Try our New Year resolutions

The Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 aims to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland's natural larder. Picture: PA
The Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 aims to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland's natural larder. Picture: PA
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The Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 is a Scottish Government initiative which aims to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural larder. As business activity gathers upward momentum, the turn of the year presents the perfect opportunity to consider some New Year business resolutions.

So here are our top seven resolutions to mull over:

1. Undertake a strategic review – it is imperative that you have a strategy in place that considers: where the business stands at present; what are its short- and medium-term goals and what steps are required in order to achieve these goals.

2. Human Resource – consider if you have the right people in place to work with you in achieving your objectives and to run your business. Do you have the right incentives in place to ensure you retain and develop your team? Good people are a real asset to any business. Have you addressed succession?

3. Structure – do you have the correct business structure in place to enable your stakeholders to achieve their objectives? If, for example, a business owner is seeking an exit, is the business organised to achieve this?

4. Funding – consider the various options available to fund your business; e.g. bank loans, venture capital, business angels and crowdfunding. Are there grants available?

5. Tax – review your tax arrangements with a view to maximising the opportunities emerging from recent and planned changes in the rules. Business changes provide either tax-saving opportunities or pitfalls. It is worth taking specialist advice.

6. Flexibility – be prepared to adapt your business to dynamic market conditions by, for example, reviewing the potential for production efficiencies and opportunities for cost savings offered by the introduction of management techniques such as lean manufacturing.

7. Marketing – make sure to exploit marketing opportunities presented by the Year of Food and Drink 2015 to differentiate your offering from the competition and to consider export markets. Think about how you can add value to your product or service.

• Paula Galloway and Ann Somerville are heads of audit and tax at Scottish Food & Drink member French Duncan Chartered Accountants LLP