Get Ready for the New Year

January 2012 is here and as we head into the first few weeks of 2012 now is a good time to take a moment out of your busy schedule and prepare for 2012. The single most important matter you can address right now is to prepare and finalize your budget/business plan for 2012.

Getting a good start for the year sets you up strongly for a successful year and nothing achieves this better than having all your plans consolidated in a budget and in place before the year begins.

A budget is a powerful tool for better managing a firm's business. It is a way to plan out the year's operations, think about what is important and quantify what your goals are for the year.  As you work through your budget you will have to address and making decisions in a whole range of areas such as

  • How to grow your sales and increase market share
  • Introducing  new products
  • Hire new people
  • Expand premises, warehousing, factory etc
  • Invest in capital equipment and working capital
  • Expand through organic growth and by acquisition
  • Review your IT needs and examine new technologies such as "Cloud" computing to improve efficiencies. Is there a need to upgrade your ERP system?  Spend less time on the books and more on the business.
  • Does the "bottom line" generate  an adequate return ?

Once your budget is complete prepare a detailed cash flow projection to ensure you can meet all your cash requirements for the business and do not face a cash squeeze during the year. Ensure you can meet all your financing needs and have financing in place with your bank to get over the short term cash shortages should they occur during the year.

Remember that what ever  is measured and tracked will always be improved upon.

Fill all vacancies by year end. Start the year with your full complement of staff. Complete all performance reviews, implement wage and salary increases if that is in the budget and introduce the bonus plan.

Get your sale staff fired up by giving them their targets/quotas and their commission/bonus plan now so they can start planning straight away for a successful AND REWARDING 2012.

Other matters to reflect on include the succession plan - do not put this off any longer. Get ready for your auditors, prepare your financial statements as soon as possible and armed with your budget and audited financial statements meet your bankers.

Make that New Year resolution now and start and finalize your budget/business plan and have a successful outcome for 2012

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