The beginning of the new year is a chance for small businesses to reflect on the previous year’s achievements and areas which need improvement. The time to make new habits and set new goals for your business is now!
In our new blog post, we have put together a list of tips for achieving your small business goals in 2018.
What do successful startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs have in common? They prioritise organisation. There are a variety of ways to get organised, one of the most important being planning out your workload and targets for the year ahead.
Planners are a necessity to keep your business on track. Whether you prefer a paper or digital planner; keeping all your appointments, to-do lists and schedules in one place will streamline your workday and help you reach your business goals.
Decluttering your desk or workspace also works wonders for maintaining focus. Filing papers, uploading documents to the Cloud, organising your files and keeping on top of your emails are all excellent ways to keep your business organised.
If you find yourself procrastinating or avoiding particular tasks, using digital or physical timers can be invaluable to get work done, as can breaking down your workload into small and manageable tasks.
Adopting some of these practices is sure to benefit your small business. Taking the time to get organised now ensures that your time will be spent as efficiently as possible throughout the year.
Keep up with industry trends
Achieving your business goals can rely on on staying ahead of industry trends. Whether your small business is unique to the Gold Coast or Queensland, or targets national and international consumers, ongoing research is vital to keep abreast of developments in your industry.
One way of researching industry trends is to read trade journals, industry websites and news publications. Using Google Alerts or RSS readers helps to filter useful information, and saves you hours of combing through unrelated or outdated data. Don’t just restrict yourself to print media, either – podcasts and videos can give you a distinctive perspective on your industry not found in other mediums.
Another way to stay ahead of industry trends is through networking. Make time to attend conferences, trade shows and other industry related events. This ensures that you will have your finger on the pulse of consumer needs and trends which may affect your business.
Finally, following your competitor’s websites and social media pages will gain you access to developments in your industry. Studying their customer reviews, project launches and marketing strategy will allow you to learn from their successes – and failures.
Work on your social media presence
With the growing prevalence and popularity of social media platforms, small businesses can no longer ignore the importance of having a presence on social media.
If you don’t currently have any social media accounts, make sure that you research which platforms will be most beneficial for your business. Attempting to advertise your business across all social media platforms can be both a time-waster and make your content less effective.
If you do already have a presence on social media, then ensure that you are following the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be entertaining and informative posts for your followers, with only 20% directly marketing your product.
Scheduling your social media posts also allows for a more effective digital marketing strategy. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts across multiple platforms. For more information, see our blog post on social media essentials for small businesses.
Engage a tax agent
Tax time can be particularly stressful for small businesses, with constantly changing regulations and penalties, and the dreaded piles of paperwork that have to be made sense of before June 30 every year.
The simplest way to make tax time stress-free is to plan ahead; ensure that you document all your expenses and transactions and organise your paperwork early.
The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has a section on their website devoted to small businesses, with information and online services to help you lodge your tax return.
Alternatively, you may wish to engage a tax agent. There are many tax agencies on the Gold Coast that can help you with your tax, including our friendly staff here at Trak Accountants.
Above all, ensure that your tax agent is a registered and qualified CPA accountant. For more information, and to learn what else to look for when choosing a tax agent, check out our blog post.
Open a SMSF account
Self-managed super fund accounts are becoming more and more popular in Australia, with SMSFs recorded as having over one million total members in June 2017. For small business owners, self-managed super funds can allow more control over your super and your investments. Some small business owners have used their SMSF to benefit their businesses as well as their personal wealth, such as being able to purchase their business premises.
Other benefits of SMSF, including asset protection and tax control, are discussed in our blog post on the 5 benefits of SMSF.
If you are interested in opening a SMSF, keep in mind that you should speak to a professional financial advisor first, in order to decide whether it is the right decision for your business.
Speak to a financial advisor
Our last tip for achieving your business goals in 2018 is to speak to a business or financial advisor. Running a small business is time-consuming and at times overwhelming, and often you may not have the experience or the time to deal with the issues and pitfalls which accompany all business ventures.
A business advisor can be invaluable to grow your small business. They can provide an outside perspective on a situation you are unable to solve, help you create a business plan, and have a network of experts and varied experience to call upon to benefit your small business. Business advisors can also take over tasks such as bookkeeping, accounting, financial planning, budgeting and administration, giving you more time to devote to other aspects of your business.
If you would like to book a complimentary consultation with a Gold Coast based financial advisor, tax agent or accountant, please contact the staff at Trak Accountants here.