When the fireworks come to a much needed end early on January 1, the real work begins for those who are setting New Year's resolutions. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business's progress over the past year and plan how you want your business to develop. Are you happy where your business is as the clock counts down the hours left in 2017? Not sure? There is room for improvement in every business, and the New Year is a great time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Once you've identified what could use some work, create a resolution and make a conscious effort to achieve it.
Need some New Year's resolution inspiration? These New Year's resolutions are designed to help you increase your business success in the new year.
Revaluate Your Business Plan.
One of the most important requirements for any entrepreneur is a business plan; not one that lives in their head or one that is stuck to the coffee rings on your desk- but a living business plan. If you have never written one, now is the perfect time to do so.If you're a little lost or feel overwhelmed, don't worry, WESST or SCORE have what you need to get started. If your business plan is in a drawer, take it out, read it and update it accordingly. Without a business plan, your business is essentially rudderless and you run the risk of not focusing on the key activities that need to be undertaken to bring you success.
Update Your Marketing Strategy
Despite the wisdom and many benefits of creating a rock-solid marketing plan, virtually all marketing plans contains the same flaw: They're written to cover a year-long period, but in inevitably, circumstances change, sometimes dramatically, during those 12 months. And many of those changes are significant enough to render some or all of your beautifully crafted plan incorrect or obsolete. No plan is perfect. No matter how solid your assumptions are and how thorough you are in putting together your plan, expect to make adjustments as you learn more. Reviewing your plan on a regular basis is so critical to your success that you should schedule review dates.
Tidy Up Your Vendor & Client Lists
Every business strives to maintain a quality client list, i.e. individuals that come in regularly and engage with the brand. Quality lists give various cues to business owners on how to improve their business strategies. When businesses improve how they operate, they prepare themselves for growth. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses maintain a quality contact list. Patterns among your list can reveal important factors which can be used in future campaigns. For instance, if customers prefer to be notified by text instead of email, simple adjustments can be made to send campaigns via SMS, and vice versa. Before owners can analyze and adjust their campaigns, businesses must first begin building their customer contact lists. Build a robust list by registering customers’ contact information using their phone number and/or email. Streamline capturing numerous leads by using in-person and online means to collect client information. Remind customers of the benefits included with adding themselves to your list. Use simple signup methods and contact forms to facilitate the process of collecting a quality list.
Automate Business Practices
Currently a significant portion of you time may be taken up with repetitive tasks such as answering customer questions. To address this specific problem, make a plan to make YouTube videos that answer the most frequently asked questions you receive. The ultimate goal is to implement processes and solutions that can free up more of your schedule so you have time to work on scaling and growing your business, not just maintaining.
New Year: New Budget
A new year is a new chance to get your business’s finances back on track. Financial forecasting isn’t always easy, but it’s an integral part of managing revenue and expenses throughout the year. First, it’s important to determine what financial goals you’d like to meet in 2018. This should include both immediate goals, like paying off debts, and long-term goals, such as expanding a product line. No matter your goals, you’re going to face risks. These risks have the potential to impact your business’s bottom line. Define them at the start of the year to more accurately plan for your company’s fiscal future. Does your business function on a project-to-project basis? If so, you already understand that every deal is different. The variety can make work more interesting, but it also makes budgeting difficult. Always budget a bit above your anticipated expenses to ensure you’re prepared. It’s great to create an annual budget, but don’t hesitate to review and revise periodically. For small businesses in particular, it can be difficult to predict expenses and revenue. Revisit your budget every two months or so to make adjustments as needed.
Unfortunately, life happens — even in business. If your budget veers off course, you can count on the experts of Business Solutions by Design for creative bookkeeping services that allow you to effectively run and grow your business while we handle the hard stuff. To learn more, give us a call at 505.259.4523.
Do More with Your Social Media Presence
As a small business owner, you probably have social media accounts but lack the time or resources to utilize them effectively. You might have a great social presence, but ultimately look at your sites and decide if you want to be more integral to your social marketing strategy. You want your customers or followers to feel engaged on your social pages, as well as see them as a place where they can stay informed on your brand. Rather than them being a place for sterile updates and announcements, in 2018, make it a goal for your social media to be a social hub for clients, friends and followers alike.
Maintain Your Prices
Making changes to your product’s pricing is almost always a difficult decision. Whether it’s an increase or a decrease, changes in cost can have a jarring effect on both you and your consumers. That’s why it is incredibly important to change your pricing sparingly and to be sure that your decision is based on good and valid reasons.
Sometimes, businesses will lower prices in place of having an actual marketing strategy or campaign. Have enough confidence in what your company sells not to lower your price in an effort to win business. Of course, if the price changes are in response to industry-wide trends or your direct competition, lowering prices can be a necessity. But this year, resolve to focus on prospects that value the way your company solves issues for them and don’t mind paying for it.
It can be difficult to make the choice to increase or decrease prices, but it’s often necessary in order for your business to stay competitive. If your end goal is long-term business success, it’s best to spend time examining your pricing and ensuring that you’re offering the best product or service at the best price that you and your customers can afford.