End of Financial Year (EOFY) has always been a tough time for small to medium size enterprises.
A recent EOFY report published by the Bank of Queensland showed more than a third of small business owners say the end of financial year is the most stressful time of the year. Of the 520 small business owners surveyed, 37.8 per cent said this time of year is particularly stressful. There are many types of stress which vary from business to business across all industries but here are the top 4 from the BOQ study.
Almost half of those surveyed say that having too much administration and paperwork makes this time of year particularly stressful. One in five say the pressure of hitting sales targets was the key contributor to end of financial year strain. Consider automating as many tasks as possible to reduce the time and effort for management and staff. Have a deep dive into your systems and processes and look to remove any that don’t deliver any value. Also re-design any that are sub-optimal so that they add value rather than cost in terms of time or money.
- PROFIT CUTS
Of those surveyed one in 10 said their main source of stress was the expectation by customers for heavily discounted goods or services. This caused 23 per cent to worry that they’ll lose profit. Planning well ahead will ensure stock levels are controlled efficiently and hopefully avoid discounting at end of year.
- WORK – LIFE OUT OF BALANCE
For 30 per cent of small business owners their source of stress stems from having little time to spend with family and friends. The feeling of isolation when you can’t speak to those you love about your business problems can be crippling. Open up the lines of communication as much as you can and seek professional help if you need to. The teams at LifelineLifeline 131 114 and Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 are fantastic people who help hundreds of Australians each day with counselling on personal and business matters.
- ACCOUNTING UNREADINESS
The survey found 62.5 per cent of small business owners dread and worry about the end of the financial year. 31 per cent admitting it’s because their accounts aren’t up to date. This is exacerbated by the fact 18.3 per cent don’t think they have the right support in place to manage tax time. A good accountant can add so much value to businesses struggling with admin work. Getting finance and tax matters under control should be a major target for all operations. Getting things right at the start of the financial year saves major headaches come tax time.
The research highlighted that while end of financial year is a particularly stressful time for small business owners the issue of emotional well-being in the sector is ongoing, with more than one in 10 admitting to having suffered depression or anxiety as a result of running their business. Don’t suffer in silence – start talking with people you are close to and get professional help before things get worse.