Is your business ready to take on the New Year? As things slow down at Christmas, it’s the perfect opportunity to think about how you’re going to support and grow your business in the New Year. And it doesn’t have to be hard work – here are our top business planning tips for beginners and small businesses alike.
Your New Year business resolutions
It’s easier than you think to make business resolutions that you can stick to, and that make a real difference to how your business performs in the future. The trick is to set your goals, make them realistic and put in sensible ways of measuring your progress. This applies to any goal you set – whether it’s people, product, service, overhead or growth oriented.
Make a business plan
Your business should have a plan for at least the year ahead. It doesn’t need to be complicated or covered in facts and figures, but it does need to set out the things you are going to achieve and how you are going to achieve them.
You may already have a business plan, in which case, all you need to do is check that it is still accurate and relevant to your business as it stands. Where things need updating, or additions need to be made, you can do this quickly, giving you a solid starting point.
It’s worth remembering that if you’re looking for any form of business loan or investment, you’ll need a business plan to take to your potential investor, so it’s always worth having one in place.
Look at savings
Making your business more profitable isn’t just about increasing your prices or getting more customers; it’s about looking at where savings can be made as well. For example, could you change to lower-cost suppliers? Could you switch your utilities provider and save money? Could you outsource some tasks to a third party, such as a local virtual assistant, to make better use of your own time? Or you could use the product sourcing services of a virtual assistant company to help find those lower-cost suppliers?
Switch on your marketing
It’s a good idea to review your marketing plan – which should sit alongside your business plan as a way of ensuring you can reach your goals. You might want to investigate new ways of reaching your target customers – perhaps add a social media channel, or switch to email marketing, or consider Google Adwords. Whilst new marketing opportunities might look time consuming, a virtual assistant can help your business to handle its marketing strategy and management cost effectively and with great results. If you are thinking of using a virtual assistant for marketing plan support, have a look at our virtual assistant marketing support services.
Update your technology
Are you making the most of the tools that can help your business run more smoothly? It might be time that you invested in software to help you manage your finances, for example, or a CRM system that makes it easy for you to keep in touch with your customers and analyse their buying habits. It might be as simple as upgrading your phone system, or investing in a couple of tablets so that your sales people can make professional presentations to clients. The right technology can make all the difference. If you are thinking of investing in new technology some of these articles may prove useful:
- Choosing the right small business CRM solution
- How to choose the best small business bookkeeping software
- How to choose the best free web collaboration tools for your small business
Getting the right people on board
If it’s currently just you in your business, you might be wondering if this is the year you need to hire some people to help. Whether it’s administrative support, a marketing resource or a dedicated sales person, deciding to hire someone is a big decision. It’s true that businesses need the right people to grow, and finding those people takes time and money. For those tasks you can outsource rather than having the expense of hiring it, it’s worth looking at the options. From apprentices to part-time workers to independent virtual assistants, look for ways you can get the help you need without paying more than you can afford.
Get started now!
Taking the time to look ahead to the New Year means you’ll hit the ground running when you get back to the office after the Christmas break. You’ll feel refreshed, you’ll have plans, goals and strategies for your business, and you’ll know where to go to find the help and support you need. Use our business planning tips for beginners and business owners to help you get started.
If you’re short on time and could do with some help with your business planning or would like to know more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.