New Year – New Business!
Use the festive break to plan out how your business is set to grow in 2011 and set out some attainable new business resolutions.
The quieter spell over the festive period is when most business owners can escape the workplace and take time to reflect on what they want to achieve in 2011 for their business.
In between your Christmas pudding and the queen’s speech jot down some ideas of how you’d like to see your business grow and change next year. This could be as simple as changing the window display at your retail outlet to deciding to go live with a website. Get your creative juices flowing whilst you are not tied up in the detail of actually running the business for a few days.
Then, before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December take some serious time out to look at strategic planning for your business. Now is the perfect time to look at your company’s financials.
Planning for 2011 means growing your business so set out an achievable growth target – whether this is 5 or 20 per cent choose a target that is comfortable for you. Decide how you are going to reach this target – will you introduce new product lines, increase current prices or make some savings on the basic materials you use?
Next, tackle the elements of the business that bother you. What key issues have been stumbling blocks for you in 2010 and how can you avoid them in 2011? Is there something which could be improved or stopped immediately? Do you need more training and investment in staff or a faster response to customer complaints?
On the flip side look at what has worked well during the year and what you should do more of. Which marketing campaigns worked well for you and which gave greater ROI? Think about the elements of your business that you enjoy and often this is where you will find your profit.
Even if you are a sole trader you will have some support in terms of a bank manager or business advisor. Think of ways in which you can get other people to help you achieve your 2011 goals. Can you partner with a like-minded business to produce joint marketing materials? If you are renting a unit can your landlord do more to drum up business for you? Do you know a supplier who can source you better quality materials or low-cost basics? Does your business advisor know of any potential partners or customers that would work well for you in the New Year?
Investing time over the next few weeks to look at all your business factors, targets, accountable parties, initiatives, structural changes, timelines, measures and milestones adds up to a strategic plan for 2011 and an exciting fresh approach for your business. Cheers!