Your small business survived another year. It might have been touch and go at times or you might have experienced relatively solid growth. No matter, the year is done, a new one has begun, and you are looking for ways to increase your edge in a competitive market. The following seven strategies can help you take your enterprise to higher level this year.
1. Put the spotlight on your existing customers.
There is nothing finer for a healthy business than repeat customers. Your loyal contingent of purchasers are people you can count on. That is, if you do not take them for granted. Endeavor to improve client relations and build out your business through your existing customer base. It is so much easier for businesses to keep their current customers than to try to win new ones.
2. Reach out to people that can help you.
You cannot do everything alone. This year, make a point to ask others for help. If handling the books yourself is too stressful, then contract a bookkeeper. Marketing can be a significant issue for any business, something you must not neglect. Instead of pouring your time into social media and other avenues for publicizing your work, turn that responsibility over to someone else. Establish this year as the year that you concentrate on what matters most, leaving the rest in capable hands.
3. Perform a personal health check up.
You have been working diligently to keep your business going strong, but what happens if you get sick? Are you in danger of becoming seriously ill? Set an appointment with your physician for a complete physical. If you need to lose weight, then do so. If you aren’t getting enough exercise, then begin a doctor-approved regimen. Do not put your appointment off — the health of your business depends largely on the health of your person.
4. Review your financial outlook.
The vision you have for your business can be profoundly, even adversely affected by its financial health. Review your profit and loss statements, meet with an accountant and examine your budget. Do you have sufficient funds for the months ahead? Are your expenses under control? Have your suppliers been raising their rates? Your perspective may be obscured by unforeseen variables, problems you can uncover by concentrating on the same.
5. Learn more this year.
Learning should be a regular part of your life. If you are busy, however, it is tempting to delay taking classes, attending seminars or otherwise participating in training. Your business, your field and your competitors are always changing. Resolve to avoid stagnation by taking a course or two to help you cultivate learning.
6. Control your time.
“Time and tide wait for no man,” said Geoffrey Chaucer. You will either go with the flow or find a way to manage your time to the best of your abilities. Require yourself to get your invoices out to customers sooner rather than later. Review your financial statements as soon as they are produced. Become more active rather than reactive in the new year. Possess a sense of urgency for yourself, for your business and to help your employees stay focused.
7. Consider your exit strategy.
There will come a day when you will no longer be doing what you do. You may retire, pass away or turn over the reigns of your business to your offspring. That day is inevitable — how you approach it is entirely up to you. Nevertheless, you must make a plan to reach your goals, whatever they may be. If you have not contributed to your retirement account in several years, then do so right now. Meet with a financial planner to discuss your later years, your goals and how to reach them.
You can win the campaign this year by revisiting your business plan and updating same. Furthermore, by carefully following a daily schedule you can benefit your business too, enabling you to tackle those assignments that simply cannot wait. Avoid procrastination, make the difficult choices, and go through this year with a renewed confidence that you are in it for the long haul.