6 Top Tips On How To Prepare Your Small Business For The Start Of The Year
Nov 30, 2021 | Sabina M Abul
As the end of the year is approaching, whilst people are busy focusing on new year’s resolutions, small business owners like you should be busy preparing for the year ahead.
Yes, it can be difficult to do this when you are already concerned about end of year sales, however it is essential to prepare yourself for the year ahead in order to have a smooth transition.
But what can you do to be prepared?
Do not worry, here are top tips on how you can use to prepare your business for the year ahead:
1. Reflect on the past year
In other words, you need to do a small analysis on the previous year.
To do this, you can answer the following questions:
• What goals were you able to achieve and how?
• What goals were you not able to achieve and why?
• What strategies worked/did not work?
• What could have been done better and how?
• Were there any Improvements compared to the previous year? If yes, what were they and what helped to achieve them?
• What are the strategies you think you should keep for the year ahead?
• What are the changes that you need to make for the year ahead?
The answers to these questions will be really useful to get a general summary of the previous year’s performance.
It can be difficult to look back at the things that did not work out, however understanding the reasons why it happened, will help you prevent those mistakes again.
2. Make a plan for the coming year
After answering those questions, you can use the answers to make a plan for the year ahead by using the strategies that worked in the previous years and making the changes that need to be made.
You can also ask for customers’ feedbacks by doing surveys or engaging with customers on social media to gather more information. At the end of the day you are trying to give the best possible service to them and as such it is always good to ask them what they think should be changed.
It is advisable for your goals to satisfy the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based) criteria and to set the frequency at which you will review the progress you make so that you can change your strategy if needed.
Take some time to also create a marketing plan which focuses solely on the sales side of the business by planning your marketing campaigns ahead of time. For instance, you could consider focusing more on video marketing this year to test things out or be more present on social media to promote your business.
Here are a few changes you could consider when planning:
• Change company policies to suit the current working environment
• Improve the processes that you currently have in place
• Find strategies you can use to reduce costs
• Ensure you are using the latest technology
• Think about new markets you could sell in
• Change your marketing strategy
After you’ve set the goals, you can also work out the smaller tasks that are required to achieve that overall goal along with the deadlines for each so that you are doing everything on time and you are also organised.
Ensure your employees also take part in the planning process as they might have ideas that you could incorporate.
3. Work on the budget
After you are done with the general planning and after you’ve set your goals, you should then sort out your budget.
When creating your budget, you should include your profit-and-loss statement, balance sheet, a cash flow statement, cash reserves, credit availability estimates, income and expense projections and debt-service numbers.
Essentially, it is recommended to calculate the costs that you are expected to incur according to the plan that you made and also check at alternative ways of working in order to reduce the current costs that you have.
When calculating the budget, don’t forget to also consider the taxes and the regulations that are expected to be passed in the year ahead that are expected to affect you so that you can be prepared ahead of time.
4. Give feedbacks to your employees
Employees are crucial to your company’s success which is why it is important to work with them closely and constantly review their performance.
Before starting the year, it is advisable to have one to one meeting with each employer where you discuss about their performance, and you set goals for each team member for the year ahead.
Setting goals will help keep your employees motivated and it will also let them know what you expect from them so that they can be prepared.
When speaking to your employees, it is also important that they are aware of the key goals and plans that you have set up for the year ahead so that they also know the overall goal of the business.
5. Start stocking up for the new year
Something that you could do to be a step ahead of your competition is to start to stock up new products to sell in the year ahead.
You could do this by trying to research the trending products and the trends that are likely to emerge.
• Home décor items:
Beddings (mattresses, sheets, duvets, quilts etc)
• Beauty and cosmetics:
• Eco-friendly Accessories:
Cork laptop sleeves
Cork Yoga mats
Cork phone cases
• Tech products:
Fitness trackers/ smart watches
Car phone holders
• Pet Products:
Pet bathing accessorires
• Jewellery and Fashion:
• Sporting Products:
However, you don’t have to rush, as normally, at the start of the year between January and March, retail sales are always low compared to the other months within the year.
As a result, when it comes to stocking up for the coming year, you have a bit more time to do it and to organise yourself.
6. Think about expansion
After carrying out all the analysis of the previous year, check if it is time for you to consider working on expanding your business.
This could be done by considering whether you should try and sell your product in a new market, or by selling in other channels or location or even by adding a new product.
It doesn’t have to be a big change; it can also be a small step.
Expansion could also be done by checking if you are using the latest technology that is available to you that your competitors are using and invest in more equipment that will make it easier for you to manage your business.
In conclusion, these are the top tips you can use to prepare for the upcoming year. You can use these as a checklist and tick each point as you prepare.
This whole process can be difficult and can also take a lot of time to do. However, I can guarantee you that it is an essential step to take to ensure you are starting the year the right way and that you are putting yourself ahead of your competitors.
We hope this blog will help you to organise yourself!
In the meantime, why don’t you check out this blog on the 5 top sustainable homeware categories to consider when buying wholesale for your store.
Alternatively, contact us to know more about what we do.
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