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From The MD's corner

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

It’s that time of the year again… while many people are preparing to rest and take a break from the madness of the year, it’s also time for entrepreneurs to start planning for the new year.

Over and above preparing for the new year – its also a good time to be taking stock of the past 20 months. From the start of the pandemic in March 2020, we’ve seen a lot of changes in our businesses and have had to have additional strategies to keep afloat and stay in business. As everyone keeps saying, we’re in a new normal and need to adjust our business strategies to suit this new normal.

Taking stock and planning will help you realign your goals and resources to better take advantage of opportunities and new business that might come. I’ve prepared an entrepreneurs year end checklist to assist you in taking stock and planning for the new year.

Know your 2020/ 2021 numbers:

  • Review your cashflow – Cash is King. Know what came in and what’s coming out

  • Collect your outstanding invoices – close of the year on a clean debtor’s book. Collect from people that owe you.

  • Understand your financial statements – Get a qualified accountant to prepare financial statements for your company and get them to help you understand the numbers

  • Review your pricing model and cost structures

  • Have a budget and track the numbers

Review your business model:

  • Review your business model – “rebirth is sometimes better than Resurrection”. Have a solid business model with a predictive path to revenue and profitability.

  • Consider your customer’s needs – make sure your strategy still speaks to the environment in which you’re operating in.

  • Review your marketing strategy and ensure that you remain competitive

Review your compliance status:

  • Check compliance with CIPC

  • Check Compliance with The South African Revenue Service (SARS)

  • Check Technical compliance with laws applicable to your industry

Review your operations and whether you the required resources (Internal Controls):

  • Do you have enough assets to fulfil your business operations?

  • Do you need to increase sales and what is the strategy around that? Selling and sales is your number one priority.

  • Do you have enough staff members?

  • How are you insuring inventory control?

  • Is your business adequately covered from an insurance perspective?

Review your use of technology

  • No matter how much or how little you work with technology, it’s still a good idea to make sure your IT ducks are in a row by the end of the year.

  • Back up your data, organizing your paperwork, and make sure your IT systems are up to scratch.

Closing out and taking stock at year end can be a daunting task, but it is manageable if you keep and follow a checklist and system. Once you’ve done your review for 2020/2021, you should have a clearer picture on how to achieve your business goals for 2022. Write everything down. Don’t forget to document your wins and share them widely. As entrepreneurs, we often let the challenges overshadow the wins we had during the year.

Get assistance from external parties where applicable and as always, the more you can plan for business tasks throughout the year, the easier your end of year will be. As the saying goes, prepare to plan or plan to fail.

Managing Director The Business Doctor, Keitumetse Lekaba

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