2020 is drawing to a close – and with it, one of the most difficult and unpredictable years for everyone will soon be behind us. After a tough 12 months, those who run their own business, or have dreams of doing so, are now taking the opportunity to think about how they’ll make 2021 a success. That’s where New Years’ resolutions come in.
As with any goal, your business’ New Years’ resolutions should be achievable, realistic and worthwhile – set your sights for where you want to be this time next year, and work out what you need to work on between now and then to make that happen. Whether you’re a seasoned business professional, or thinking about starting out on your own, here are some points to consider in the New Year.
Starting a business in the new year
The New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start. With the vast job losses seen across the globe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people are out of work through no fault of their own. Others may recognise the need for greater job security and to be in control of their own financial destiny. In either case, there is no shortage of motivation for some to take the leap into self-employment.
If you’re thinking about taking that step in the New Year, there is plenty to be optimistic about. But before you hand in your notice or start looking for office space, the best thing to do is develop a solid, well-thought-out business plan. Engaging the services of a professional, for instance the tax and accounting team at McKinley Plowman, is an important step as it lays the foundation for a business that will not only survive in the future – but thrive. Your business plan includes understanding what you want your business to be, how you’ll manage it, what structures and licenses need to be put in place, and much more. We even have a handy (and FREE!) business plan template that you can use to get a sense of what’s involved.
Not only is the Australian economy recovering well from the effects of COVID-19, there are still generous government grants, incentives and programs in place for business owners, both new and established. One such example is the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) New Business Assistance initiative, which supports people interested in starting their own business, and those looking to get an existing micro-business back on track. The program includes accredited training, mentoring and support from a NEIS provider, as well as the 39-week NEIS Allowance and 26-week NEIS Rental Assistance payment for up to 26 weeks for eligible individuals.
Improving your business in the new year
For those already in business, a pertinent New Years’ resolution might be to grow and improve your business through 2021 and beyond. This could come in several forms – streamlining your processes, reducing overheads, increasing profit, even expanding into a new location. No matter what your metric for improvement is, make sure you set your resolution up to be attainable and meaningful.
While we have covered these at some length this year, it is worth the reminder that the Australian Government has put in place several schemes and incentives for businesses this year to boost investment and spending in order to stimulate the economy. These incentives include an extension to the Instant Asset Write-Off, the introduction of JobMaker and JobTrainer, and much more. You can find more on those in our website’s News section.
You may also want to consider, based on what’s happened in 2020, setting up procedures and safeguards to mitigate the effects of a pandemic or natural disaster. This could include ensuring you and your team (where applicable) can work remotely; your emergency procedures are up to date; and your insurance policies are up to date. While insurance policies like business interruption don’t always cover pandemic-related interruptions, having the right amount of cover for things like your business premises and its contents is crucial for events like the devastating bushfires we saw across the country in early 2020. It may be some time before we face disasters to the scale we have seen over the past 12 months, but having the necessary systems in place now is the best way to ensure you and your business can survive should anything happen in the future.