It’s a brand new year, and for small business owners, the first two or three months are an excellent time to review and renew everything about your business by going back to basics.
Below, we outline five tips that will help set the stage for a year of financial prosperity:
Review your business plan:
Most functioning businesses have a business plan; a statement of your goals, the reasons why they are achievable and your strategies for achieving them. Reviewing this plan will highlight where you succeeded in the last year, show what areas still need work, and can also inspire new targets and thinking.
Examine your books:
Looking at last year’s financial records can have many benefits in the year ahead. You can:
accurately plan your cash flow and set realistic milestones by identifying which months were busy and which were quiet;
decide whether there are suppliers who can provide stock on consignment or others with whom you can extend payment; and
tighten your accounts policy to ensure late payers don’t burden your cash flow.
Examine your 2015 sales figures:
Consider increasing stock of items that were popular in 2015 and vice versa. If the popular items sell well once again, it may be worthwhile asking your supplier for a bulk discount.
Think about marketing:
Many small business owners feel constrained by budget when it comes to marketing, but there are many affordable ways to promote a business and its products or services; the internet, Twitter and Facebook are all easy, inexpensive ways to do so.
Study industry trends:
To stay competitive, it’s always a good idea to research trends that are picking up in your industry. Look at:
what your competitors are doing well;
the product mix in the market to determine if yours can compete; and
what is happening globally that could affect your industry.
Managing a small business is no easy task; each year brings with its own set of challenges, but owners can steer their business towards success with the right set of tips and tools.