Pro Business advice

Managing your business wellbeing in 2024

As we mark one year on from Cyclone Gabrielle affecting homes and businesses throughout the Hawke’s Bay, it’s an important time to take stock of how we have collectively coped and responded to challenges in 2023 and what we can do to manage business wellbeing in 2024.

The November 2023 BDO Business Wellbeing Index is one way to understand how the nation’s business leaders are feeling in the current climate. The Index is a biannual study of more than 500 business leaders and owners from across the New Zealand business sector and measures the impact of a wide range of factors influencing local business leaders. These measures include financial, economic, regulatory, environmental, and social.

The November edition of the Index showed that business finances continue to be the leading driver of negative wellbeing among New Zealand business leaders. Cash flow problems were reported as a leading contributor to negative wellbeing in business lives, along with external economic factors, supply chain issues, and workloads.

Facing financial challenges

As the leading driver of negative wellbeing among business leaders, financial performance is something every business leader will be considering this year. While they can be difficult to confront, financial challenges can often be addressed, especially when you have the right help at hand. We surround ourselves with experts in our daily lives; we see a doctor when we’re sick or hurt and we seek advice before making a big purchase.

The same premise should apply to cash flow problems and other financial challenges. Businesses should consider seeking advice and support on their business pressure points to gain a fresh perspective from industry experts who have a wide pool of resources to call upon. With the business landscape changing significantly in the last few years, now is an ideal time to work with your adviser to reconsider and refresh your business strategy, making sure it aligns with the reality of today’s operating conditions. This includes considering how the new Government’s proposed changes to tax policy and other legislation might impact your business.

An open and ongoing conversation with your accountant will help with this, keeping your business on top of any impending tax policy changes and giving you an understanding of how you can maximise the benefits these might bring.

The road ahead

There are many positives to take from the BDO Business Wellbeing Index. When reflecting on their wellbeing over a two-week period in October, NZ business leaders posted a record high Wellbeing Index score of 74 – up from 63 in the April 2023 report. There was also an increase in the percentage of business leaders expecting to feel positive about business performance in the six months following the survey.

These figures may show a growing sense of certainty among business leaders around economic policy following the General Election and hope of better market conditions ahead. It’s an optimistic time for some, and business leaders who find ways to harness this optimism may find opportunities ahead in 2024. With over 50 years of local business experience, BDO Hawke’s Bay has walked the walk when it comes to understanding and thriving in the local business market. Contact us to find out how you can prepare your business for a positive 2024.

BDO Hawke’s Bay are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. The firm is an independent member of BDO New Zealand and part of the global BDO network.

About Heather:

Heather Hallam is a Director with BDO. She has extensive experience assisting both small and medium sized entities with a wide range of audit and advisory services, particularly in the Tax and Advisory sectors. BDO Hawke’s Bay are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. The firm is an independent member of BDO New Zealand and part of the global BDO network.