How to Plan for a New Year of Business Success

Business Owners

  • Have little time and many responsibilities.

  • Need to gain a fresh perspective on their company.

  • Want to realize their full business potential.

Planning for a New Year

  • Helps you create a measurable action plan.

  • Keeps your business on course.

  • Enables you to achieve your business goals.

As a small business owner, it’s easy to become consumed by running your business instead of planning your business. But think about this: companies that plan grow 30 percent faster than those that don’t.

As we head further into the new year, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a step back and gain perspective about where your business has been and where you want it to go in the future. Here are some ideas to consider as you move into another year of business – and opportunity.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Investor and billionaire Warren Buffet is said to have commented, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” It takes time and patience to see business results but when you plan for the future good things happen – starting now.

Set goals and monitor your progress.

While setting goals for your business is critical to short- and long-term success, less than half of all small businesses have a plan for business growth. Plan for success and gain a competitive edge by creating one-, three- and five-year goals.

Determine key factors for business growth and profitability – sales and budget management, for example. Use these factors to drive your daily actions and monitor progress on a weekly and monthly basis to ensure your business stays on course. Dividing your goals into manageable increments helps you stay focused and motivated.

Focus on the “big picture” of your business.

Many small business owners have a hands-on approach, but you don’t have to do everything yourself. Delegating tasks like accounting, legal and IT support to trusted team members will free you up to manage your business. Delegating helps your employees grow and gives you time to gain perspective and catch your breath.

Finding a work-life balance is also important for your happiness and the success of your company. Leaving work at the office as often as possible can prevent burnout and allows you to enjoy valuable time with family and friends. Taking a well-rounded approach to your business will improve your physical, emotional and mental health – and your business health as well.

Become a better communicator.

Over 70 percent of business mistakes are due to poor communication. Good workplace communication helps your employees understand what is expected, increases accountability and leads to fewer mistakes and higher productivity. Effective communication also enhances partner and vendor relationships and ensures that everyone understands your vision and works collectively to achieve your business goals.

Customer communication is equally important. Consistently reaching out to your customers to inform and inspire them to action creates stronger connections with your brand. When you make promises to customers then overdeliver on your solutions, you build trust and position your company as a reputable, reliable resource for solving their challenges.

Charge what you’re worth.

Every day, you and your team bring value to your customers. Are you being paid enough to match your value? To ensure you are, begin by targeting an audience that clearly understands and appreciates the products and services you offer and sees you as a welcome problem solver. If possible, offer multiple solutions to fulfill your customers’ needs.

For billing, consider shifting from an hourly rate to a “packaged value rate.” This encourages customers to focus on the value you offer rather than solely on the time you spent creating a solution. Support your products and services with a guarantee. This demonstrates proven value, builds customer confidence and inspires them to pay what your solutions are truly worth.

Enhance your online marketing strategy.

With over 225 million online shoppers in the U.S., you must have a strong online presence for your business to succeed. Partner with design professionals who can expertly and affordably create or refresh your website to ensure it clearly reflects your company goals and brand. Start a business blog and include search engine optimization (SEO) keywords in your content to help people find your business on online directories like Google, Yelp and Bing.

Build a stronger customer connection with a social media strategy that informs, leads to your website and inspires purchase decisions. Increase your revenue with eCommerce that allows your business to be open online 24 hours a day. Enhancing your online marketing strategy keeps your business top of mind and in constant contact with your customers.

Prepare for a New Year of Success

The business results you see tomorrow begin with your plans today. Take time to evaluate where your business has been and chart a course of where you want to go. By creating action steps based on what you want to achieve, you can monitor your progress, celebrate milestones and gather valuable information to continue planning.

Throughout your business journey, Level Nine Media is here to make the path easier. After working with over 500 small businesses, we can help you build a website, enhance your online presence and offer guidance to help you be your own boss and make the most of your business.

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