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Home Cashflow Business Blog Ready to fast forward? Try pressing pause instead

I write this blog from the ski fields of New South Wales, having taken advantage of the school holidays to take a quick break with the family, get away from work for awhile and hit the slopes.

It’s been a time of reflection, and during one of those reflective moments, something occurred to me out of the blue - the end of the financial year has come and gone.

If you’re a small business owner, having made it through to the first week of July and the start of the 2014 financial year with all your limbs intact, you’re probably feeling one of two emotions; relief at finally putting the damn thing behind you, or pride in having handled it all thoroughly and professionally.

I think it’s interesting that regardless of whether the end of their 2013 financial year was seen as a triumph or a disaster, most small business owners leave it behind with barely a backwards glance, and charge forward into the next financial year at full tilt. Surely it’s worthwhile pausing, looking back at ‘the year that was’ and considering whether there are lessons that can be learned from it?

Look at it this way; if your last financial year was a complete train wreck, you can approach the new financial year as a blank canvas – a fresh opportunity to put new attitudes and procedures in place, and make this one a winner. If by contrast you feel you did pretty well, now’s the time to refine things and do even better. After all, isn’t small business about always doing a little bit better? There’s no future (and certainly no satisfaction) in just treading water year after year.

So I thought I’d put that thought forward. Don’t waste this once-a-year punctuation point in the business calendar. Try hard to set aside some time to get some objectivity, look at your records, what you did last year and what the results were – and move into this financial year with lessons learned and your eyes open. As a small business owner myself I know that it’s not always easy to find the time to do this sort of thing, but before you shrug it off, bear in mind that discoveries you make now could lead to you doing things differently in the coming financial year, and potentially saving a heap of money. You wouldn’t shrug off an opportunity to earn, so don’t ignore a chance to save. It’s all money in your pocket, after all.

Now, where was I? On the snowfields, of course, tapping away on my iPad. So bearing in mind what I’ve written in recent blogs regarding the value of time away from work, I won’t ramble on too much more and turn this blog into another War and Peace. Instead, seeing as I’ve now been blogging every week for over six months, what I’ll do is reach into ‘Jason Smith’s Big Back Catalogue of Blogs’ and recommend a few of the pieces that have proved popular over the past months. If you’ve only subscribed to my CashFlow Advantage blogs in the recent past, you might like to take a look.

With what I’ve just mentioned about end of financial year musings, you may find the following blogs and links handy for all sorts of reasons.

To read my thoughts on how important a Business Plan is – and to get your hands on a Business Plan template, click (HERE).

To get your hands on an employee Performance Review, click (HERE).

Want to read a (reasonably) objective blog on why I believe that business partnerships are a rotten idea? It’s right (HERE).

If you’ve been wondering where unions fit in with small business, you can read about my opinion of unions based on a real business experience (HERE).

And finally, if you’re having a hard time switching off from work and you’re after some tips on how it’s done – apart from going beyond your daily allowance of standard drinks -  click (HERE). Or of course, get off your PC and go and have a glass of wine.

That’s it for me for the time being. And if you thought this week’s blog was a bit half-arsed, you can even go (HERE) and check to find out for sure. Meanwhile, I’m sticking to the excuse that I’m on holidays. And I promise next week’s blog won’t be about holidays…

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