As the year draws to a close, you are probably starting to think about personal New Year's resolutions you can implement to better yourself or things you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Why not do the same for the health and prosperity of your business?
You might ask yourself, "how do you set business goals for the new year?" Or, "how do small businesses plan for New Year's?" The new year is the perfect time for goal setting for your business in order to achieve your goals and reduce stress for the upcoming year.
Now is a great time to start reflecting on the current year and thinking of ways to make next year your best one yet. We are here to help guide you in the right direction and offer suggestions for resolutions you can commit to for your small business.
Evaluate and Update your Business Plan
A resolution your business should make every year is to evaluate and update your business plan, mission, vision, and goals for the year ahead. You will first want to look at your current business plan to see what worked well and what didn't go as planned. Once you have an idea of your successes and failures, you can incorporate that into your business plan for the following year.
When looking at your business plan, taking inventory of the software packages or subscriptions your company uses is also good practice. Do you have any redundant systems that you could consolidate? Doing this each year will eliminate unnecessary expenses and decrease your overhead.
Once you have your business plan in place, you should also check in once a quarter and ensure you are on the right track with your plan, goals, and objectives. You will want to ensure your business plan meets your company's core mission and vision, and that you are sticking to that throughout the year.
Refresh Your Marketing Plan
Marketing is integral to your business and how you gain and retain customers. Your business should make updating your marketing plan one of its top resolutions for the New Year. Updating and creating a solid marketing plan for your business will help ensure you hit your revenue goals.
A great place to start when thinking of the year ahead is to look back at your marketing campaigns to see what means brought in new customers and additional revenue and what did not. You can do this by analyzing what campaigns brought in the most leads and revenue for your business.
Did you see an increase in leads from a particular radio ad, or did you have more luck with direct mail campaigns? If you are not tracking this information, you should make a resolution for your business to do just that! Ask each customer how they heard about you and start keeping track of that information in a spreadsheet or field service management platform like Successware. That will make it easy for you to see how successful each of your campaigns was once they have concluded.
Another step in updating your marketing plan is to create a content distribution plan for the year. Doing so will also help your team stay organized and have a good, consistent plan to promote relevant content to current and potential customers.
An excellent place to start with this resolution would be to plan the deals and promotions you want to run throughout the year. If you do one promotion monthly or every other month, you can incorporate that into your social media and content plan. This way, you will always have something to offer your customers to draw them in.
An email newsletter is another simple, cost-effective strategy you can add to your marketing strategy. You can easily reach your current and prospective customers in their Inbox and keep your name fresh in their minds. This is also a great way to improve brand recall and recognition for your company with consumers.
You can use this newsletter to send relevant information to your customer base, like upcoming promotions and deals, any new products or services you are starting to offer, and links to any blogs or relevant industry content you want to share. This type of content will help your current and potential customers get familiar with your brand and think of you as a trusted source within the industry. When customers need service or repair, they will think of your business first.
Set Realistic Expectations for Growth
Start your year on the right foot by creating realistic growth expectations. You should start by looking at your current year's revenue and profit numbers. Did you meet your forecasted numbers? Are you coming in way over or way under budget? Use these metrics as a starting point for where you think your business will go next year.
Another thing to consider when making a budget and financial growth projections are; do you plan to add any additional products or services to your offerings? Or do you plan to add one more truck or a few more technicians to your team? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should factor that into your budget planning. Both factors should help you meet and exceed your revenue goals for the following year.
Create a Company Culture for Employee Retention
These days, the demand for skilled laborers is high, and the number of qualified technicians is low. With more skilled laborers retiring and fewer people attending trade schools, there is a significant employee shortage for these positions. Therefore, your business must create a company culture that people want to work for and do not want to leave.
Your resolution for the new year should be to become the employer of choice in your market and industry. There are a few ways you can plan to do this:
- Communicate: You should make it a standard practice to communicate any changes or future plans to your employees. This will help them feel connected to your organization and know your growth plans and goals. Doing this will also help ensure your team is all on the same page and working toward the same end goal.
- Listen to Feedback: Your employees want to feel like they are a valued part of your business. You should encourage constructive feedback and open communication on processes or systems that may not be working for them or not be as efficient as they could be.
Your employees are on the front line of your business and know what works and what could be improved upon. They also speak with your customers and hear their problems and issues. Creating time to listen to this feedback from your team will be very beneficial to your business. You should then work together to create a solution for the problem or issue they have brought up.
- Invest in Your Employees: Whether this be additional training, certifications, or licenses, employees will appreciate the fact that you believe in them enough to help them obtain these things.
The New Year is a time for fresh starts, optimism, and new beginnings. Making the above resolutions for your business is a great starting place to ensure you set your business up for success in the year ahead.