Love them or hate them, a New Year’s resolution can be a chance to start afresh and revitalise your business. Concern around your financial position is acceptable in today’s climate, but almost two years into the pandemic, we are no longer in unknown territory. A reluctance to plan too far in advance is understandable, but opportunities to expand and succeed do exist.
Our team shares their insights and learnings from the past two years, and their advice on getting ahead early in the coming year.

Embrace New Opportunity
Today’s uncertainty does not automatically mean new avenues and business opportunities are off the table. Challenge can, in fact, inspire a new way of doing things that may improve ways of working long after the pandemic is over. Embrace the New Year as a chance to seriously consider fresh ideas, whatever your plans for the year ahead may be.
Head of Tax, Angela Keery said: “Whatever your plans are for the year ahead, whether that be an acquisition, sale, share scheme, expansion or diversification, the experts can work through issues with you and ensure that you have the information to achieve your objectives in the most tax efficient and compliant way.”

Take Time to Consider Your Position
Businesses have withstood an unprecedented level of upheaval in the past two years. The world of work has been altered forever, and many companies have seen their ways of working completely transformed. As we edge our way towards recovery, Consulting Partner Donal Laverty suggests that the ultimate purpose and goal of your company must remain at the centre of the decision-making process.
“Covid put an end to any sense of belonging and predictability we thought we knew,” Donal explains. “This left leaders with structures no longer defined by the physical space they occupy, but rather by their ultimate end product or service. Organisations therefore need to sit tight and let things stabilise, in order to understand their critical levers for change and put in place that all important forward plan.”

Look to the Future
There is no doubt the past two years have presented challenges, but, we have also seen many success stories. In Northern Ireland, our business owners are innovative, pragmatic, and have shown they can adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.
“2022 has the potential to bring more business opportunities and success for local companies,” says Business Services Partner Stephen McConnell. “Approach the New Year by setting a plan in place to manage any debts, explore where you may need to invest, and examine any areas where things could be more efficient.”

Learn from 2021
In times of uncertainty, reflecting on previous challenges is essential. Business owners could not foresee the full impacts of Covid-19, but they can learn from it this time around. Prioritising and managing your cashflow is vital, according to Restructuring and Insolvency Partner Darren Bowman.

Darren advises: “We know from experience that solutions to almost every business challenge or issue do exist. Company infrastructures have transformed completely in response to the pandemic, and the past two years have seen periods of both financial instability and fast recovery and growth. To avoid getting into danger, identify pressures on your cashflow as early as possible and seek advice at that time, in order to maximise your options for recovery.”

Beware of Fraud
The online space continues to dominate many business activities and areas. As this grows, however, criminals grow more sophisticated in fraudulent attempts. Take this time to ensure your company’s files and customer data is stored securely, advises Senior Manager Debra Moore-McDevitt.
“Never let your guard down against fraud. Moving into 2022, it’s important to be vigilant online and use only trusted suppliers and online sites. An audit of your stored employee and customer details is a good use of time, and a responsible way to start the year knowing that all details are safe, secure and protected.”

Seek Expert Advice, Early
No matter the goal or challenge, professional support and advice is widely available to help navigate challenges. Eimear Brown, Head of Audit, finds that the most important step you can take for your business is to seek trusted advice, and seek it early.
Eimear suggests: “Too often, I see brilliant, entrepreneurial businesspeople seek expert advice too late in the day. It is important, in all your business endeavours to trust your instincts and give new ideas and opportunities the quality consideration they deserve. My advice in 2022 would be to always involve your advisors early and trust us to support you through every step of the process.”

Speak to us if there is any aspect of your business you want to develop in 2022.