The start of the year is a great time to take stock and plan for the year ahead. Reflect on areas that aren’t working as well as you hoped they would and work out how you can improve them in the new year:
1. Revisit your strategic plan
Reflect on lessons learned from your business in 2016 and identify opportunities and challenges.
2. Health-check your business finances
Reviewing your most recent financial statements will help you identify key areas of weakness or potential threats. Speak to your Accountant!
3. Review your budget
Review your actual versus budgeted figures to ensure that your strategic objectives are being met and make adjustments if necessary.
4. Revisit your marketing plan
Focus your marketing plan to achieve key objectives, particularly improving cash flow.
5. Consider entering new markets
Research potential new markets, and what it would take to enter those markets and how ready your business is for such expansion.
6. Review your risk management strategies
Re-evaluate risks and how you are managing or not managing them. Important risks include relying heavily on a few major customers or suppliers, as well as selling on credit. Fraud is another thing to consider.
7. Review or write up your policy manual
Review your existing policies and consult with staff to ensure new policies are workable and likely to be followed.
8. Consider using social media
Promote your business, communicate with customers, learn about customer behaviour, as well as receive and monitor customer feedback.
9. Consider making more of your sales online
Investing in a web presence that allows customers to purchase products and services is increasingly important to business success.
10. Take advantage of opportunities
Don’t turn a blind eye to new opportunities that are consistent with your strategic direction and can be properly funded.
Taken from an original article by Gavan Ord, Manager Business and Investment Policy at CPA Australia.