The last few years would have been challenging for any business owner, with price increases, inflation and ongoing issues relating to COVID. Despite this, since June 2021, there has been a 15.2 per cent increase in Australian businesses with 1-4 employees according to the ABS.

When I speak with small business owners one thing I regularly hear is that they are constantly juggling many things at a time, so I wanted to share a few tips that can help you become financially ready for business all year round. Specifically, these tips might help small businesses in their first few years to set them up for success.

While everyone’s small business is unique, many of the challenges of owning and running a business are universal, like tackling cash flow, getting access to capital and staying on top of finances.

Take advantage of accounting software

New financial year, new you. It’s a good idea to set up a couple of processes to automate your finances. Accounting software can help you and your team to manage transactions and generate insights. Having this data accessible to you on a daily basis throughout the year will give you the best insight into your business cash flow. Incomings and outgoings are clearly outlined, giving you a strong picture of the business, and making it much easier to track business costs. Understanding cash flow year-round is an integral element of being financially ready for what’s ahead.

Make the most of available Government support

Understanding what government support is available for you and your business is important, especially as COVID and flood relief payments and rebates have been introduced in recent years. These may be specific to your business size or sector, so doing some research is important to ensure you are capturing all incentives available to you. If you have concerns about missing government support that applies to you, reach out to your business banking partner, they’ll know about current incentives and which will apply to your business.

Separating your business and personal finances

We know many businesses might start out as side hustles, and there isn’t always a clear line between personal and business finances, but as your small business grows, separating your personal and business finances is so important. Having a clear distinction of personal banking versus business will make things a lot clearer, giving you a true picture of where the business is at. It will also streamline the process of balancing your books as well as your personal tax review, making reporting at tax time much easier.

Another way to feel financially ready for business is by speaking with your bank throughout the year to explore what other opportunities might be available for your business.

Lean on your business banking partner

It’s no secret that a key to business growth and success is having your finances in order, so you’re financially ready today, for what’s coming tomorrow, and can also weather the unexpected. Your business banking partner can help with that. And if you’re not one for a one of one sit down or call, have a look at the digital resources available through your bank to help you answer any questions you might have.

The ANZ Business Hub website has lots of online articles, templates or planners that can help you make decisions about accelerating or delaying your business plans, as well as offering insights into the experience of other small business owners and how they might have overcome similar challenges you are facing.

A new age of digital banking has made online support and assets more accessible than ever, to help you get on top of your money today, plan for the unexpected and pursue your goals for tomorrow.