18 Jan Small Business Planning – 7 New Year Tips for 2017
The problem faced by small business owners is that they tend to treat their business goals more as New Year resolutions, rather than a solid plan for the future. Since few of us actually keep our personal New Year resolutions, it is a much better idea to focus on business planning and accounting, rather on than on resolutions that are more wishes than goals.
For example, your New Year resolution could be to grow and expand your small business this year. However, without a plan to achieve this goal, it is unlikely that you will make much headway. On the other hand, with a business planning strategy under your belt, one that outlines a specific set of goals that are achievable and lays out strategies and steps to attain these outcomes, you have a much greater chance of achieving your goals and increasing your personal wealth by next New Year.
To this end, here are 7 tips that will help you kick-start your business planning sessions, focussing on growing your small business and increasing your personal and business wealth this year.
- Organise your finances: The first step in your New Year planning session is to get real about your business’s finances. Make a point of meeting regularly with your accounting firm, understand your taxes and GST, sort out your cash flow and know how much capital you actually have available for your small business to expand.
- Business audit: You need to know what is and what isn’t working in your business. So perform an audit that covers every aspect of your business and identify the areas that are not productive. Inefficiencies can easily go unnoticed for long periods of time, putting a strain on your finances and reducing your profits. Itemise all of your inefficiencies ready for the goal setting step.
- Reassess your target audience: Have the demographics of your customer base changed over the past 12 months? Do you expect it to change over the coming 12 months? Knowing your customers, their likes and dislikes, and even their goals, will help in retargeting your customer base more effectively.
- Select goals: Now is the time to select the goals for your small business in the New Year. You need to be realistic and make these goals achievable. For example, increase your sales by 10%, launch two new products by July, increase website visitors by 30%, outsource your accounting to a reliable firm, etc.
- Create strategies: Once you have your goals, you need to set out strategies to achieve these goals. You might well need a marketing plan to achieve for each of your goals, specifically aimed at your target audience or a subsection of them, breaking down each strategy into individual achievable steps. Alternatively, you might need to perform research to find new suppliers, tax agents, financial advisors or accountants, for example.
- Social media: If one of your goals is promotion, then one of the most effective ways to promote your small business is by using social media. So consider creating a Facebook page, Instagram account or even a Twitter account for your business, as one of your New Year A network of loyal online customers can help promote your business across their own social networks.
- Customer feedback: Make this New Year the time that you start really listening to your customers and including their feedback into your business planning Customer inputs can be invaluable in helping you to spot areas that need improving and are an excellent source of market research.
Personal resolutions are all well and good, but when it comes to small business planning, wealth creation and your finances, you need to become more proactive, setting goals and creating strategies that are achievable within a specified timeframe.
For help with accounting, budgeting, cash flow forecasting and strategic planning for small businesses, call Conrad Carlile on 07 3871 1522 or complete our online enquiry form.