Prep Your Business for the New Year
As the new year arrives, have you taken a moment to look at your business’ overall performance throughout the past months?
Whether you’re comfortable managing a company, or you just started your business venture not long ago, it’s good to use some time to understand better how your business’ actions and other items impacted your business throughout the year. Refusing to do so could leave those ghosts of “How do I take my business to the next level?” or “Why did so-and-so stop partnering with us?” lingering for much longer than needed, so let’s diagnose these parts of your business phase by phase.
The Old Business
Let’s look back on how your business was 12 months ago (if your business is newer than a year old, look back about 3–6 months, if possible.)
Did you achieve any short-term goals such as increasing brand awareness or improving your checkout process by streamlining the customer’s purchase experience? When you set-up and accomplish short-term goals like these, not only do you move closer to where you want your business to be in the long term, but you can then make decisions that can easily be observed and analyzed. This way you can quickly tell if these actions positively or negatively impacted your business.
Looking back to your business’ past also lets you take a look at how your industry has changed, from how people want to interact with brands to how traditions might evolve with the times (how people moved from solely relying on taxis to other rideshare opportunities being a good example of this.) Keeping an eye on how your business’ industry develops throughout the year will ensure that any sudden developments do not blindside you, and you can calculate better future opportunities.
You can also look back on the actions you took throughout the year and whether you want to repeat and expand upon them or instead consider a different solution for those problems you couldn’t entirely solve before.
Now that you have an idea of how your past actions your business, you can take a look at what you can do right now.
How often do you perform those actions that positively impacted your business? For example, if you saw that more customers came to your brand because of an email newsletter you sent out every two weeks, would there be an opportunity to increase how often you send out newsletters like that to once every week or adding in another valuable element to expand your customers base or online sales? Doing small tests lets you see how a good thing can improve without getting rid of what your customers already appreciated.
Also, you can get an understanding of how your customers currently view your brand and see if you can maintain or improve their perceptions. Keep an eye on reviews, send out an easy-to-respond-to survey/poll, or if possible, ask some customers in-person to gain perspective on how they feel about your business. From the visual things such as signage, menus and other branded materials to your ability to solve their problems, whether it’s a website that is too complex for the task they’re trying to complete, or it’s how the quality of service your employees provide. Staying on the same page as your clients will be necessary for the longevity of your business.
New Year, Better Business
After taking a look at your business from the past and understanding where it currently stands, now you can confidently plan for future years.
If you’re overwhelmed with where to go next, start with setting some shorter term goals to work towards within the next 3–6 months to a year. Don’t forget to determine at least one long-term goal you genuinely want your business to strive for, from expanding to a regional market or making an appearance at a conference/media channel.
Whether it’s 3, 5 or 10 years from now, as long as you have those longer-term goals as an overall mission, you can build the short-term ones toward them, decreasing the gap of where you are now and where you could be.
If you need any assistance with crushing a short-term good of yours or need some insight on how to position your business for the future, reach out to us so we can strategize on the next steps for your brands’ future.
Cheers to the new year! Creative Juice