As the year comes to an end, small business owners often start planning how they’re going to spend the holidays. After all, these vacations help them recharge their batteries. This way, they can resume work in the new year fully charged.
However, successful business owners do one thing before they take that vacation:
They prepare for the new year.
These business owners put things in place so that they can start the new business year on the right path. Doing this ensures a continuous stream of revenue into their business, which maintains their growth. It’s the key reason why they remain successful.
As a small business owner, you have to emulate this strategy.
That’s why in this article, you’ll discover five ways small business owners like you can prepare well for the new year.
When you take stock of the previous year, you get a bird’s eye view of your business. This gives you the flexibility to make positive changes to your operations.
But how can you do your review?
Start by preparing your financial documents for the concluding year. Compute your balance sheet, your income statement, and your cash flow statement. Prepare any other necessary legal documents, too.
Use these documents to review your business’s performance.
To do that, first, identify the areas where you’re underperforming as a small business. Are you making less sales than is required to meet your targets? Are you having trouble keeping clients?
Then, find out the causes of those hiccups and figure out how to solve them.
After this, check for areas where you’re overspending. See where adjustments may be needed. Remember, spending more money than is necessary on your business, reduces your profitability.
Also, find a way to organize your operations such that they fit into your budget. If you don’t do this, your finances will suffer in the new year.
When you’re done, identify persistent issues in your operations and figure out how to fix them. Look for ways to automate repetitive tasks. This ensures that you have a smooth operation that scales.
A smooth, scalable operation increases your profit margin. It also frees more time for you to do other things.
Next, reward employees who have been outstanding throughout the year. These are workers who are committed and dedicated to their job. And they have contributed significantly to the progress and growth of your business.
You don’t have to break the bank to do this. Any form of appreciation is adequate.
For example, you could give a simple thank you card. It only has to be heartfelt and genuine. Employees feel honored when they are appreciated for their good performances.
And if you know they truly deserve it, the reward could also be a promotion.
Keep in mind that when you reward outstanding employees, you inspire them to do even better work. This will also send a signal to other employees to improve and become better in the new year.
Your review of the previous year should give you sufficient information about the state of your business. So, use this information to set new goals for the new year.
To do that, ask yourself what you need to achieve in the new year. Identify the areas where you want to grow with these seven questions:
- Do you wish to expand your marketing department and increase sales?
- Do you wish to expand your offices?
- Do you want to hire new employees?
- Do you want to train current employees to increase their productivity?
- How about being more rigorous about your inventory record?
- Where do you want to reduce costs?
- Do you want to streamline your operation so that it scales better?
Spend some time thinking about your goals for the new year. Be realistic and ambitious. Remember, these goals must be achievable and challenge you at the same time. In fact, your goals for the new year should be SMART:
- S- Specific
- M- Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R- Realistic
- T – Time-based
After figuring them out, write these goals down on a paper or notebook and keep them visible. This way, you won’t forget your goals. It also makes you take them more seriously.
It’s not enough to have goals for the new year. You also have to figure out how to achieve them.
So, break each goal down into little, small-sized chunks that you can track on a daily or weekly basis. Identify key metrics that you can use to measure and assess them on an ongoing basis.
Also, pick which team member will be responsible for certain aspects of each goal’s metric. Who is responsible for what? Which aspects need to be taken care of by your employees? And where do you come in?
Remember to fix timeframes to deliver on your goals. Ask yourself, do you want to achieve them on a monthly or quarterly basis? Having timeframes keeps you focused and alert on bringing your goals to fruition.
You’ll end up back to square one if you have goals and don’t have an action plan on how to achieve them.
It is frustrating to discover growth areas in your business, make plans to achieve them, and then lack the funds to make them happen.
Funding plays a big role in achieving any business goal. That’s why you’ll find that new companies tend to get new business loans or startup business loans to make their goals happen. Even established businesses get loans when they need to.
And the same should be true for your goals for the new year.
If you don’t have the necessary business financing to achieve your goals, consider applying for a small business loan. Just make sure to apply in time so that you can receive the funds at the time that you need them.
As a small business owner, it is important to ensure your business keeps growing every year.
To make this happen, you have to start each new year with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. You also have to have actionable plans to make them happen.
And if you need help financing these goals, consider taking out small business loans.
If you need further assistance, Unsecured Finance Australia is here to help. Apply online and you can receive your approval within 24 hours.
Find out more by taking a look at our unsecured business loans.