comes to preparing for them.
Clues to the way forward are already recorded in the data for the past year. For example, you can clearly see the impact of snap lockdowns on business performance, which means we have a better idea of how to respond should they happen again.
We also have a good handle on how consumer trends have changed. E-Commerce is a much bigger part of Australians’ lives, and there are still plenty of opportunities to tap into these changes.
The critical task here is to understand the data within your business and match it up against what’s happened across your sector and across the economy. Then, look at the winners over the past 12 months and how they have performed on these measures – that will give you some guidance on what changes you still need to make.
Analysing your data can help you better plan for those challenges that lie ahead, but the key requirement here is to have the flexibility needed to change your business based on what you’ve learned and what is happening around you. Digitalisation provides a fantastic mechanism to do this, especially subscription-based software services that only charge you for the time you are using them.
You also need to maintain flexibility in your communications. For these reasons, digitalisation must be a key priority, because it helps you stay connected and open you up to a broader world.
We know that this new financial year will be different to the last one, and digitalisation is the key to better understanding your business’ performance and to making the changes needed to help you prepare for anything that might come your way.