Now is the right time to be thinking about your business during the next 12 months. Like any business owner knows all too well, 12 months can fly by extremely quickly – and without enough planning, there can plenty of missed opportunities.
Put some effort into thinking about the coming year now – you’ll be glad you did.
Here are some ways you can start.
1. Review your business plan
This is a good time to take a breath and think about your long-term vision. Is your business on track? Has it expanded beyond your original plan?
Taking the time to update your business plan to reflect your circumstances will influence every decision you make in the next year. Doing so might even give you new ideas for products or services, or identify any gaps in your business.
2. Hiring plans
Have you thought about your employees lately? Decide whether your current staff levels accurately reflect your needs.
You could go even further. Does your staff embody a culture that you want within the company? Employees are your lifeblood (besides cash flow). Think carefully about the relationship between how many staff you have, how many you need, and what values they reflect. (And what role you play in all of this).
3. Speaking of cash flow…
Cash flow can be so overwhelming that it can be easier to distract yourself with other tasks rather than tackling the problem head on. Instead, use this as an opportunity to set yourself up for success. Consider the year ahead and find black spots where you predict cash might become a problem.
Then, start developing a plan to ensure those times are accounted for. It may be hard work, but planning for success will give you the best chance of achieving it.
4. Start planning the next seasonal campaign
It may be too late to plan a killer ‘new year, new you’ campaign, but you’ve got plenty of time before the next set of holidays roll around – including Easter. Have you thought about what that could mean for your business?
Even if you’re not in retail, it’s good to start thinking about the calendar. When do you need to ramp up work, and when will you have the opportunity to take a breather?
You should also consider your clients in this scenario. What will their needs be at peak times? How can you support them?
5. Get a handle on your financial health
Many business owners can let the finances slip. Now is a great time to sit down with your accountant or financial adviser to ensure that your business is performing as well as it should be.
Is now the right time to increase your prices? Is your margin healthy enough? Do you need to bring on a new employee and, if so, can you afford it?
None of these questions have to be answered right away, but it’s important that you’re aware of issues that may become problems for you in the next year. Now is the perfect time to anticipate those before they become crippling problems.