It's a new year. With fresh perspective and fresh ideas, now might be the time to take a good look at your business, reflect on your performance, and look at some key areas for business improvement. By being proactive now, you will not only survive this year, but you will thrive!
Let's wipe the slate clean.
Complete our business assessment quiz, and assess your business against each of the statements, this will start to put together a picture of what your business looks like. It's important to not put too much focus on any issues that are no longer relevant, and instead looking ahead and sinking your teeth into your high-priority issues, tasks, or opportunities. From here, you take all the knowledge that you've gathered over time and use it to help keep your business thriving.
Key areas to focus on for your clean-slate plan
The big picture
The starting point for any business planning should be looking at the big picture, this will lay the foundations when it comes to any business decisions you need to make. Some questions you should ask yourself are:
- What was the reason you got into business? Has this changed over the last few months or years, if so how and why?
- What are your business goals and aspirations for this year?
Once you have re-established why your business exists and what value you are providing, it’s easier to understand where to invest your time and money.
Evaluate your products/services
The next step is to evaluate the products/services you offer. Having a good understanding of your product/service, price/cost structure, competitors, and customers will help shape what your business plan needs to include moving forward. Some key questions to look at are:
- Does your current business vision require you to explore new products/services or do you need to drop some of your existing ones?
- Are there any new markets or alternative customers you should look at?
Once you have an outline of why you are in business and what environment you are providing your products/services in, you need to look at how your team are going to support this plan. What would a successful structure of your organisation look like? Outline the skills your current team have, then assign them to the roles and tasks that are required moving forward. You might find there are some areas in your structure that can’t be filled by your current team, and upskilling and training isn't possible. This is a great opportunity to hire someone new to fill some of those skill shortages.
COVID-19 may have had a substantial impact on how you run your business. Hopefully you've been able to evaluate all your non-essential expenses over the last few months and drop some that are costly and not worthwhile. If you’ve done this, you’re now in a great position to define what expenses and investments in your business are vital to your survival and future growth. Some key questions for this are:
- What resources do you need to support the goals in your business, your product/service, and your staff?
- Are all your current systems and processes up to date, written down, and used correctly by all staff?
- Are there any better methods or technologies that you can use to automate your systems, or offload some of the tasks you do yourself?
- If you’re launching something new, or looking at new target markets etc, what level of advertising do you need to invest in?
- Do you have a general marketing strategy to support your “new” business this year?
Launching the plan
Finally, we need to execute your clean-slate plan and get your team engaged! It’s really common for business plans to fail from not applying the age-old SMART rules. Find out more about SMART rules here. To be successful you need to set daily, weekly, and monthly actions - physically tick them off, and constantly reassess and review them. It’s a good idea to have your team contributing to the creation of your business goals, as you want them to engage with your goals and really own them. They will also be more likely to take ownership of their responsibilities if they understand the big picture better.
By working through all these steps, you will have a winning combination that will lead to a sustainable business. There is a lot to consider and still a lot of unknowns, this is where help from outside your business could make all the different to your success. Get in touch to have a chat with a RightWay Business Partner, and they can help you achieve your business goals.