Month: January 2024

Why you need to review your business continuity plan…

Your business doesn’t stand still and many changes will take place around you every single day.

Perhaps there are new rules and regulations being introduced that directly affect your business.

Or maybe there are shifts in the wider marketplace and economic landscape, which in turn change the needs, requirements and demands of your customers.

There may be internal changes happening too, such as a merger or takeover, key members of your team leaving or joining, or the launch of a new product or service that takes your company into new territory.

You’re likely to already have a business continuity plan in place, so you’re prepared if you’re hit with unexpected disruption or disaster, such as a fire on your premises,

But when was the last time you looked at it?

The last thing you want is to discover that when you actually need to put it into practice, it’s out of date and useless in your current situation.

So as your business develops and the landscape around you evolves, your business continuity plan needs to be updated accordingly, so you can be sure it’s fit for purpose should it ever be required.

Schedule times throughout the year, perhaps every three to six months, where you can ask yourself key questions and make changes to your business continuity plan if necessary.

For instance:

Does your plan name the right people, and take into account recent departures and hires?
Does each named person have clearly defined roles and responsibilities – and are they the best people for these particular jobs?
Has each named person been given relevant training? If so, was it a long time ago or in the last year?
Is your contact list for staff, clients and suppliers up to date?
Do your current tech recovery needs match what’s laid out in your plan?
Once your business continuity plan has been updated, you can then schedule a time to test it, so you can see how it works in practice. This gives you the opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses, and make further refinements to your plan if they’re needed.

It’s easy to sit back and think you’re ready for anything once you have drawn up a business continuity plan.

But it’s wrong to view it as something that’s set in stone.

Instead, it should be treated as a live document that evolves in line with changing business needs, customer demands and market conditions.

By reviewing it regularly and making sure it reflects your current needs and circumstances, you can be confident it will work for you should it ever need to be implemented, and that you’re in a strong position to keep trading even during a period of intense disruption.

How to get on top of your debts in 2024…

It’s easy to rack up all sorts of debts throughout life, from credit card balances and outstanding bills to personal and business loans.

While many will be manageable and barely register on your radar, they can collectively add up to quite a significant burden, and become a problem that slows down your progress to achieving true financial freedom.

So what practical steps can you take to reduce the burden of debt?

Assess your debt situation
Start by writing a list of all outstanding debts, how much you owe, the minimum monthly payments and the interest rates attached to each one.

If you’re able to take a look at the big picture, you’ll have more clarity over what needs to be done, the scale of the problem and how quickly you need to pay everything off.

Prioritise high-interest debts
High-interest debts will prove more costly over time, so it’s well worth paying these off first. Not only does this help you avoid huge interest accumulation, it also wipes out the most significant debts first and means you can focus your efforts elsewhere.

Create a realistic budget
You can only put together a debt repayment strategy that works if you have a clear idea of how much money you’ve got coming in and what you’re paying out on various day-to-day expenses.

Once you understand your starting position, you’ll be able to allocate a portion of your budget specifically for paying down debts, without compromising on other aspects of your life.

Speak with creditors
If you’re struggling to repay any particular debts, it could be well worth reaching out to creditors directly and negotiating with them. Letting them know you’re finding it hard to repay the money is far preferable to ignoring the issue and allowing it to get worse.

Simply being proactive and saying something can also assure creditors you’re acting in good faith and encourage them to offer more flexible, manageable payment terms.

Track your progress to stay motivated
Reducing your debt burden takes time, so it can be easy to lose motivation if you can’t see any measurable results.

It’s therefore well worth tracking your progress and celebrating any wins, both large and small, that may occur along the way.

Not only does it help you keep an eye on the outcome you’re working for, but it can give you the extra nudge you need to stick to the plan and hold yourself accountable.

Reduce your outgoings
Examine your spending habits and regular expenses to see where any savings could be made. Even if you can only save a small amount of money, reinvesting it into repaying debts could make a big difference to you in the longer term.

Get professional advice
If you don’t know where to start or want to put together a more detailed debt repayment plan, it could be well worth speaking to a professional, regulated financial adviser.

Consulting with an expert in this field can give you the confidence and peace of mind you need – and you can be sure the advice you’re given reflects your wider financial circumstances and goals.

If you want to speak with a specialist about reducing your debt burden, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to speak with you.

Financial new year’s resolutions for 2024…

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock and think about what you want to get out of life.

With that in mind, it’s a perfect opportunity to look again at your financial goals, and get into good habits that help you work towards these outcomes.

So what realistic steps can you take to maximise your financial wellbeing and make sure you’re on course to achieve your long-term objectives?

Commit to regular financial check-ups
Your financial situation and wider circumstances will evolve over time, so make sure you assess your net worth, cash flow and overall financial stability every few months.

A professional, regulated financial adviser will be well-placed to help you review your financial health, and can help you revise your financial strategy in a way that aligns with your current situation, priorities and ambitions.

Refine your investment portfolio
Take a fresh look at your existing holdings and consider whether they align with your current goals and risk tolerance.

It may be that now is a good time to look at new opportunities or diversify into different asset classes, sectors and markets.

Assess your retirement plans
You want to do more in retirement than simply make ends meet, so assess your retirement plans to make sure you’re on course to live the kind of lifestyle you want in the future.

For example, could you afford to pay a bit more into your pension scheme? Are you taking full advantage of the tax benefits that come with pension saving?

Taking the right steps to maximise your pension saving now could pay off handsomely in later life, as you’ll benefit from greater compound growth.

Again, a financial planner will be able to help you and suggest strategies that could set you up for a happy, fulfilling and financially secure retirement.

Review outstanding debts
Take a look at any existing debts so you can manage them in the most efficient way possible. For instance, you could prioritise paying down high-interest debts, so you ultimately end up paying less in the long run.

At the same time, you could try to prevent getting into unnecessary debt where possible, perhaps by committing to using your credit card more responsibly.

Review and update your estate plan
As your financial situation and overall circumstances change over time, it’s important to update your estate plan accordingly, so it reflects your current situation, assets and wishes for the future.

Don’t overlook your mental health
Money is one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety, so getting on top of your finances is one of the best ways to protect your mental health.

If you know that your financial strategy accurately reflects your current circumstances and that you’re on course to achieve your financial goals, you’ll be better able to focus on what makes you happy and enjoy your life.

Our financial planners are here to help you get into good habits and advise you on how you can maximise your wealth in 2024.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of specialists and we’ll be happy to speak with you.