Planning for the New Year

Planning for the New Year

The end of one year and the start of the next is a great time to sit down and be strategic about your small business. You should review what happened this year and create a detailed plan that encompasses what you have learned and how you can grow next year. Not sure where to get started? Check out these tips.

Set goals

It is so important to have concrete goals so you know what you are working toward. This way, you can celebrate when you meet your goals and know when to pivot if things aren’t quite going as planned. When setting goals, be sure to make them quantifiable and achievable. For example, “take over the world” is an awesome aspiration, but a goal like, “increase sales by 10% in quarter 1” will be much easier to track.

Update your business plan

A detailed business plan is a great way to make sure your business is on track. Of course you have lots of great ideas floating around in your head, but taking the time to write them down will make it easier to ensure your taking the steps to achieve them.

Conduct a SWOT analysis

The SWOT analysis is a classic analysis technique, and you probably conducted this when you first launched. But have you gone back and revisited these metrics? This can be a great way to make sure you are still moving forward.

Brainstorm for networking opportunities

Depending on your personality, networking may be one of your favorite or most dreaded words. Either way, it can be very important to encourage business growth. Come up with a plan now for how you can expand your network over the next year and stick to it. Maybe start saving to attend a conference or find a weekly meet-up of local business owners as ways to get started.  

Reinvigorate your employees

The end of the year is a great time to thank your employees for all of the amazing work that they have done and inspire them to come back with excitement and even more great ideas in the New Year. This could be done through a holiday party, handwritten notes to employees, or any other way that fits with your company culture.

Create or update a savings plan

Even while you are focused on growth, saving for an emergency is important. Assess how your financial situation has changed in the past year. Could you be saving more? Did you dip into your savings this year? What can you do to build it back up? Don’t let this stress you out, but do take some time to think about it.

Reassess your competition

You know who your competitors are, but when was the last time you dove into what they are up to? Use this time while planning to explore any new products they have launched, what they are doing for marketing, and any other company updates. Use this information to conceptualize your choices.

Think about staffing

While you are planning for the future think about where you could add or reallocate staff. Is there a team that is constantly overtaxed? Has one area of business slowed. Check in and make sure that your staff levels are meeting your needs.

Update technology

Have you been getting that “install updates now” notification on your computer for the past 16 weeks? Now is the time to take care of it! And while you’re at it, do a review of all of the technology you use at your company and make sure it is updated. If something isn’t working out, look for alternatives, technology evolves and improves every day.

Check-in with customers

The end of the year is also a great time to consider customer satisfaction. A customer survey is a great way to gain insight into the customer experience, from service to satisfaction with the product, and the ease of the transaction. Offering an incentive with the survey, such as 10% off, will increase the response rate and may also lead to a spike in sales.

Conduct a website review

Make sure all of the information on your website is up to date and that all of your links are working. Broken links can scare customers away because they make your business seem less legitimate. While on your site, consider what you can add. Do you have a new case study or testimonials? Are all of your staff members represented on the staff page? These little updates can make your site look more professional. Feel like your site needs a bigger refresh? Contact us, we would be happy to help!

Practice gratitude

Your business made it through another successful year, one that was surely full of twists, turns, ups and downs. Practicing gratitude can help you  realize all you have to be thankful for, and if practiced regularly, can bring about a lot of other powerful benefits. Wondering how to get started? Read our recent post about gratitude here.

We hope these tips help you say goodbye to this year and make next year your best yet! Have a New Year’s resolution? Share it with us on Twitter, @kuviocreative.

Kuvio Creative is an innovative team of remote workers who specialize in website and app design and development, branding, marketing, and UI/UX. Looking for help on your next big project? Contact us today!