As a business owner, the start of a new financial year provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on successes, evaluate challenges, and create a plan to achieve goals in the year ahead. Strategic planning allows you to set clear goals, identify growth opportunities, and mitigate potential risks. It’s the best way to position your business for long-term success and adapt to changing market dynamics. 

What’s the best way to plan for the year ahead? Here are some tips to support you in making the most of your business planning.

Evaluate performance

Begin by reviewing your business performance during the previous financial year. Analyse financial statements, sales data, customer feedback, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Identify areas of strength and weakness, understanding what worked well and where improvements are needed. This evaluation provides a foundation for setting realistic goals and identifying areas for growth.

Set goals

Based on your evaluation, establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for the upcoming year. Align these goals with your long-term vision and mission, ensuring they support your overall strategic direction. Whether it’s increasing sales, expanding into new markets, or improving operational efficiency, clearly define your objectives to guide your efforts throughout the year.

Develop strategies

Once your goals are defined, develop strategic initiatives and action plans to achieve them. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks and consider the resources, budget, and timeline required for each activity. Strategies can be related to all business departments including streamlining operations with software and strategies around managing teams efficiently. Flexibility is crucial here, as strategies may need adjustments as the year progresses.

Monitor market trends

Stay ahead of market trends and changes in your industry to proactively respond to emerging opportunities or challenges. Leverage technology and data analytics to gain insights into the market and how you can adapt your business to grow in line with market trends. This may allow you to find new revenue and profit channels to support your business growth strategy.

Assess risks and mitigation strategies

Identify potential risks and uncertainties that could impact your business’s performance. These may include economic factors, regulatory changes, supply chain disruptions, cybersecurity threats, or unexpected events like pandemics. Develop contingency plans and mitigation strategies to minimise the impact of these risks. It is also important that you are staying on top of compliance and industry requirements to protect your businesses from legal risks.

Monitor and Review Progress

Continually monitor and assess progress towards your goals. Regularly track key metrics, evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies, and make necessary adjustments. Hold periodic performance reviews, celebrate milestones, and address any issues that may hinder progress. Learn from both successes and failures to refine your approach and continually improve your business’s performance.

The start of a new financial year presents an ideal opportunity for business owners to engage in strategic planning.  This process can be made easier with the support of a Business Specialist who can guide you in making informed decisions about running and growing your business to ensure that it is becoming more efficient and more profitable every year.


Learn more about working with APS Business Specialists to achieve your goals this financial year.


Written by Richard Ferraro, Chief Financial Officer & Head of APS Tax

Richard is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and Fellow Certified Practising Accountant (FCPA) with 3 decades of experience in Financial Accounting, Tax Compliance and Advisory. Prior to the 11 years currently working at APS, Richard was a partner in a top 100 accounting firm, and a Taxation Manager for large corporations such as Nissan Australia, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, NEC Australia and Australia Post. 

Richard supports his clients across a wide range of services including tax compliance and advisory services to clients who are Companies, Trusts, Partnerships, Self Managed Super Funds, When Richard isn’t working he enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching the mighty Magpies, and anything to do with cars from F1 to supercars and collectables.