For many of you December 31st is a time for making personal resolutions.  March 31st signals another time for resolutions – of the business kind.

The beginning of a new financial year is the perfect time to evaluate business performance, plan improvements and implement some fresh and innovative ideas to make the following financial year a year to remember for your business.

James Johnston provides some resolutions you might wish to consider:


Planning is essential for any successful business. Short and long term goals need to be formulated and assessed against your current situation.  Identify the changes you want and/or need to make and then try to identify the steps you need to take to bring you closer to achieving your goals.  Plan improvements while your business is thriving.  Don’t be on the back foot.  Why develop and implement major changes during and in reaction to a crisis?

Think about how you see your role in your business concluding.  Don’t wait until it’s time to pull back and/or hand over the reigns.  Succession planning can and should be done early.  Often the lucrative sale or successful handover of your business is one of the goals behind starting the business in the first place.  Use your aspirations about concluding your business venture to inform your short and medium term plans and then act on them!


The right structure is essential to ensure that you are getting the best from your time, your staff and your business. Appropriate governance measures will ensure that your time is spent overseeing rather than doing the hard yards.

We recommend the development of an ownership/management structure for the business that achieves separation of your personal assets from the business and clear entitlements between business partners.

Consider obtaining advice from appropriate professionals, including your lawyer and perhaps a business mentor.  You may be surprised how the structure of your business can directly affect the success or otherwise of your venture.


An asset protection plan is your safety net.  It is there to protect you and your business from various scenarios, for example if you die prematurely, have a serious accident, are sued by someone or even suffer a marriage or partnership breakdown.

Asset protection covers all elements of planning that recognise the need to protect your hard earned assets.

Your plan may involve ensuring you and all adult members of your family have an up to date Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney.  You may want various insurance packages for the business and/or key personnel, disaster recovery planning (i.e. crashed server), and taxation planning.  Does your asset protection package include your succession plan, appropriate management structure and possibly a relationship property agreement?


Good operational policies to ensure that you are complying with the law are a necessary part of a successful business operation.  For example, are you aware of your obligations under employment and health and safety legislation, privacy legislation, intellectual property, the Fair Trading and Consumer Guarantees Acts?  These and other laws are likely to impact on how you can do business.  It is a good idea to seek professional advice, as cutting corners could not only mean you break the law but also lose valuable customers, your reputation or even your business.

Diversify and/or Expand

As your business grows you may consider expanding or diversifying.  It is sensible to ensure that any new ventures you are considering give you returns that match your primary business or they may not be worth your time and energy.  If you enter into a joint venture make sure you record all arrangements formally to avoid surprises later.


Many people go into business to give themselves freedom.  Freedom to choose their own hours, choose the type of work they do and choose who they deal with.  Yet all too often, business owners get hooked into long hours, performing menial administrative tasks and dealing with customer or client demands to a point far beyond necessary.  Think about what you want from your business and take the time to make any necessary changes.  The new financial year could be a turning point for you and your business.

To organise a set fee initial consultation please call us on 0800 733 444.