1. Strategy is not just for business and finance
The start of a New Year is a good time to review how your business is performing against your targets but it is also worth reviewing your personal goals, if there are events that you would like to attend or trips you would like to put in the diary take some time to consider what is important to you this year.
2. In Business, set out appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and work to achieve them
Increasing revenue and sales is important but how does this filter down to profit? Are there ways to streamline the business even as it grows? Are your staff measured on the right metrics to ensure your clients are happy and your margins are expanding?
3. Use your allowances
The government gives you very little for “free” so make sure you take anything they are offering. Some of these need to be done before the fifth of April, ISA allowances, pension allowances, capital gains tax allowances and investments to recover income tax.
4. Make sure all your wishes are up to date
Has anything changed in the last year in your family? Do you need to update your Will or make sure there is a Power of Attorney in place for yourself and any family members that may require it? Do you need to update your expression of wish for death in service or pension benefits?
5. Gifting in 2020
If you have a regular gifting pattern for Inheritance Tax planning make sure you keep a note of it and let your accountant know. If you gift to charity, is it in the most tax efficient manner for both you and them?
6. Structured savings and investments
If you plan to save for yourself or family members it is worth making sure they are in the right savings plans or invested in the right vehicles? Introductory offers can change and reviewing the investments from incremental savings can help change the performance in the long term.
7. Budgets for the new year
Budgets for the new year can change with the ebb and flow of business but it is still worth reviewing them and modelling what the outcomes of certain decisions might be. Personal and Business budgets can also help you achieve your aims and you can score yourself against them.
8. Brexit ready?
Will Brexit impact your business? If so have you prepared for the likely challenges and opportunities that it brings? Will market shocks affect your revenue streams and profitability?
9. Aligning the long term goals
Given your plan for your business how does this align with your personal goals? Paying off your mortgage, saving for pensions, retirement and helping family are all worthy goals and although your business exit/sale may be part of your plan can you extract value through the lifecycle of the business.
10. Do you have the right advisers?
With a growing business and increased complexity of operations do you have the best people advising you in your business and personal life? Painful as it can be, it is important to upgrade your advisers so that you can receive proactive advice to make the best possible decisions.
11. Planning for success
Are you able step back from your business at regular intervals to make strategic decisions even in the heat of the day-to-day struggles? As the business leader, being able to make long term decisions is essential to the sustainability of your business. If you can build this into your monthly plan it should help you ensure your business is always focussed on the next threat or opportunity.
12. The right mix of funding
Do you have the right mix of debt and equity in your business? Should you take on an external shareholder who can provide further industry connections and further capital for your business to expand? In your personal life, with mortgages rates at historical lows (again) is it worth reviewing your borrowing and possibly reducing your costs?
13. Productivity and Investment
Are any investment in your business also improving your productivity? How can you get more out of your staff, helping them grow into their roles or more senior positions can boost your company’s own growth prospects and give you more time for management.
14. Limiting Factors
What is holding your company back from reaching the next level? Are there active measures you can take now which will help you overcome any hurdles you may face in 2020? Do you need to seek help or advice on how to manage an issue that is holding back your growth prospects.
15. Contrarian Advice
If you and your fellow directors/owners all have similar backgrounds and knowledge it may be worth looking for a Non-Executive who has industry experience but who considers problems from a different angle. Their viewpoints may, at times, be juxtaposed to your own but they will also see alternative solutions to problems for your business and may see barriers that you do not identify immediately.
16. Lifestyle Changes
Are there any decisions you want to make around your lifestyle? Spend longer with the family, retire earlier, become healthier in 2020 or do more of what you love? Small alterations rather than wholesale change are normally easier and more likely to lead to positive outcomes.
17. Commercial Uncertainty
The current growth phase of the global economy is now more than 10 years old, although indicators continue to look, if not positive, then sanguine for the coming year are you prepared for a future shock? Preparation ahead of these impacts can ensure you make the right decisions when hard times arrive.
18. Cash Flow management
Cash flow management is imperative to running a business but is equally important when managing your personal affairs. Timing of payments can impact your own cash flow and if you have to liquidate assets to make payments or fund tax bills they might not be at the best possible time. Being able to time when to sell assets leads to better long term returns.
19. Continued Development
Skills and experience are not just for your employees. Are there abilities or courses that would help you more effectively manage your team or further understand your target market. Continual improvement in our changing times is important in order to keep ahead of the competition.
What are your plans once you achieve your current aims? Are the next goals/targets obvious? How can you encourage your team to see beyond the near term into the future so they can help setting the future goals of the company? Are your staff sufficiently incentivised to achieving these goals and how will they respond to increased stretch goals?
We look forward to helping our clients with achieving their goals next year. Contact us to find out how we could help you.
Here's to 2020!