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What are your business goals for the year ahead?

money bag in front of laptop with man pointing graphic

Establishing your business goals for the year ahead

The beginning of a new season, month, quarter or year (calendar or financial) is an excellent time to pause, reflect, and set your sights on the future. Let's be real—running a business isn't always a walk in the park. Some things work out brilliantly, while others don't quite reach the mark. But that’s okay. Reflecting on the past year with a clear head can provide some much-needed insights to make this year your best yet.


As Architects, Engineers & Contractors (A/E/C), it can be tempting to look at finances from a project-to-project basis. But don’t forget your long-term goals. Reassessing what your business goals for the year ahead is an important step for this.


We suggest clients tackle this through a few outlets.

  • Get your team in on the action and together review the year your business has just had; include the good, the bad, the unexpected!

  • As a team, re-establish your goals for the coming year. This way everyone knows what the goal-post is and work together towards it.

  • Now put these new ideas into action! – It doesn’t hurt to touch base on a regular basis (monthly for example) to make sure your firm is still on track to meet those goals.



Conducting a Yearly Business Review


Let's dive into what this would look like. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.


Here are some key areas to focus on:

Significant Impacts

  • Challenges Met: Think about the most significant impacts on your business over the last 12 months. How well did you tackle these challenges? Were there any unexpected hurdles, and how did your business respond?

  • Accounting structure in place: What systems do you have in place to track your numbers? Are you running regular reports? Do you know what projects are making you money? – Your accountant should be able to ensure that you readily have access to this information.

Successes and Accomplishments

  • Effective Strategies: Identify what worked well last year. What systems, procedures, technologies utilised, projects, or additional services were your stars? Celebrating these wins is crucial—it reinforces the good stuff.

  • Achievements: Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments. Recognizing these milestones boosts morale and motivation.

Learning Opportunities

  • Biggest Learning Events: What situations, events, or experiences provided significant learning opportunities? These moments are gold mines for insight, even if they didn’t feel great at the time.

Challenges and Frustrations

  • Biggest Obstacles: Reflect on the biggest challenges or frustrations your firm faces as you gear up for the year ahead. Understanding these pain points helps in crafting strategies to overcome them.

Enjoyment and Dislikes

  • Favorite Activities: What did you enjoy most during the year? Plan to do more of that! Conversely, what did you least enjoy? It might be time to cut back on those activities.

Financial Health

  • Financial Analysis: Take a hard look at your financial reports. Are you earning what you’d like? Is the business sustainably profitable? Your financial health is a key indicator of overall business well-being.

  • Meet with your Accounting Team: With the proper bookkeeping set-up and reports, you should be able to analyse what you spent and where, how much you made or brought it, etc. fairly easily. Having a proper accounting system and team in place will save you a great deal of time when it comes to pulling numbers for your business’s activity. Your accountant should be able to guide through this process.


 


Setting Goals for the New Year

Now armed with insights from your yearly review, it’s time to set clear, actionable goals for the year ahead. Here’s a guide to help you through the process:

Define Clear Objectives

  • Specific Goals: Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Clear objectives provide a focused path for your business efforts. Work with your accountant to establish what would be achievable based on your current ins and outs as well as any potential tax implications this could bring.

Innovate and Adapt

  • New Approaches: Think about what you will do differently this year to help your business thrive. Innovation and adaptability are key drivers of success in a constantly changing environment. Making small improvements on a regular frequency can quickly add up to big impacts, so don’t wait until the stars align to get started.

Strategic Planning

  • Long-Term Vision: Develop a strategic plan that aligns with your long-term vision. This plan should include short-term actions and milestones that contribute to achieving your big-picture goals. How do these align with your previous business goals?

Resource Allocation

  • Efficient Use of Resources: Allocate resources—time, money, and personnel—efficiently. Ensure that your investments align with your strategic priorities.

  • Additional Accounting Services - Time to bring on new help: Time to bring on additional help! Did you know Reach CPA provides help with additional service options? For example:

    • Our Reach the Mark course provide you tips and best practice to minimize the time/effort needed to keep track of receipts, timesheets, etc.

    • If you don’t have the time or expertise in-house, our Bookkeeping, Payroll, and Invoicing services will keep your books up to date, and free up your time from these day-to-day activities.

    • Our Business Planning, Forecasting, Cashflow Management, and Coaching services will help ensure your business is working for you, and not the other way around.

Employee Engagement

  • Team Involvement: Involve your team in the goal-setting process. Their input and buy-in are crucial for successful implementation. Empower them with the tools and knowledge needed to achieve these goals.



Getting Ready for a Great Year

There are countless metrics you could evaluate to track business performance, but here are a few key areas to inspire your planning for a positive start to the year:

Review and Adjust

  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review your goals and progress. Be prepared to adjust your strategies based on performance and changing market conditions.

Seek Professional Advice

  • Expert Insights: Conducting a past-year review with experienced advisors can provide valuable insights for this year’s goal-setting. Professional advice can help identify blind spots and uncover new opportunities.

Stay Agile

  • Flexibility: Keep an agile approach to business. Flexibility allows you to respond swiftly to new challenges and opportunities, ensuring sustained growth and resilience.

 


We Can Help

If you’d like to chat about what you can do differently this year to help your business thrive, let’s talk. Our experienced advisors are here to provide the insights and support you need to set and achieve your business goals.

Taking the time to review the year and acknowledge all that has happened—good, bad, or indifferent—sets the foundation for a more focused and successful business year ahead.


Let’s make this year your best one yet! Get in touch today and take the first step toward an exciting future for your business.



 





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