The end of the financial year can be a stressful time for businesses, winding down from the previous financial year and keeping up with the usual day-to-day operations. It is important for business owners to take time to focus, reflect and plan for the beginning of a financial new year. Here are 6 tips to gear up for a successful new financial year.

1. Re-visit your goals and objectives

The start of the financial year is a key time to sit down and re-visit your business strategy. Reflect back on the goals and objectives that you identified at the beginning of the year to determine if you are on track. Are there any changes or improvements that need to be made to your business strategy going forward? Are the current products and services meeting your customer’s needs? Set further goals and objectives for the new financial year to ensure business growth. It is no secret that planning is the key to business success.

2. Take control of your finances

To sustain a healthy business cash flow in the new financial year, ensure invoices are raised in a timely and efficient manner. Re-visit your cash flow plan, issue statements and reminder letters, ensure all terms of trade are clearly communicated, and talk terms with your suppliers. Spend some time to revise your funding requirements and if the current arrangement isn’t suitable speak to your lender about more favourable terms.

3. Get your return in early

Don’t leave your tax return until the very last minute. Put aside time to get it underway as soon as it is practical, so that you can get a more accurate picture of your cash flow heading into the financial year. This will help you to concentrate on growing your business. Make sure your accountant has the transactional records they need to complete your return.

4. Tackle the clutter

Use the start of the new financial year as an opportunity to de-clutter, catch up on administration, and prepare your business and work space for the fresh start. Eliminate everything that no longer has a practical purpose. Reduce post pile-ups by arranging post to be sent on a daily basis, and immediately dispose of envelopes and any irrelevant information. If your office has started to pile up with paperwork, sort out your filing system and ensure that you only file essential information such as purchase and sales invoices, bank statements and important customer data.

5. Stock matters

Review your stock levels carefully. You don’t want to get your business into an over-stocked position where all your money is tied up in goods that you may not necessarily be able to sell. Now could be an opportunity to offer sales and discounts on your products and services to your customers. Look back at last financial year’s sales figures to determine upcoming seasonal peaks and troughs.

6. Pay attention to your staff

The end of the year is in sight and it’s important to review your staffing levels now to help plan to cover staff holidays and the peak season demand. Do workloads need to be juggled? Are there any significant skills gaps within your workforce that is holding your business back? Consider external training courses to boost the skills of your existing staff. Your staff will be happier and more productive too.