The start of a new year can mark the next step towards successfully growing your business. To achieve positive change, take some time to make realistic goals before plunging into 2020. The idea is to create a workable, clear roadmap to your desired future, rather than a simple list of grandiose goals that you’ll forget about in a few weeks when things get busy. Then, check in with yourself often and evaluate where you are – do you need to drive faster, change direction or simply keep on going?
And remember, goal setting for your business is more than just figuring out how much you want to increase revenues next year. The checklist below provides pointers to issues you may want to consider when planning for 2020.
1: Review 2019 financial goals
Small business owners tend to start a new year by setting new revenue goals and checking progress on those goals each financial quarter. If you’re just getting started in business, consider adopting this process. If you’re already tracking your revenue goals, now’s the time to look at your year-end financial reporting to determine whether you are on track to meet your goals. If not, figure out what went wrong and how to better meet any ongoing challenges.
2: Create your financial projections
As you review your previous financial records, identify where you can reduce costs and support revenue growth in 2020. Planning ahead helps ensure that you take advantage of seasonal highs and lows.
3: Review your website and social media
Are your social efforts producing anything more than “likes”? Content that doesn’t convert to sales is a waste of time and effort. Consider how you can build on your most successful content, and/or rework your social posts and web content to drive sales.
4: Focus on getting reviews
Consumers are seriously skeptical of scams and promises about products and services. If you’re going to do one social media activity this year, focus on getting good reviews. Offering your products to existing customer or community members in exchange for honest reviews, or simply letting people know how much reviews matter, is a big part of running a successful business. And don’t try to fake it either, consumers know how to tell which reviews are real. Also, make sure to respond with a personalized message to each review. Pasting the same response to each review is just going to annoy people.
5: Audit your security processes
A data breach can cost you big in lost sales, reputation and trust. You may even lose the ability to process payment cards, if you aren’t compliant with PCI security guidelines. Review your security processes, check that any payment processors and gateways you utilize are PCI compliant, and update system and applications as needed to help ensure cybercriminals can’t access your data.
6: Review your data backup plan
You should be backing up all critical data to three locations: a local drive, a second local drive and a remote drive (typically a cloud service). It’s easier if you automate backups so you don’t have to think about it. Determine your backup needs based on the data that is vital to your business – if you can’t afford to lose it, back it up.
7: Review (or create) your business continuity plan
If you can’t physically gain access your business premises due to severe weather, a natural disaster or other complication – how will you keep your company functioning? Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency, how to check in, how to access files and work securely from home? What if your business location is physically destroyed by a fire/hurricane/earthquake or other disaster? Consider the possibilities that are likely in your location and figure out what you’ll do to keep your business up and running in each scenario.
8: Determine working capital needs
When you establish your revenue goals for the next 12 months, expansion needs should be part of your planning. Could new computers, expanded inventory, a bigger space, a new hire etc. open profitable new revenue streams? If you need to access funding to build your business, or meet existing obligations, One Park Financial can help. Call us at 1-888-327-6909 or visit oneparkfinancial.com today and take a few minutes to fill in our pre-qualification form.