The past few months have been a whirlwind for many New Zealanders. From devastating weather events to rising costs of living pressures, it’s been a hugely challenging start to 2023. But the promise of a new financial year brings the chance for small business owners to reset their work routines – creating new habits, goals and even wellbeing practices to make life a little easier.
Despite continued uncertainty, year end is the ideal time to think about how you can set yourself up for success in FY24. Look at what’s in your control and plan (to the best of your ability) for what’s not. Most importantly, though, try to remember why you went into business in the first place. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some tips below. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section – we’d love to hear from you.
1. Leverage tech to stay on top of your numbers
There’s so much you can do on the Xero platform to help ease the pressures of running a small business. But some entrepreneurs are yet to uncover its full potential. So in the new financial year, why not explore the following features and tools to help you work smarter, not harder:
- Unlock cash flow insights with Xero Analytics: When was the last time you looked at your short-term cash flow projections? Xero Analytics is a tool to help you access this information. It can empower you to make data-driven decisions and get on the same page with your advisor about future ambitions. What’s more, it’s free with Starter, Standard, Premium and Ultimate plans in Xero.
- Streamline your invoices: If you’ve been invoicing from another solution outside of Xero, you might be missing a trick. For those on the Business Edition plan, you’ll be able to easily keep track of money coming in – and what’s owed to you – at a glance. With Xero files, you can also store everything from receipts to agreements and communications with vendors and suppliers. Having all of your data in one place will not only make your life simpler, but your advisor’s too.
- Say goodbye to manual data entry with Hubdoc: If you’re on a Starter, Standard, Premium or Ultimate plan, you could be storing copies of documents and key information automatically with Hubdoc – a platform that makes data capture easy. For example, Hubdoc transcribes invoice details directly into Xero to save you from doing it manually. Plus, having all your bills in one place makes it easier to stay on top of weekly cash flow.
- Invoice on the go with the Xero app: Gain access to your numbers whenever, wherever via Xero’s mobile app. This allows you to send invoices as soon as a job is done, helping you to get paid faster. And if you activate payment services, customers can pay directly from an invoice with the click of a button.
2. Schedule weekly downtime to look after yourself
It’s important to take a moment for yourself every now and then – particularly for small business owners who can often find themselves under a lot of pressure. Whether it’s going for a walk, joining a yoga class, heading to the movies or hanging out with family, try to set aside time away from work every week to focus on what fills your cup.
For those looking for more support, all Xero customers across Aotearoa – along with their staff and families – are eligible for free and confidential professional counselling through the Xero Assistance Program (XAP). And until 31 March, this extends to all small businesses in the North Island. For more information, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow these instructions.
3. Discuss the year ahead with your advisor (sooner rather than later)
If you haven’t already, now is the time to get in touch with your advisor (and mentor or business coach, for those who have one) about FY24 planning. Set yourself some goals, such as creating a monthly budget, tracking weekly cash flow or upskilling in a future-focused area. And remember, an advisor can offer many pearls of wisdom beyond the basics (like GST and tax planning). So whether it’s been 12 months or two weeks since you last spoke, be sure to reach out to get organised for the year ahead.
4. Think of advisory as an investment
Keep in mind that end of financial year isn’t the only time you can benefit from an advisor’s expertise. How often you meet is up to you. However, the more often you connect, the more likely you are to build trust – an essential ingredient in any client-advisor relationship. After all, an advisor can only help you if you’re open and honest with them. If you haven’t worked with one before, be sure to look for someone who you really connect with and prioritise relationship building early on.
Don’t let the new financial year pass you by; now’s the time to hit refresh and start FY24 off on the right foot. Looking for more information? Check out our EOFY resource page.