Welcome to the start of a brand new year, where the possibilities for you and your business are endless.
To ensure you get the most out of 2013 Result IT will be posting blogs right here, every month, containing tips on how you can improve your business, the latest technology and software that may come in handy, and what we ourselves are doing in the technology world. We want to make sure you are aware of all the opportunities that can improve your business, so keep an eye on our blog this year!
Beginnings are always a time of resolution and determination for individuals and companies, and there is no greater beginning than the start of a new year. This is the year you sort that network out.This is the year you increase profits. This is the year you hit the gym for longer than two weeks!
But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and it’s true that you can’t account for everything. For small to medium businesses the trick to kick-starting a great new year is planning; a good strategic plan now will save you time and money later on, in the event anything goes pear-shaped.
Here are five basic steps for you to take before your business dives into 2013.
1. Review the past year
Every business advisor will be a firm advocate of this step: you can only plan for the future once you’ve assessed how far you’ve come. Did you achieve your business goals last year? No? Why not? Was there anything holding you back?
These sorts of crucial questions are ones that you need to answer at the start. Once you’ve identified the things you did right and wrong, you can adjust your business strategy and model to ensure past mistakes don’t happen again, and past successes do!
However, don’t forget to include yourself in this evaluation. As the leader of your business, you are just as much responsible for successes and failures as your regular employees. Be critical of your own performance, but remember to keep things in context.
2. Evaluate your systems
A business is only as good as the systems it has in place, and sometimes they desperately need to be overhauled (you can trust us on this one!).
Now is the time to identify how efficient your business systems are, and whether there’s room for improvement. Have they performed adequately? Where is there room for improvement? Are they up-to-date? Are they bogged down by bureaucracy and bad employees?
It’s important not to allow yourself to become staid and set in your ways when it comes to business systems. This time last year your systems may have worked fine, but ask yourself: have there been any developments since then that you should implement?
As a business owner it is your duty to stay abreast of the latest advances to give your company the best fighting chance.
As experts in managing business systems, Result IT can assist you with this step. We will provide you with a complimentary on-site health check if your business has five or more PCs. Call Nancy on 526-1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Broaden your perspective
No business is an island; there are always outside forces at play that will affect your company in different ways, and understanding them will give you a fresh perspective on your business and its market.
Seek the advice of people outside your organisation, as they will possess vital knowledge that could boost your profits and turnover. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, economics lecturers, all these people will be able to tell you how money is moving around in your market, and possibly give you insight on how you can adapt your business practices to suit.
4. Remember your customers
The lifeblood of your business is so very important to keep in mind this tip really should be nearer to the top.
Customers and clients like to be thanked for their custom, so send your best ones a personalised card or letter of appreciation at the start of the year. This will give your business the ‘human touch’ and encourage your customers to keep you top-of-mind.
Customers and clients not only give you their money, they also recommend your organisation to friends and their own clients, which is the Holy Grail of the business world. Word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising, so encourage it by showing your current customers how much you value them.
5. Set your goals for the year
Like you (hopefully did last year), set business goals for this year. Ensure you have a good mix of long-term (e.g. reach a profit of $500,000 by the end of the year), medium-term (e.g. increase customer base by 15% by June), and short-term (e.g. reach 2000 Facebook fans by April) goals. This will give you different targets to meet, and better direction on how to reach them.
Make sure you include other people in determining your company goals. Remember that your employees also have time and money invested in the business. Allowing them to have their say helps build cohesiveness, and increases the chances of reaching those goals: after all, they suggested them! Plus, your employees may know something you don’t, and many heads are better than one.
Take these tips on-board and you will see improvement in the performance of your business in the year ahead. At the very least you will have a clearer picture of where you are and where you’re going. The start of the New Year is always an exciting time for people and businesses. Result IT wishes you all the best for 2013!