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Managing the outlook – financial tips for 2023

Emma Skinner, associate director at Haines Watts accountants in Swindon, offers her top tips for a prosperous business in 2023

Running a business naturally comes with a multitude of stresses, not least the financial prospects of the economy.

Here are my top tips for a prosperous business in 2023:

1. Plan, plan and plan some more…
A business plan will most likely detail the key goals of the business and a timescale over which these goals will be achieved.

In the current climate, my top tip is for businesses to maintain detailed forecasts and budgets, covering cashflow, profitability and the balance sheet position for a rolling 12 month period.

This not only aids in monitoring and controlling budgeted spend but also enables you to proactively manage cashflow. It allows a business owner or director to be agile and responsive when it comes to their money. The earlier the business identifies cashflow shortages or unexpected growth, the easier it is to manage them and take action accordingly.

2. Negotiate…
As with most businesses soaring costs can be a real cause for concern. Where possible, agree costs in advance to avoid being impacted by market changes.

Having discussions with suppliers can be invaluable in managing costs and minimising cashflow risk. It’s in everyone’s interests to make business work well and to keep that business relationship on track.

3. Are you utilising what’s available?
In a volatile economic climate, it is important to plan for bumps in the road and understand if there is any existing financing that is not fully utilised.

Armed with a detailed cashflow forecast, any business leader can test the funding tolerances and plan for any additional cashflow funding that may be required in the short, medium or even long term.

Having discussions with current lenders can be useful to understand if there are any extensions available to existing finance.

Over the past few years, there have been unprecedented challenges faced by businesses and, although we hope that we are not faced with such extreme situations in the future, businesses which plan in advance will be better placed to deal with the kind of uncertainty which has become the norm over the last few years.

Emma Skinner is associate director at Haines Watts Swindon

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