Home Articles Winding down the 2011 celebrations (and planning for 2012)

Winding down the 2011 celebrations (and planning for 2012)

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As 2011 draws to a close, end of year festivities are coming into full swing and Australian businesses are celebrating a year of success.

Despite the current economic conditions, Australian businesses have performed well overall in 2011, with the economy growing 1.8 per cent despite natural disasters such as the Queensland floods. Meanwhile, the OECD is also predicting strong relative growth for our economy through 2012 and 2013.

Now that’s some news that’s definitely worth celebrating.

Finding new opportunities in the new year

Of course, as businesses wind down their activity for 2011, business owners will be looking into the future and planning for 2012. For many industries, the new year presents the perfect opportunity to grow their operations. However, the decision on whether to expand your business will rest on your business’s goals and objectives.

For businesses that are looking to grow, there are four ways to identify potential growth opportunities:

–       Improve your efficiencies and current operations

–       Innovate and launch into a new field or take advantage of new technology

–       Scale your operations and grow your current customer base

–       Acquire an existing business and combine your operations.

For most start-ups and small businesses, the most likely opportunity for growth will be to scale their operations and gain more customers.

Remember business growth shouldn’t be for its own sake – don’t assume bigger is always better! Instead you’ll need to put forth a solid business case that demonstrates the opportunity for growth as well as revenue and profit projections. You’ll also need to compile a clear and well thought out growth strategy. If you are looking to expand your business in 2012, consider these questions:

  1. What are the opportunities? If the market is already saturated, what unique selling point can you offer that will stand out from the competition?
  2. Do you have the resources and expertise to take your organisation into unfamiliar territory?
  3. How will you fund growth?
  4. What sort of timeframes can you expect before you’ll see a return? Will your business be able to handle this delay?

Funding growth in 2012

If you have decided that you’ll be growing your business in the new year, you’ll want to start looking into your finance options now. Small businesses may find their credit options a bit limited when it comes to approaching the big banks, however there are a number of other channels of financing that could work well for your business.

For businesses looking to grow in 2012, equipment leasing is a smart way to acquire new assets and upgrade your production capacity. Businesses can lease a range of assets including medical equipment, IT equipment, printers, medical aesthetics equipment even furnishings for your office.

Having a solid plan and strategy for expansion in place early means you’ll be ready to hit the ground the running in the new year – and that’s some news that you’ll really feel like celebrating.

What are your plans for your business in 2012?

Anthony Roberts is the Head of Vendor Finance for FlexiCommercial. You can read more of his finance insights on FlexiCommercial: http://flexicommercial.com.au/blog

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