There’s no doubt that 2022 was a tough year for Aussie businesses with the ATO cracking down on unpaid tax debts, rising inflation and interest rates, soaring fuel prices and the cost of living continuing to spiral. It’s unlikely we’re out of the woods and businesses need to plan carefully when it comes to cash flow and making their operations as efficient as possible.
How can business leaders better manage businesses?
It’s important to embrace these changes in order to remain competitive and to keep on top of finances. The most successful businesses are continuously evolving and adapting to the circumstances they’re confronted with. Here’s how to manage your business better in 2023:
Establish Your Goals
Make a list of your short-term and long-term business goals. What do you want your business to achieve this year? Who will your clients be tomorrow or even next year? What type of organisation do you want to become? Be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (the SMART principles) when you’re establishing the goals. Also communicate them with your employees as well so they know how and what they need to focus on.
Update Your Budget
The last few years have been a rollercoaster for many businesses and it’s important to update your budget to reflect the changes. Sit down with your accountant and assess the opportunities and risks that are ahead for the year. Focus on how you can do more with a lower cost base. Have a close look at your expenses and limit new costs unless you can see they’re going to drive a meaningful return or benefit your returning customers.
Automated operations can benefit your business in many aspects. Around a third of businesses have at least one function fully automated as it can increase productivity, performance and reduce operating costs. It also guarantees quality and the same level of service across all your clients. Anything that can help your business run more efficiently.
Data is an Asset
Successful businesses focus on a data-driven culture. Data is an asset that can help you understand what works for your business. It can help you understand who your clients are, what products they like and how effective your marketing strategies are. It also helps create a cash flow forecast so you can track cash movements and make a plan for the year ahead.
A new year is a good time for a fresh look at your marketing strategy and see how to improve it. What’s worked in the past may not always be the best for the future. Clients and their attitudes change rapidly especially in a new post-pandemic world and businesses need to stay on top of the shift. With increasing costs, this year might be worth a rethink on your social media and low cost’ value-giving content such as videos, blogs and entertainment.
It’s a tough time for Australian businesses to get finance at the moment and that’s likely to continue for the next 12 months. The start of the year is a good time to consider flexible financing solutions such as invoice financing which uses your current accounts receivable ledger as security to turn your outstanding invoices into cash within 24 hours.
It’s a solution that can transform the cash flow of your business without you having to borrow. Think of it as giving an early settlement discount on an invoice to a client that is willing to pay you in 24 hours instead of 30-60+ days later. It’s a competitive environment, so you need to consider new financial strategies that will position your business for growth.
Be More Flexible
The best way to position your business for success in 2023 is to make sure you’re adaptable to change. Look at fresh ways to satisfy clients needs and take advantage of new tech to improve your operations. Consider cloud-based platforms to improve operational efficiency, shift your communication to digital channels and adopt new management strategies that foster collaboration. An agile business is better placed to succeed in the long run.
A new year brings with it new challenges but also new opportunities. Stay in the game by reinventing and reviewing your business strategy and embrace what lies ahead!
Angus Sedgwick is the Chief Executive Officer of OptiPay.