Signs of spring emerged quite early this year on the Sunshine Coast and for many of us it brings an itching to clean, refine and renew! It’s a perfect time as any to take a look at your business and freshen things up. Don’t wait until the end of the year when deadlines come crashing down and the New Year is hot on your tail, now is the time to get things organised and ready!

Some areas of your business that may need a spruce:

Administration systems:
Consider what you can streamline, declutter, archive in order to support efficiencies in every other area of your business

Is it time to do a throw-out of gadgets you’ve been holding onto just in case? Is software up to date? Are replacements required?

Now is a great time to organise folders, shift old files onto hard drives to free up space, update software, clean out email inboxes and even give your machine a good old fashioned clean – especially mouses and keyboards!

Review your processes and ask yourself what can be improved and what works. Talk to clients and staff to gather further information on ways you can become more efficient or enhance customer service.

Office Space:
Floors, windows, walls, desks – leave no stone unturned and see the wonders this will do for your working environment!

Have an objective party use your website and give a review on their experience. Was everything they needed to use easy to access? Are your key services and contact details clear and prominent?

Marketing and Social Media:
Have a critical look at the ways in which you are reaching out to your customers and clients. Consider whether you are putting enough focus in the right areas and also opportunities for the remainder of the year, especially looking to the Christmas period.

Team management:
A perfect time to review your team, your management style and the needs of your business. If you need professional assistance the team at Workplace Central are ready to take your call and would love to shout you a coffee to see how we can make your job easier and your business run smoother with streamlined staffing processes!

There are many stereotypes and articles published about the work style and ethic of millennial employees, many of which discuss negative attributes such as laziness or tendencies to job hop. While it’s important to understand the different perspective and approach younger generations have to working it’s also important to not underestimate these employees. They bring a range of skills to the workforce and are actually a very driven and values based cohort, who, when receiving the right support can be extremely valuable members of your team.

To address the stereotype that Gen Y staff jump from job to job or that they are ‘continuous candidates’, research has found that gen y workers are instead ambitious and in search of new experiences and professional development.

A survey by Deloitte Australia found that the ability to progress and take on a leadership role was a key consideration of the millennial job seeker. Furthermore the process of encouraging and developing younger staff into leaders results in greater loyalty and commitment to work. The report noted that a company’s values and culture were also factors of higher importance to millennial job seekers – where an alignment of values was key, along with company social responsibility.

By supporting and adapting to the younger workforce, businesses can benefit from highly autonomous, problem solving and creative teams who think outside of the box.

Some key points for engaging with and supporting millennial employees:

  • Teach and encourage collaboration skills
  • Provide mentorship
  • Consider your company’s purpose beyond profit and engage your team in this
  • Provide developmental opportunities
  • Trust your team to work independently and encourage smart decision making
  • Assist in setting long and short term goals
  • Embrace personal ambition

The bottom line is to recognise what motivates your employees, no matter their age and support their development. Deloitte Australia’s report found millennial workers value an inclusive, meaningful work culture over anything else. To encourage a collaborative, productive and positive work environment with a loyal team it is important to get to know who you’re working with and what drives them!

School holidays are coming up again for two weeks from the 17th of September. Now is a great time to ensure you’re prepared for this period which may be busy or quiet, depending on the kind of business you’re in. For retail and hospitality businesses this is generally a time of increased trade so it’s important to ensure you are well staffed and well stocked. Effective preparation will allow you to maximise your sales and keep your team happy during school holiday periods!

Team coverage
During school holidays team members with children may wish to take time off and school-aged staff may wish to pick up more hours. It’s a great idea to talk to your staff about their plans for school holidays and to let them know if extra hours are available so you can coordinate a plan that will benefit both your business and your team. Get your updated rosters out as early as possible to ensure you have sufficient staff coverage.
Also consider whether you’ll need to take on casual holiday staff, which can be a great backup in case of unexpected staff shortages. Casual employees are great resources to meet the fluctuating or ad-hoc needs of your business.

Do you have a plan to maximise your sales?
If you are expecting an increase in customers through the door you may benefit from adjusting your day to day operations to accommodate rushes.

  • Consider whether you have enough/resources and stock to service an increase in customers or clients
  • Create a plan for staff to work to, to ensure daily housekeeping and procedures are undertaken on busier days
  • Create ways to attract and engage with current and new customers. Consider school holiday promotions or increased advertising both online and in traditional media

Set a date to review your postholiday results
Once business is back to status quo it is important to review how your holiday period plan worked for you. Reviewing sales, profits, expenses, staff coverage, customers through the door and the positives and negatives of the period will be extremely helpful in future planning and will provide guidance on improving your business even for normal trading periods.

Cash flow is one of the most important components for a business to manage and can take much focus and effort to get the balance right. It is understandable therefore, that planning for rainy days can be overlooked or not prioritised when managing everyday incomings and outgoings.

To understand both why you’d need a rainy day (or emergency fund) and how much you’d need in this fund, it is crucial to look at the potential risks facing your business. This will be unique to each business but potential liabilities or unexpected expenses could include: employee illness/injury, annual leave payouts, insurance excess, reaction to competitor activity, or even positive events such as unexpected growth or investment opportunities.

Defining the scope of your risks and liabilities will also be unique to your business – for example some companies have more legal liabilities than others and some have more governmental regulations to adhere to.

The important thing to understand is that crisis and unexpected costs can come out of nowhere and in all shapes and sizes.  It never hurts to be as prepared for the worst as you can be.

Where will the money for the rainy day fund come from?
Once you have made your emergency/rainy day fund a priority, some regular costs and expenses will have to be reviewed to allow for this new budget item.  Money saving is a challenging practice, but it is just that – a practice, and it is also a process of constant refinement of spending and review of opportunities.

Given enough thought and planning it will be possible to sculpt a manageable saving plan for your emergency fund. Working with professionals will help you to make considered choices when it comes to sourcing the best fund to suit your needs as well as where to trim your spending and how much you can manageably save.

Some key points for building a successful rainy day fund:
– Be clear on how the fund will be used
– Start as soon as you can
– Consult with your financial advisor to ensure your fund works best for your needs
– Be consistent and prioritise saving