Maybe it’s because we’re accountants – but the end of the financial year always feels like a good time to think about the future. We’ve enjoyed the summer, recovered from ‘start of the year’ panic and chilled out through all the glorious long weekends in January and February.
So now here we are, peering into the business end of 2016 and wondering what might be coming up and what we can do better. It’s the perfect time for change. But first, you have to identify what drives you to change.
Without a significant motivation, change is likely to fail so consider what it is that drives you. Maybe it’s money, status, creating something new, being someone new or just having the freedom to do nothing… whatever it is, find your goal and then think about what you can do differently to achieve it.
We’ve recently been through this change cycle at Beany and it’s been a great exercise for all of our team. Below are some tips that might help you get you closer to your dream…
Beany’s Top Three Change Tips
1. Take advantage of low interest rates – they are ridiculously low right now and look set to stay there for a bit. You can (of course) buy a house. But perhaps you could do something more productive with a loan. This might be the time to think about a new piece of machinery which could increase productivity in your business. You could think about investing in your team by putting in a training scheme for them. If your team were more productive or more motivated, would that add value to your business? By keeping your lending short term, you can de-risk future rate rises. Use other people’s money to create something extra for your business.
2. Take advantage of some new technology. There are so many great things in the technology market, ready and waiting to remove time from your working day. Many provide easy ways to improve efficiencies and reduce cost in your business… in particular we love;
- Move to Google Drive and work in the cloud. You can reduce your hardware costs significantly and improve opportunities for your team to collaborate.
- Explore software that allow you to bill jobs whilst you’re out on the job so you can work, bill and get paid quickly (without the drama of a month end sit down to tackle your invoicing). Most of these apps work on smartphones so your staff don’t need to be dragging a computer around with them.
- Look at different payroll options. There are on-line payroll systems which are subsidised by the government that will save you time. (Check out http://www.ird.govt.nz/payroll-employers/returns-payments/paye-intermediary/ for more information on this).
- Use social media for your advertising – share more about your business with the world in a very cost effective way and find out what your customers are interested in.
- Look for one useful new App each month that you can use in your business. If you don’t have time to look, find that friend who is obsessed with new technology and ask them.
3. Think about the long term. If you could create an extra $20,000 per annum into your business, what would that mean for your future? We are probably all guilty of short term thinking – it’s a good survival strategy. But it may not be the best strategy for building long term prosperity. Long term investment is probably the best route to long term prosperity and we should all start as soon as we can, whether it’s Kiwisaver as a young apprentice or investing in your business with growth in mind. Over time, it may not matter where you invest as long as all your eggs are not in one basket and that you are actively investing with an eye on your long term future.
So take some time this month to think about your life and your business… and maybe set some goals! This great article about the ‘Moonshot’ talks about imaging a future with a big audacious goal – as Kiwis, we can be a little timid about our goals – so have a read and dream about your moonshot! http://www.wired.com/2013/02/moonshots-matter-heres-how-to-make-them-happen/