Do you review the last year in your business?
Pink Sprout Marketing Cheltenham work with small business owners providing outsourced digital marketing (social media, website build/maintenance and admin tasks). Part of the process we go through when we work together is to find out what they have been doing in the last year and where they want to get to in the next. Reviewing your business is essential to your future business growth.
If you assess what has happened in your business in 2023 you will be able to set your 2024 goals with ease and have a clear vision for the coming year.
Here are a few areas you might want to look at to see how you fared in 2023.
Define Success –
Here is a question, if you sit back to review your business with a cuppa, (or something stronger), what will your answer be?
- How do you define your success?
- Is it through financial figures, by appointments, new clients or products sold?
- What are your KPI’s?
We all have our own differentiators that we use to measure our success but as long as you use the same one each year you will have a clear view of your business.
Whatever means you use to measure your business, having a clear view of 2023 will help you set your 2024 goals.
Now is the time to have a good long, hard look at your finances. Did your business meet your financial expectations? Do you have a financial monthly goal that you would like to meet for the coming year?
The best way to look at that goal is to make a list of everything that your business needs to run – insurance, systems, computer, marketing, training, vehicle etc.
One of the outgoings that most new businesses don’t allow for is your tax. Did you know once you are into your second year of trading you will need to pay 50% of the last year’s tax values on account at the end of January and again at the end of July– this can be a shock when you get your tax bill as effectively you will have to find double over 6 months. It is always best to put you tax aside each month, so that when the bill arrives there’s no shock or surprise – the on-account part normally catches out many people!
Budgets for the forthcoming year can be really beneficial and can help you with forecasting.
- Marketing – Social Media & Website
- Contingency – you never know when something might break!
Once you have that figure and how much you want to earn, you can work out what you want your business to produce. Then you will know how many clients you need, how many courses or products you need. Break it down then to a monthly amount and that is your goal! Pop all this on a spreadsheet so you can refer to it, and update it daily, weekly or monthly to keep yourself focused!
Audit your website and social media accounts
This time of year is a great time to audit your social media accounts and your website. These 2 different marketing avenues are the most viewed by existing and prospective clients.
- Take a look at your social media bio – is it up to date? Have you got your new service or product listed. Are your contact details correct? Is your logo the latest? When did you last change your image? It is always best to do this regularly – if your business is small, add your photo – people buy from people!
- Linktr.ee – do you have out of date offers or services still on there? Are your most recent links added?
- Your Website – does it have your latest product or service? Does it need an update generally? Do the colours and the style of your site still align with your brand? Are there any out-of-date images or text? Are your contact details still, correct? Do you have a link for people to sign up for your email marketing? Is it clear what you want someone to do – what is your call to action – does the link work properly? Can people link to your social media?
Do you have a suite of systems/processes are they all in order and up to date?
Sometimes it’s not until we employ someone else to help us, we realise that actually everything is in our head and trying to explain these processes can take time. This is a great opportunity to put it all down on paper! Write them out and store them away for when they are needed. This process can also be quite cathartic because you can get all these thoughts out of your brain, giving you more space to be more productive, creative and free!
What do you need processes in place for?
- New client’s details
- New Product creation
Plus, potentially many more.
Setting realistic goals for 2024–
There is no point in setting unrealistic goals as you simply won’t achieve them and will be demoralised. Once you have visualised 2024 and what you want to achieve, break it down to each quarter (3 months) which will ensure your goal doesn’t feel too massive.
Use the SMART targets, which are:
S = Specific
We all know that it helps us to remember to write down what we want to do, using action words. For example, instead of saying, “I want more clients,” you might say, “I’m going to sign up four new clients within this next quarter.” Being specific and using action verbs focuses you on what exactly you need to do. The key questions that you are asking yourself are the following:
- What is the objective?
- What needs to be accomplished?
- What steps will you take to achieve it?
M = Measurable
Using the example above of signing up 4 more clients, you need to add the timeframe in which you wish to achieve the goal. So, for instance set a target of 4 new clients in the 1st quarter. This then gives you a benchmark against which to measure your performance.
The goals you set need to be achievable, if they aren’t, you will lose focus, momentum and drive. Make sure your goals are achievable in small steps to make the larger objective possible. People are motivated by goals that stretch them so don’t make them too easy – find a balance! The timeline for the goal also needs to be realistic; you won’t achieve your goal if your timeline isn’t realistic.
Make you goal relevant to you and your business, so if your goal is to be more profitable then maybe making a goal of new clients isn’t your primary focus. You need to concentrate on retention of existing clients and the profitability per transaction, price increases, or reduction of costs.
It is essential to set a time frame around your goals. It not only identifies the end or conclusion of your goals duration; it motivates the identified endeavour. If you are trying to gain 4 new clients but there is no timeline, it will diminish the objective and could take you much longer to achieve.
2024 trends in your sector to look out for and invest in.
New trends within your sector can be a really beneficial to enable you to be ahead of the curve. For instance, if you were a beautician when brow lamination came out, getting trained and advertising your new service would have brought you in new clients. These new clients would also ask you to add another service to their visit to save them visiting multiple salons, which would have brought you in more revenue.
Do you network? Face-to-face networking can be really beneficial to small businesses. It doesn’t cost a lot but local companies need your services too and people buy from people. Now that Covid isn’t as dangerous as it was, people are again meeting face to face but they are also still using zoom. Face to face can take more of your time, whereas zoom is just the time for the session and you will back to work faster – so mix it up a bit and see how it can bring more business to your business.
Get your house in order!
The upshot of a review is that you can take stock, analyse what worked, what didn’t, what you want to achieve in the next year and get your business ready for the new year. We don’t know what 2024 will bring for us, but if we are prepared, we can take on the world and win!!!