The current economic climate is very difficult and the coming year is unlikely to be any less
challenging. Survival will be the goal for a lot of companies. It is essential that you plan for the coming year and have the information available to you that will allow you to spot if you are going off course.
1 Budget. Have a plan – prepare a budget for your business. This should be done in detail,
department by department, line by line. Be realistic; don’t overestimate your sales or underestimate your costs.
2 Cash. In the current economic climate cash is king. You simply must prepare cash#ow
projections for the coming year. They should be updated regularly and maintained on a 12 month rolling basis. Projections will help identify the times during the coming 12 months when there may be cash shortages and allow time to $ll the gap – forewarned is forearmed!
3 Costs – question all costs. Look to eliminate or at least reduce. Challenge your suppliers.
Are you getting the most competitive deal on everything you buy? Shop around.
4 KPI’s; decide on appropriate key performance indicators for all areas of your business and monitor these constantly. Create a one page “dashboard” for your business and keep it with you at all times for monitoring and updating.
5 Simplify – look at all your processes; sales, operations, logistics, administration – is there any scope to simplify or eliminate any processes thereby reducing your operating costs.
6 Employees: Engage your employees. Make sure they understand the goals for the coming year and how they can contribute to their accomplishment. Introduce an incentive scheme.
7 Management accounts – regular managment accounts (ideally monthly but at least quarterly) are essential to the running of any business, without them is like driving blindfold!
8 Financing – is your funding structure appropriate to your business as it currently stands;
the right mix of short and long term debt? Does it require re-structuring? Have you sufficient funding for 2011?
9 Act now. Don’t delay – if tough decisions are required then just do it!
10 Overview – Many SME owners are so immersed in the day to day operations of their
business that they are unaware of the “big picture”. Take time to stand back and look at your business as a whole. Do you like what you see? Do the numbers add up? Does it make sense? Go on – get into your helicopter from time to time!
TAKING THESE STEPS WLL PUT YOU IN CONTROL FOR THE COMING YEAR.
We can help you implement these steps quickly and cost effectively. Call me today for a free no obligation initial consultation.
Pat Lavelle F.C.C.A.
+353 87 0518293