The start of a new year is, for many, a period of setting new goals and planning for the future. Alongside making resolutions in our personal lives, it’s a time to reassess professional challenges such as the development of your business.
A recent study from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows that small businesses are opening up at a faster rate than they are closing, and continuous growth is an important part of this trend. As more people take calculated risks and become entrepreneurs we must do everything we can to help then survive and flourish.
We are likely to face further economic uncertainty in 2019 and we believe that the best defence for small businesses is to have a robust growth plan in place combined with good financial and key performance indicator measurement.
Here are the five key areas we see it is important for businesses to consider to help ride-out uncertainty and achieve rapid business growth in 2019.
Set a financial target and work backwards
The best way to achieve your business goals is to set key targets and work backwards in working out the steps towards reaching them. For example, if you want to increase sales by £10,000 in 2019, you should be considering factors such as how many extra sales this equates to, where you should be increasing your marketing and whether your current marketing plan is going to generate the number of leads you need.
Laying out these steps within your business will help to break down targets and make them more reachable.
Consider your marketing plan
According to a poll from CBInsights Analysis, 42% of businesses fail because there is not a market need for their product or service. As the new year approaches, take the opportunity to reconsider your marketing plan and ensure that you’re considering essential areas such as audience and demand.
In your marketing plan, remember to think about both routes to market and exploring new markets to aid growth. If demand is soft if your primary market consider exploring new markets.
Take advantage of repeat business
Whilst a new year can offer a chance to reach new customers, it’s also a great time to maintain relationships with existing customers and ensure that you’re doing all you can to take advantage of repeat business opportunities.
Products and services can be sold as one-offs, or in some sort of repeat model. If your business offers subscription or lease-style products, the start of a new year can offer an organic opportunity to take advantage of this and reconnect with existing customers.
Consider your cash balances when thinking about investing
Cash is king in business, and if business owners are going to invest to grow, they’ll need to ensure they’ve thought through what this means in terms of your cash balances.
VAT and Corporation Tax bills can appear at inconvenient times and so being prepared is key. A strong cash balance opens up a world of exciting possibilities to safely grow your business.
Ensure you’re managing your metrics month-on-month
Further data from CBInsight Analysis shows that 17% of businesses failed because they reportedly lacked a business model. Having a good business model is essential in planning for growth and tracking a small number of metrics each month can help business owners to know if they’re on the right track.
By keeping an eye on progress in this way, business owners can take corrective action if things seem to be falling behind.
One of the main messages we’re giving our clients in 2019 is to keep it simple. Win more work, deliver more work, and bank more money. Simple metrics help us to understand how the business is performing today. Simple plans help us to figure out how to grow and become more successful.