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Small Medium Enterprises

How to wrap your business up with a nice little bow for year-end

Ah, the end of the year. It’s time for holiday promotions, boosted sales (hopefully), and year-end preparations. If you don’t prepare for the end of the year and follow a checklist, you’ll probably find yourself burning the candle at both ends.

Coming from an experienced business owner, it’s never too early to start preparing for the year-end. Get a jump start on your year-end checklist and avoid stress by learning how to wrap up your business.

1. Complete End-Of-The-Year Reviews

The end of the year is a great time to review how well your team worked together. But, how can you see that? Cue performance review time.

Year-end is one of the best times of the year to hold performance reviews. You can discuss employees’ accomplishments from the year as well as goals they hope to reach in the new year. Not to mention, performance evaluations give you the opportunity to find out how your employees are feeling. Listen to your employees’ concerns and let them know their opinions matter.

2. Update Your Payroll Records

If you want to start on the right foot in the new year, you need to have all of your employee information organized. So, what does this mean for your business, you ask? Well, this means you need to get your payroll records in order before the year-end.

As an employer, it’s your duty to make sure everything is straight with your payroll records before tax time rolls around. Otherwise, it could cause a plethora of payroll problems for both you and your employees.

You can use payroll software to simplify the process and take the load off of your shoulders. If you opt to handle payroll yourself, be sure to handle tasks like:

  • Verifying employee wages, benefits, and deductions
  • Checking employment tax rates (they tend to change annually)
  • Making sure you recorded all paychecks
  • Recording year-end bonuses and payments.

The sooner you start, the better. When the new year starts, you’ll have even more on your plate, so it’s best that you get a head start on the end-of-the-year payroll process.

3. Tidy Up Your Accounting Books

If you want your accounting books to be in tip-top shape for the new year, take some time to organize your books and business receipts.

Keeping your books nice and tidy is an essential part of staying up-to-date for income tax season. And let’s face it, no business owner wants to be scrambling at the last minute (or maybe that’s just me).

Here are just a few of the things you should be doing at year-end to get your books in order:

  • Gather financial statements
  • Count and cross-check inventory
  • Organize business receipts
  • Reconcile bank accounts

To simplify your year-end accounting process even further, you can organize from the get-go (aka stay organized the entire year) or use accounting software to track financial information.

4. Review Your Business and Marketing Plans

Remember those goals you set at the end of last year in your business and marketing plans (and hopefully looked at throughout the year)? It’s time to revisit those goals you set and see where you stand.

Take a look at your business and marketing plans and review your year. Did you meet the goals you listed in your plans? Or, did you fall short somewhere?

If you didn’t reach your goals, use the end of the year to rethink your strategies and start fresh. Update your plans if you’ve had major changes to your business throughout the course of the year.

Remember, nobody’s perfect. Chances are, you’re going to have a few goals you didn’t reach. And that’s OK! Find out why you didn’t reach certain goals during the year and make it your mission to check it off your list in the new year.

5. Set Goals For The New Year

If you want to grow your business during the new year, you need to have a plan and set reachable business goals.

When the year starts to come to a close, set aside time to think about what goals you want to reach in the upcoming year. Some goals your small business might have for the new year include:

  • Opening a second business location
  • Making X sales in the first quarter
  • Hiring additional employees
  • Expanding your offerings

Your goals can be large (e.g., remodeling your store) or small (e.g., cleaning out your filing cabinet). When thinking about your goals, just make sure they’re attainable. Don’t set goals that you clearly can’t reach within the next year.

Based on your goals, build an action plan and timeline. Your action plan will help you stay on track and give you a timeline to complete said goals.

6. Do A Little Relaxing

Last but not least, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack at year-end. You’re a busy business owner, but that doesn’t mean you have to work your butt off 24/7.

According to one source, a whopping 70% of small business owners do not see a holiday as a vacation from work. Trust me when I say this is one statistic you do not want to fall into.

The best gift you can give yourself (and your family and friends) is your presence. So, attend that holiday party. Bake those cookies with your kids. Hang out with your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to kick back, relax, and spend some quality time with the people you care about the most.

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5 Tips for Expanding Business to Indonesia

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy with a GDP of $888 billion (based on ppp), ranking 10th in the world and averaging over 5% growth over the last decade. In the last 18 months, growth has slowed to below 5% and is projected by the World Bank to be 4.7% for 2015. President Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”) took office in October 2014 and has pledged to improve infrastructure and reduce barriers to doing business in Indonesia as a means to increase the country’s GDP growth rate to 7% by 2017.

Over the past decade Indonesia has enjoyed steady economic growth, though less than needed to pull the country into upper middle-income status, and the rate of growth is slowing.  Sound macroeconomic policies, combined with growing domestic demand and high commodity prices, propelled economic expansion in recent years, but protectionist policies, corruption at all levels of government, poor infrastructure, weak rule of law, and labor rigidity have taken their toll.

The business environment in Indonesia can be challenging, with Indonesia ranked 114 out of 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business 2015 report by the World Bank. U.S firms can encounter complex bureaucratic and regulatory requirements which make it time-consuming to enter the market.

On that note, here are five tips for Foreign SMEs looking to expand to Indonesia.

“Please come and invest in Indonesia, if you have any problem, call me”. – President Joko Widodo on World Economic Forum 2015. Source: AP Images

 

1. Have a local contact who knows your industry

The successful overseas businesses that have entered Indonesia in recent years have generally recruited local entrepreneurs to tap into their experience in the Indonesian market.

The Indonesian market can be very confusing for a lot of foreign investors when they first arrived. Although improving, significant rule-of-law issues persist. It can be conflicting like Indonesia has begun to implement local content requirements that prevent some foreign products from being sold in Indonesia.

What’s best for any company is to either have a local contact with good experience in their industry in Indonesia, or to partner up with a local company who already has the business connections or management skills. It will really helped in order to find new clients and navigate the unique challenges of the local market.

2. Don’t take the large population for granted

One of the biggest dangers for overseas businesses looking to invest in Indonesia is being overly optimistic about how successful they’ll be because of the large population.

250 million Indonesians sounds big, but a lot of people don’t realize that it’s a very fragmented market because of geography. Most of the population is concentrated on the island of Java, but there are also big population centers in Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Local market dynamics also present obstacles to foreign investors taking advantage of the large consumer base. Domestic firms have a pretty strong influence right across Indonesia, and the government still looks to protect Indonesian small businesses from foreign competition.

In one of these measures, the minimum total investment before SMEs can do business in Indonesia is IDR 10,000,000,000 (ten billion Rupiah). 25% of total investment, i.e. IDR 2,500,000,000, shall be injected as equity and the remaining balance may be injected as shareholder loan.

While attracting foreign investment is a priority, SMEs currently planning to expand to Indonesia will need to be savvy with the investment they make.

3. Navigating geography

Part of this savviness is in deciding where to set up shop. Most of foreign SMEs have chosen to manage their Indonesian operations in Jakarta because, it’s where the big money is.

But this presents challenges for businesses whose product or services need space, such as agriculture. Navigating geography is a key skill of entrepreneurs with this type of business.

Being close to the decision-makers and clients is important, and most of them are in Jakarta, but sometimes those decision-makers are influenced by people on the ground.

Logistics can also be a problem because Indonesian infrastructure and service networks have not been developed the best at this point. Thus it is really important to know where your market is, consider travel costs and distribution channels to make sure your costs don’t blow out.

4. Build good relationships with your overseas staff

A key point to come out is how Indonesians value foreigners insights. Take the goodwill of Indonesian people at face value. Some of the companies that already in Indonesia have strong cross-cultural training programs in Indonesia and overseas, said that Indonesian staff appreciated working for foreign companies.

5. Be aware, but not put off, by politics

While diplomatic problems may occur  or defined some countries’ recent relationship with Indonesia, the small businesses exporting to Indonesia has remained consistent.

There’s no reason why this shouldn’t also be the case for businesses who establish a physical presence here. SMEs would be aware of those political factors definitely, but the business activity doesn’t really drop off. There’s a lot of exporters doing really well in Indonesia, and some of the companies have their rates of return are high compared to China and India.

 

How We Can Help

Established in 2010, FMB Consultant is a management consultancy that provides you, multidimensional services at most on financial, management, and branding. FMB Consultant works with a high-knowledge team leading in tax administration, legal company (PT PMA) establishment, business plan, financial planning and regular book-keeping. FMB Consultant has handled majority clients from national, multinational, to international companies cross-industries.

Media contact:

Ivan Liyanto, Managing Partner, ivan@fmbconsultant.com  +62 899-6777-879

 

 

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