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New Year’s resolutions to grow your business

Well done on making it through 2019! With the perpetual uncertainty over Brexit and the other challenges the last 12 months has brought, congratulate yourself for getting this far!

Whether the last year has been your best or worst, it’s important to reflect and learn, then set a plan for 2020. Evaluate your successes and failures of the past 365 days and think of ways to improve what you’ve already achieved.

Commit some time to work on some New Year’s resolutions for your business, as well as any you make for your personal life. Of course, to make them more than just wishes and dream you should make them SMART goals. If you need a reminder, SMART goals are:

  • Specific. Make sure your goal has a clear outcome. You can either have achieved it or not, there should be no grey area. 
  • Measurable. Think about your indicators of progress, or how you’ll know if you’ve achieved your goal. 
  • Achievable. There’s no point setting a goal that you cannot achieve, if only for your mental health.
  • Realistic. Are you able to put the work in, and do you have the resources to be able to do this task? If you want to complete Task A in 6 months but you know you won’t be able to complete part of it until you can afford that new software, then the task isn’t realistic.
  • Timely. Set a deadline. Pick a start and end date, which will enable you to break the task down into what must be achieved by set dates, to know if you are staying on target.

Take a look at just a few things you should be considering to ensure you have even more success in 2020.

Review and re-do your business plan

The start of the new year is a great time to go over the existing version of your business plan and see whether the goals you set before are still in line with what you want to accomplish in the coming year. There’s a good chance that you’ll want to make a few changes. It’s amazing how we develop and grow over the course of just a year, and you might have slightly changed the direction of your company without even realising. If you can, base any changes to your business plan on your overall vision, and some analysis of 2019.

Your business plan is the guide for your small business. Reviewing and updating annually will give you a clearer and more defined idea of what your priorities are and how to best achieve your goals in the coming year.

Boost your productivity

This is a common resolution for business owners and for everyone else! There never seems to be enough hours in the day, especially with the many demands on small business owners’ time. 

See this blog on 12 productivity hacks, and smash 2020!

Consider growing your team

Your workforce can be one of the most important aspects of success in your small business. You may already have a good group of people around you, but with high efficiency comes an overall growth in your business, increasing the workload. Your staff may feel overwhelmed and overworked, so why not consider growing your team in the new year to spread the work around.

Bringing new employees onto your workforce can be expensive initially but if they are able to improve your business producibility and achieve further success in the following year, it might be worth investing in growing your team.

Improve your current marketing plan

Each year that passes brings new marketing trends for your business to get to grips with. It’s important to stay as up to date as you can within your budget, as trends will only keep moving forward and you’ll only fall further behind. We’ve already discussed improving your business plan, so don’t forget to update your marketing plan this year as well.

Take a look at your current analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll likely want to change your current marketing campaign depending on if you’re spending your budget correctly or not. It might be time to get online if you haven’t already. 

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and is also mostly cost free to run. Review which platforms suit your business most, which drive the best engagement and conversions, and utilize that avenue even more to reach a whole new audience.

Review your pricing

It is common for small businesses to charge less than they’re worth. Many small business owners feel awkward about money or feel embarrassed asking for the amount of money that they should for their services. In reality, clients usually don’t mind paying the industry-standard price, and sometimes will feel bad paying a lower price, particularly if they are on friendly terms with you and are a repeat customer. You’ll actually also be losing some customers.

Research shows that consumers looking for a new product service will often choose a higher priced option as they believe they are getting a higher quality. This may not be true, but in reality, that’s what you’re saying by pricing lower – that your product/service is worth less than competitors.

Look at your invoicing processes

Lack of cashflow is the number one reason businesses fail in the UK. You may have had no problems in 2019, but it’s important to make sure your processes are working. How many people paid you on time over the last 12 months? If many of them were late, you may have just been lucky with your cashflow. If you have a VAT payment to make or other large cost, when no one has paid you, it can be crippling. See if there is anything you can implement to minimise late payments.

Good luck with your business for the next 12 months and beyond, and if you do one thing to boost your business in 2020, visit the Northern Business Expo. It’s in March, it’s free to attend, and is the biggest business event in the North of England. So, whether you are looking for networking, sales masterclasses, keynotes, suppliers, funding or more, simply get your free ticket online now and come along to Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March 2020!
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