The end of financial year is almost upon us. Holidays are long over and you’re in the thick of getting on with your business year. So what happens if the plans that you’d originally set out to achieve aren’t quite coming to fruition as you’d thought they would?

You have several choices. If you’re happy with how things are travelling, then all well and good – adjust your plan to where you find yourself now and keep going.  If you’re mostly happy, you might just need to make a tweak or two and you’re on track.

But if you’re just not comfortable with where you find yourself, clearly something needs to change. What amazes me though, after years of advising clients, is that many choose to ignore the warning signs and continue onwards – hoping that somehow it will all ‘work out’ according to the plan (if, indeed there actually was a plan in the first place).

Whilst hope is somewhat of a pre-requisite for being a business owner it can also lead us to continue ignoring the real issues. If left for too long, some issues can get to the point where they end up derailing a business.

Some of the real issues that might crop up in a business setting could include;

  • Cash flow issues – everyone loves a profit, but cash flow issues can cripple a business – large or small – if not dealt with swiftly. This could result from carrying too many debtors, not having terms of trade, not enforcing your terms of trade, the length of the sales process
  • Funding issues – the next step up from maintaining cash flow is a business that can’t fund its growth plans and that can derail a business almost as quickly as lack of cash flow
  • Tax issues – late payments, failure to separate business revenues/personal funds, not having kept up with your legislated requirements, or incorrect/missing records
  • Business partnership/ownership issues – partnerships not working, differing agendas, someone selling, buying in, etc
  • Employee issues
  • Issues caused by external forces that have negatively impacted the business in some way – such as changes to irrigation allocations, currency issues, GFCs and the like.
  • And many, many more.

Sometimes, we can get so stuck on the issue at hand, we keep having the same conversation in our heads, over and over. Sometimes, the issue seems so insurmountable that we avoid even thinking about it – hoping desperately that the problem will somehow go away.

That’s where having a trusted and objective advisor that you can talk to, bounce ideas off and who understands your business can really come into their own. Sometimes all it takes is asking the right questions to spark a solution. Sometimes, it takes years of real business experience and/or an understanding of tax/business legislation to work out the best way through.

A client of ours had a staff issue not so long ago that had been ongoing for years. It was causing them to lose sleep and they had lost other staff members and clients as a direct result. The issue had been let slide until we discussed it casually one day over a coffee. Together we put a plan to address it in place. When we spoke the other day – the issue had finally been addressed. Yes, they reported, it was a difficult conversation to have, but addressing the issue had left them feeling so much lighter and having so much more energy. Their zest for their business had ‘magically’ returned.

This client’s tale reminded me of the road safety message – stop, revive, survive.

So, if you’ve some issues that are keeping you from feeling comfortable in your business, you might consider the following three steps;

  1. Stop ignoring the issue and seek objective assistance
  2. Doing something to address the issue might initially be difficult – but often it can revive the business and your passion for your business
  3. That can only help the business survive and thrive over the longer term

If you have a business issue, that you’d like objective discussion about, please don’t hesitate to call Kerry or I.

You can connect with us on Facebook or Kerry on Linkedin.

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