Ensuring Your Business Grows Profitably

With the new financial year upon us, now is the time to be setting your business plans for the 2021/2022 financial year.  Most businesses have spent the past 12 months adapting and dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 however most believe that the year ahead will be one of growth.  No business wants to grow for growth’s sake – that would mean you are just working harder for no benefit.  By getting into the detail and preparing a forecast for the 12 months ahead you can ensure your business is growing profitably and you are working smarter not harder.  Please take the time to watch this video of Renee Bettenay (Director of Harris Black) on the details and benefits of forecasting.  If you would like help to prepare a forecast for your business, please contact your Harris Black Team member.

Harris Black Business Leaders Forum

by Paul Whimp

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” – Winston Churchill 

At our recent HB Leaders Forum, we ran through the key learnings from a recent leaders’ survey about their experiences and learnings after coming out of the pandemic and their plans for the future.  The key outcomes centered around a theme of a “reset” and positioning for growth.  With this theme in mind the HB Leaders Forum focused on three key areas and activities: 

Post trauma tail 

Every major traumatic event has a tail.  During the pandemic, teams rallied together to adapt to the new circumstances to maintain businesses or even just to survive.  In an article posted by Dr Darryl Cross, he refers to studies of major disasters that show, whilst the trauma of the event itself is devastating, there is a prolonged period post event where teams suffer. 

It was a reminder as leaders to ensure your team are aware of the post pandemic exhaustion that is normal and that sufficient time and resources are allocated to allow the teams to recover and recharge before any acceleration of your growth strategy. 

What products or services will you use to grow your business? 

As part of the theme of reset and growth, we covered a great tool developed by the Boston Consulting Group in the 1970’s.  Referred to under various names, the product portfolio analysis provides a framework to look at your key products and services and identify where you should focus your attention in order to improve your success in the market.  

By identifying each product/service market attractiveness and your strength in delivery in that market, it assists to identify your offerings position, the gaps in your strategy and underpins which will feature your in success in the market. 

Best in market (for you) 

Not everyone wants to be number one in their chosen market or field but every business needs to know where they are positioned. 

Without access to third party business and market surveys or reviews, it can be difficult to ascertain how you compete for your customers attention.  To assist in this area we ran through a quick and easy competitor analysis which provided leaders with an approach to identify any potential blind spots against their competitors. 

The approach involved identifying key factors your customers sought when appraising a potential purchase and ranking your business against your competitors on these factors.  Whilst a simplistic model, it provides a great focus to underpin your investment in your growth strategies.  If you are interested in exploring any of the areas covered in our Leaders Forum, please reach out to your HB team members.

Making Childcare More Affordable And Boosting Workforce Participation

On 2 May 2021, the Government announced that it will make an additional $1.7 billion investment in childcare as part of the Federal Budget 2021–22. 

As part of the Federal Budget 2021–22, and starting on 1 July 2022, the Government will: 

• increase the childcare subsidies available to families with more than one child aged five and under in childcare, benefitting around 250,000 families; 

• remove the $10,560 cap on the Child Care Subsidy, benefitting around 18,000 families. 

More information can be found here.

Meet The Staff – Keziah Sedgwick

Keziah joined Harris Black in 2016 and has since progressed to become a Manager in late 2020.

Some interesting facts about Keziah – if she could live anywhere, Keziah would live in Taupo, NZ, but the most relaxing place she has even been is a resort just outside of Ubud, Indonesia. Without any preparation, Keziah could give a 40-minute presentation teaching yoga and a skill she would like to master is eka pada rajakapotasana 4! In the past 48 hours, Keziah attempted eka pada rajakapotasana 4, cooked apricot chicken and walked her dog Chai to the local creek.

An excerpt of the interview with Keziah is below:

Brentnalls Conference

As many of you will already know, Harris Black is a member of the Brentnalls Affiliation.  The affiliation is a network of like-minded, independent Chartered Accounting firms across Australia and New Zealand. Member firms are in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hamilton VIC, Perth and Auckland NZ. Harris Black has been part of this dynamic group of professionals for over 20 years. Each of the firms in the affiliation have a similar passion for improving client service and striving for best practice in all areas of business. In particular we are all very focused on helping our clients achieve their goals, develop their businesses and ultimately grow their wealth.  The affiliation meets bi-annually, traditionally in different locations in Australia with past conferences also being held in Singapore and Queenstown N.Z.

Our most recent 2 day conference was again held virtually.  Whilst we all miss seeing each other in person our virtual conference held via Zoom still afforded us with the opportunity to share experiences and continue to promote our commitment to the affiliation. Directors, Associates and Managers from Harris Black attended.

Day 1 gave us time to do some virtual networking with breakout rooms created to encourage discussions with new employees and old. Then we started the firm presentations, which saw each firm present on their COVID-19 experiences, successes and learning, and key growth areas from the last 12 months. It’s a great way to encourage reflection on key aspects of our businesses. Question/heckling time at the end of each presentation gave it a feel like we were together in spirit. Brendan Power presented on behalf of Harris Black and did us proud. Some might say that it was even the best presentation of the conference!  Granted we could be biased..

Thursday night saw the team from Harris Black come together for a lovely dinner at Alchemy at Eagle St Pier.

Day 2 saw us catch up with the remaining firms’ presentations and hear from them about their experiences through what was an incredibly challenging time to be in business. Chris Mandzufus, from Brentnalls WA, then lead the team through a Business & Leadership Reset. We reviewed the attributes of a good leader and in groups reflected on how, as individuals we could grow and learn for the benefit of ourselves and our firms.

This was a great forum for sharing our experiences from the last 12 months and we look forward at what we would like to achieve in the future. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we can be adaptable to change and even through adversity we can support one another to be successful!

How can we help you?

Today’s financial environment demands a regular review of strategy and a focus on execution.