As the end of financial year (EOFY) approaches you may be feeling the rush and managing an influx of clients and customers, or perhaps your workload is slowing down, allowing you some time to organise yourself for the remainder of the calendar year ahead in terms of human resources and finances.
Whatever your current situation, the imminent passing of another financial year shouldn’t go by without a little bit of reflection, to help you to gather your thoughts on the year that has passed, in order to help you plan for the year ahead.
We’ve partnered with our friends at Vision Business Advisors to give you some food for thought for reflection, and inspiration to set you up for success in the 2018/19 period.
REFLECTING ON … FINANCES
(By Daniel Bignell, Chartered Accountant from Vision Business Advisors)
I think this is the perfect opportunity to spend some time thinking about performance leading up to EOFY.
Think about the positives and acknowledge what went well in your business this year. Did you set yourself some goals and were they achieved? Perhaps you saw some growth in your business?
As always there will be some thoughts as to what didn’t go so well, but rather than dwell on those think of the opportunities that they can present.
• Can improvements be made to either processes or product mix?
• Are you working with customers or clients that are bad for your business?
• Do you have the right support around you to be successful in your business?
• Is your business structured in a way to allow for growth and success?
Part of reflecting on the performance of your business, of course, relies on accurate and timely financial information. This is where a user friendly and cloud based accounting product like Xero can be invaluable. The ability for you and your accountant to access real time information is crucial in gaining a good snapshot as to how your business is performing as well as its current financial health.
More importantly though is what you do with that information. Considering what you want your business to look like in twelve months’ time and setting a budget for next year is a great starting point.
You’re not looking for a ‘set and forget’ budget here, but rather an interactive planning tool by which you can set some goals, develop appropriate strategies, and to regularly track your progress towards your goals.
I’m sure you will thank yourself this time next year.
REFLECTING ON … PEOPLE
(By Julia Fiore, Consultant from Seed People Consulting)
Taking time to reflect on some key people metrics can assist your business and the leaders of your business to understand the impact of quality People Management practices. Understanding your areas of strength, as well as any results that may need some improvement will help you to build a solid, worthwhile People Plan for the year(s) ahead.
An HR metric often touted as a key indicator of performance is a business’s ability to retain quality employees. You may also have heard this statistic referred to as ‘employee turnover’, calculated by dividing your average number of employees by the number of employee exits during the year. There is no ‘right’ result for a retention percentage – the ideal number will vary, depending on the nature of your business, as well as the nature of the turnover itself. Understanding where your business sits against your industry benchmark, however, will help you to set a realistic target for the year ahead and to plan some actions to help you get there.
Have a think back on whether you’ve had to manage any performance issues this financial year.
• What were your performance issues?
• How were performance issues resolved?
• Is there anything, given the chance, that you may have done differently?
• What initiatives have you put in place to stop the recurrence of these issues?
• Are there any outstanding employee concerns that need to be dealt with?
If you have a number of employee issues that have occurred throughout the year, perhaps there is a deeper issue in the mix – consider spending time as part of your financial year planning looking at the engagement of your employees, collecting feedback and training Leaders to deal with performance proactively to avoid escalating issues.
Learning & Development:
It may be worth looking back at any Learning and Development (L&D) courses or initiatives that you’ve run over the past year.
• What was the return on investment in taking the time for that L&D initiative?
• Do you need to follow up with any employees who were involved to ensure that the time they committed has resulted in positive change for your business?
It’s also important to think about any Learning and Development opportunities for your team members for the year ahead. Align these to the business priorities, plan them into your budget and start some research – often the good courses will book out fast!
AND THEN …?
Regardless of whether you’ve hit every target, hit some or hit none at all, take some time to reflect on your efforts and that of your team.
No job was designed to be easy and if you feel you haven’t done as well as you’d hoped, you may be dealing with a level of disappointment for yourself and your team members.
Manage communications efficiently and positively – there is always room for improvement if you’re not where you thought you’d be this financial year.
And if you did end up where you aimed for (or better!), now is the time to stretch your business to the next level.