Whilst we’ve been in the midst of the C-19 pandemic and all that has meant for both our personal and work lives, so many of those necessary but time-consuming tasks have been put on the back burner as we literally just try to make it through.
Now that we seem to have gotten through the worst of it (virus wise, anyway), and the EOFY looming, on top of the fact that many of us still have some extra hours on hand, now is the time to go through that life and business admin checklist and start ticking off those things that have been neglected (understandably so) over the first half of this year.
How’s that personal budget going?
For some, personal budgeting comes easy but when they look at business financials it starts to get messy. For others, it’s the total opposite.
With incomes changing for many in the last couple of months and purse strings tightening, your budget has likely changed in some ways. Have you tracked what that means properly? Do you have a personal budget? Start with a spreadsheet! There are lots of great budget templates online, like this one.
When was the last time you went through your bank statements thoroughly? Track where those dollars are going and get across your financial position, and what the next 6-12 months are going to look like. An adjustment in income often means an adjustment in mindset, which can be hard to do unless you see the numbers in front of you. Another important one to note is that EOFY is coming up quickly so tax planning for 2020 needs to be a priority.
Are your affairs in order?
These tend to be the things brushed under the rug whether we’re in the midst of a global pandemic or not. When’s the last time you had your insurances reviewed? Do you know what insurance you have and who it’s with? It’s well worth sitting down with an advisor to go through your options and understand the differences properly.
Life, income protection, trauma insurance and total and permanent disability insurance are all important considerations. Speaking of insurance – is your work cover up to date? If anything has been reiterated to us in the last few months it’s that we need to make sure we’re prepared for worst-case scenarios.
Next on your list is to review your will, or have it written. If you have dependents and/or any kind of big assets, it’s important to have your affairs in order.
Reflecting on goals: both personal and business
As any business owner will know, an integral part of the overall plan should be your mission, vision, values and purpose. These often get the old set and forget treatment… when in fact they should be revisited regularly. We’re sure many of you have done a C-19 pivot (good on you), which means that your business plan needs an adjustment.
Purpose is a really interesting one and something we feel passionately about. Has the last few months made you sit back and reconsider? This is something we’d encourage you to delve into a little deeper. Is your business aligned with your values and purpose?
Once the groundwork has been laid, it’s time to reassess your goals. Short term, long term, business, personal. Figure out what’s actually important. Read more about goal setting over here.
Other legal matters you may not have considered…
Legal matters are often some of the most important parts of a business to get right (and cover yourself for a rainy day) however they also tend to be the easiest things to ignore. Change that mindset ASAP!
Many of you would’ve found yourself pouring over contracts and leasing agreements recently and we’re sure a few of you have realised that your legal matters may not be up to scratch. Here are three things you should consider now:
1. Shareholder agreements
If you have one (including partnership or buy/sell agreements), then it’s so important to either finalise them or make sure they’re still relevant and up to date. It goes without saying that you can find yourself in a very sticky situation if they get left by the wayside.
2. Intellectual property
Have you got enough protection in place for your IP? With businesses commonly pivoting to more online income streams, your IP has likely expanded or changed this year. Don’t leave yourself open to risk in this regard.
We’re constantly surprised at the amount of businesses who haven’t trademarked even the basics like name and logo. Read more about the importance of trademarking here.
Is your marketing strategy in serious need of an update?
For some businesses, it makes total sense to cut as many costs as possible this year. For others, this boom in screen time has presented an amazing business opportunity – and digital marketing is, therefore, a key sales driver.
We’ve spoken to many business owners who’ve needed to say goodbye to their marketing spend and others who have realised that the only way to communicate with their audience is now online – but the problem is, they don’t have a digital presence *cue pandemonium for any good web design or digital marketing business*.
Another angle to consider is upskilling yourself so that your marketing spend can decrease but your strategy and implementation doesn’t necessarily have to suffer. Many of us have some extra time on our hands at the moment, why not do a digital marketing course?
Do you need to revisit policies and procedures?
With more of the workforce finding themselves at home for the majority of this year so far, business owners need to address the WFH policy. Many workplaces will have realised that either a) WFH is actually a great option for your business or b) WFH doesn’t work so well and productivity may have plummeted. Either way, we’re sure a lot of employees will be raising this with their bosses in the next few weeks. Many people have adjusted to this way of life nicely and won’t want to be back in the office full time. What does that mean for your business?
Processes are everything
Processes come hand in hand with policies and procedures. Once you’ve re-addressed those, reflect on how processes have had to adjust this year. The key to a well-oiled business is having excellent processes behind everything you do. How do you onboard a client? If a new employee starts could they find how-to guides on their duties?
Refining processes should be a continual activity within your business but now is a particularly good time to make sure everything is up to date, considering they would’ve naturally changed over this period anyway.
That was a lot of info to get through… here’s a checklist in summary:
- Create a Personal Budget and savings forecast
- Start your 2020 tax planning
- Create a Business Budget and cashflow forecast
- Review/Form a Shareholders Agreement (partnership agreement, Unit holder agreement)
- Review your intellectual property protection
- Trademark your business name and logo
- Get a will in place
- Review your personal insurances (TPD, Trauma, Income Protection, Life)
- Review your superannuation fund (performance, fees)
- Review your mortgage rate and refinance to a better loan
- Set personal goals, short term and long term
- Set business goals, short term and long term
- Review your costs (eg. are you increasing or decreasing marketing spend)
- Revisit Policies and Procedures (eg. Working From Home Policy)
- Document Your Processes
How is this year panning out for you in general? Join the conversation over on our social media channels.
Get in touch for business, accounting or legal matters here.