Business owners should be enormously proud of the way they have maneuvered their businesses through the Covid period. The 2023 Financial Year is going to be another interesting one with a lot of uncertainty. We are in an environment of rising costs, full employment – which is making recruitment difficult, a slowing housing market and increasing interest rates. It is easy to forget that in amongst this negativity there are still some bright points. The performance of economy is the stand out.
Many of the Family Businesses we work with are still investing in people, equipment, and property. I see similar traits in the successful businesses we work with. These are just a few.
- Look for the opportunities in every situation.
The best businesses I have seen are always looking at how they maximise their opportunities . They look at the markets they operate in, related services, government grants for innovation, technology advances etc. When others are looking for reasons not to invest, these businesses are finding ways to get it done.
- Empower staff to make decisions and create good customer outcomes.
It is a cliché, but the best businesses understand their staff are their biggest asset and they treat them accordingly. In a world with full employment, if you don’t look after your staff, you will lose them and replacing them will be very difficult. I think staff retention will be the biggest challenge over FY23 and the best businesses are making sure they look after their people. This doesn’t necessarily mean with more money. Creating and supporting a culture where people are valued will be vital in the year ahead.
- Plan for success and regularly review performance.
Planning fads will come and go but if you do not create a plan to succeed, then it is very unlikely you will. The best Family Business owners I know are always looking ahead. They document their expectations and review them with their team regularly. Consistency in their approach to planning enables successful business owners to take advantage of the opportunities as they arise. It does not surprise me that good planners are usually luckier than most!
- Have access to money.
Access to money is going to be important as Family Businesses look to navigate their way through the next financial year. The ATO are about to get tougher with debt collection, so working capital solutions may be needed to help pay down tax debt. The same working capital solutions will also help with the additional stock that many businesses are having to buy so they can service their clients. Property finance may be needed to buy a bigger warehouse to house that stock, and equipment finance may be needed to be to streamline a business’s processors. The key to maintaining access to money is understand the issues before they arise, and plan for their eventuality. This reduces the risk of not being able to get cash at the right time or price.
- Take time to think
Running a business is rewarding but as many Family Business owners know it can be hard to get any clean air away from the day to day. The best operators seem to find time to think about their business. They are not always doing. At times this feels counter intuitive, but time off the tools often allows you to make better decisions.
We are always interested in helping business owners. Please reach out to any of our staff if you want a hand to plan for the year ahead.
Written by Matt Atkin, Atlas Broker – Managing Director