As 2017 draws to a close, and a new year rapidly approaches, it can be a crucial time for reflection and planning for business owners. Here are five key things all business owners should do to ensure continued growth and success for the year ahead.
1. Establish where you are
It is important to assess where your business currently stands. You should look at your accounts, to determine your current financial position. You should take stock of all equipment, operating stock and other assets, and establish what needs fixing or replacing. You should also look at any staff you have, and get a feel for whether you have any gaps in your team. Know exactly where you are starting from for the upcoming year.
2. Reflect on lessons learned
Next, you should begin reflecting on the past 12 months and examine your successes and failures. It is vital to know where strategies and actions have worked, so you can repeat them, and most importantly it is vital to recognize and understand where things went wrong. By examining failures, you can figure out why they occurred, ensure they don’t occur again and find a better way going forward.
3. Identify opportunities for growth
Take some time to perform market research. Talk to your customers, and to your staff. Find opportunities for growth so you can work towards incorporating these into your business. Perhaps your customers have been asking for you to add an additional, related service to your business, or your staff has had an idea for a new product range which will help solve your customers’ pain points. If you see or hear about a gap in the market – research it and see if your business can fill it.
4. Define your business goals for 2018
Having a set of goals for your business for 2018 will help guide you towards growth and success. Business goals generally start off high level, but you might also like to break each high-level goal down into smaller, shorter-term goals for your business to achieve. Potential goals might be financial, i.e., achieving a certain level of sales or turnover, or a goal might be to conquer a new market or develop a new product range.
Having a clear set of goals gives you and your staff something definitive to work towards, and keeps everyone on the same page.
5. Figure out what you need to achieve your goals
Once you have decided upon your goals for the year, you will need to figure out how you are going to make them happen. Any roadblocks or challenges need constructive solutions. Ensure you have all the resources and tools in place to reach your goals. This may mean hiring, re-arranging or upskilling staff, buying a new piece of equipment, or upgrading computer software. Financial constraints might require a new investment or cash-flow strategy.
By completing these five steps, you will be well placed to hit the ground running the second your business re-opens after the Christmas break. However, if business planning just isn’t your forte, and you’re struggling to see the way forward, Hart Partners are here to help.
We invite you to call our dedicated Hart Partners team on 03 9600 3220 to see how we can help drive your 2018 business success.
* * * Disclaimer: No person should act on the general information in this article without taking specific advice from a qualified advisor. * * *