While we generally leave the cork popping and hip-hooraying for the entry of the new calendar year, the beginning of the financial year signifies a period of reflection, examination and goal setting for our personal and business finances. Didn’t hit the jackpot last year? Still feeling bogged down by failed investment schemes? Welcome the new financial year with a fresh and mindful start! Here is some relative and achievable advice from the team at Safe Finance. Lucky no one starts July 1st with a hangover!
Refresh your vision of success
Take a good look at your personal or business situation. How much did you earn last year and how close does it stand to your goals? Has your business gained some room for growth or some new clients? Have you any outstanding debt to pay off? Dedicate a day by yourself, or with your partner or business team, and map out the successes and shortcomings of the year, your short and long-term goals for the coming year, recent developments and new prospects. Don’t rush this process. Explore any creative avenue that could help your situation, whether it be a new product or service offered, or upping your online presence. Record it simply and comprehensively and use it as a guide for the coming months.
Assess your customer relations
Clients and customers are what make the business world go round, so increasing our focus on them is arguably one of the first things we should do to improve our business’s financial situations. How can we strengthen our current relations? Perhaps a new promotional or loyalty program, a discount for renewed membership or hosting an event for longstanding members and clients could be the key to establishing solid mateship and trust, in turn bettering the business and attracting new clients.
Keep an eye on the banks
CBA, ANZ, Amex, Westpac, Suncorp. There are enough bank names and acronyms out there to send your head spinning, and when it comes to investing you and your family’s or business’s finance to one of them, the choice doesn’t get much clearer. Notorious for dodgy sign-up schemes and too-good-to-be-true interest rate packages, banks don’t always inspire confidence within the every day investor or business owner. The trick is to be wary and always double, triple check the conditions before signing up. For example:
Balance-transfer fees: although consolidating what you owe into one single card might seem like the fool-proof option, there are cheeky traps that the banks won’t own up to. Some cards charge a balance-transfer fee of 3% of the balance, which would equate to $300 on a $10,000 debt. Ouch. So check before you sign: do the costs outweigh the savings?
Get your tax in early
Your tax return is one of those things that isn’t going to file itself, and eventually the task will creep up on you at the precise moment when your hands are full with the new financial year’s activity. Do your future self a favour and file it early, and by doing so you will gather a more accurate picture of your cash flow to work off in the new financial year. And keep it all organised! Make sure that your filing cabinet or accountant has every important transactional record to date to file your tax properly.