In a bid to help business owners reap the immediate benefits of improving profits, cash flow and reducing stress levels, RSM Bird Cameron has 11 recommendations for business owners to complete before 2011.
Andrew Graham, director, business solutions, RSM Bird Cameron, said, “For many businesses in Australia the brunt of the GFC is still being felt and it is fair to say it has been a tough year.
“Cash flow is being stretched, which will be felt even more throughout the new year period as the pressure of increased interest rates on top of the festive season leads to payment terms being slowed beyond the delays we’re already seeing.”
Already many businesses are stretching payment terms to help reduce their operating costs and use it as a way to increase their available finance. Businesses will need to find additional cash in the near future, or increase the terms of their loans, which will increase the cost of doing business in Australia.
RSM Bird Cameron offers the below tips to help businesses find some immediate relief.
RSM Bird Cameron’s top 11 things for business owners to do before the 2011:
1. Review product and service offerings and tailor the mix to appeal to the changing customer needs over the holiday buying period and into the new year.
2. Review pricing structures to ensure competitiveness and profitability. Put formal procedures in place to monitor and proactively respond to competitor pricing changes.
3. Review stock levels to make sure you can satisfy customer demand for profitable product and service lines, and identify slow moving stock that can be liquidated as “bargain buys” or bundled into gift packages.
4. Review sales, marketing and promotion plans and arrange the implementation phase before getting too busy. Ensure all staff are aware of the sales targets for each week and be proactive in addressing shortfalls.
5. Review staffing plans and confirm acceptance of the rosters by all staff. For non-retail businesses, annual leave plans need to be balanced and finalised as early as possible to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.
6. Review fraud and theft protection systems and ensure all staff are reminded of their responsibility to be vigilant as customer traffic increases and the pressures of Christmas expectations motivate increased customer and staff theft.
7. Review debtor lists and actively chase 90-plus day accounts. Any amount not collected by Christmas is unlikely to be collected until February or later. Collecting money owed to you is good business – it does not make you the Christmas Grinch.
8. Complete a GST health check. Small businesses are in danger of losing time and money because of unreliable or outdated business systems causing them to incorrectly report GST.
9. Strategically plan Christmas gifts and entertainment to key customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners to strengthen relationships into the new year.
10. Carefully plan staff Christmas parties to reward and recognise their efforts for the year. Remember your workplace obligations to provide a safe environment for the event in relation to alcohol and discrimination.
11. Remember that you deserve to enjoy the holiday season as well. Plan some time off, take care of your health and remember your family. The New Year will dawn a brighter place if you end this one in a happy frame of mind, and feel prepared for the year ahead.
About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia and offer a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.