It’s the beginning of a new year and the optimism that comes with a fresh start to the year should always be matched with a solid business plan going forward. New Years is a period of heightened credit risks due to slow cash receipts, receivables staff being on leave and reduced sales activity. Not only that, but with business owners having their BAS due at the end of February, this adds a strain on Australian businesses cash flow at an early stage of the year, with the effects felt throughout the rest of the year.

Scottish Pacific offer the following points below to can ensure that your client’s businesses will be well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the new year.
1. Take control of your cash flow management – Ensure invoices are raised in a timely manner, issue statements and reminder letters, ensure all terms of trade are clearly communicated, produce a cash flow plan, talk terms with your suppliers.

2. Revise your funding arrangements – 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. Tackle the clutter – Eliminate everything that no longer has a practical purpose. As a rule of thumb, throw it away if you haven’t looked at it in the past year.

4. Reduce post pile-ups – deal with all your post on a daily basis and immediately dispose of envelopes and any irrelevant information. Take action to pass the data on or file it by the end of the day.

5. Get filing – if your office is full of paperwork and collapsing shelves, sort out your filing system. Make sure that you only file essential information such as purchase and sales invoices, bank statements and important customer data as 80 per cent of all filed papers are never read again.

6. Work smarter – meticulous planning is the key to business success. Ensure that you review your business objectives and prioritise everything that you want to achieve in the coming year. Developing a key action plan will help.

7. Stock matters – don’t get yourself into an over-stocked position where all your money is tied up in goods that you may not necessarily be able to sell. Review your stock levels carefully and look back at last year’s sales figures to determine seasonal peaks and troughs.

8. Harness people power – review your staffing levels for the coming year and plan to cover staff holidays or peak season demand. If there are 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.