It’s that time of the year again when the phrase, ‘new year…new me’ gets overused. When many draw up new year resolutions that never see the light of the day. While you strive to be a better you, you should also take steps to build an even better Business.
2017 came with all its challenges. Some businesses survived, some didn’t. Some others failed and are still pushing. A new year is another opportunity for a fresh start.
Here are 7 tips to help you set the right foundation for a successful business year:
How did your business fair in 2017? What worked and what didn’t? What are those steps you took that made the year a success, and what led to failure? Look at your numbers (revenue, profit margins, and other KPIs), Trends, and lessons learned.
Document everything. Avoid having to re-learn the lessons by tracking evidence of what works, what doesn’t, and why. An impeccable record of your history is the best way to prepare for your future.
Revisit Your Business Plan
If it has been a while since you examined this critical document, now’s the time to get to it. Review it to ensure it’s still aligned with your current company goals. Change what needs changing. And if you never had one, it’s time to develop one.
There are free apps you can use to develop free business plans. One of such is – www.enloop.com.
Review Your Goals
What do you want your business to achieve in 2018? Be SMART, set goals rather than make resolutions. Especially in business, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution. Resolutions are things you keep, goals are things you attain.
You resolve to increase your CSR activities. Your goal is to be among the top 3 in our industry by the end of the year. Nearly all successful business owners use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals to achieve their goals.
Look at Trends
Year in, year out, new trends emerge and smart business jump on them to their advantage. One increasing popular trend is the use of chat bots. Businesses are using chat bots to increase their customer service game, and to make the buying process a lot easier for customers.
What can you learn from this? How can you position your business to take advantage of this trend? What other trends are occurring in the world or your industry that can help you to succeed?
Plan Your Marketing Efforts
Marketing is an integral part of every business. It can be incredibly useful, especially if your goal this year is to increase awareness and gain more customers. Once you kick-off Marketing activities for the year, it can look really overwhelming, and seem like it’s draining your finances.
To avoid this, plan your marketing ahead. Put together a marketing budget and explore advertising opportunities. Review what worked in previous years, and drop all others that didn’t yield results.
You have to get smarter to be ahead of your competitors. Make this happen by increasing your reading time. Read industry blogs, books, magazines, and anything else you can get your hands on to be on top of the trends in your industry.
Find out what your competitors are doing, take courses that would improve your knowledge, ask questions, attend events network and gain new contacts. All of these knowledge would arm you with resources needed to make your business stand out.
Put Your Finances in Order
Did you have a red account at the end of 2017? Were you at any point of the year running helter skelter looking for finance to keep sailing? Then your finance is not in order, and it’ll repeat itself in 2018 if you don’t take the right steps.
Look at what your businesses is costing you. Is there a less expensive way to operate? Can you have more people working remotely? Do you need a physical office? Accurate answers to these questions should be used to map out a financial forecast for the forthcoming year and create a budget. Ensure this forecast is realistic to gain maximum benefit.
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