Although as a business it is important to look ahead, it can be very beneficial to look back at how your business has performed over the past year. Thinking about the goals your business set for 2022, be honest with yourself and ask if you have achieved them.
Over the course of the year goals can change and businesses can change directions. Think about what your business has accomplished and how you can build on these in 2023. If your business is performing well in a particular area, 2023 could be your time to benefit from further growth.
Every business has risks, so if certain projects or plans haven’t paid off this year, think about why this happened. For example, perhaps you were trying to reach a new customer base and your marketing attempts fell short. As we come into 2023 you could look for an alternative customer segment, or you could invest more resources into alternative marketing activities. Once you understand areas where your business struggled in 2022, it is possible to put a plan in place to help you overcome these challenges.
Write a plan for 2023
For many businesses the key to success is in the planning, so take the time now to plan your direction for 2023. It doesn’t need to be an all-singing, all-dancing plan, but it does need to have goals for improvements with a view of what needs to be done to achieve those goals. A plan for the year will provide the roadmap your business requires.
Your goals should be business specific, easy to measure, attainable and relevant to your overall strategy. It is a good idea to think of 2 or 3 main business goals for the year, these could be related to financial outcomes, your customer base, new services or anything which is relevant to your overall business strategy. For example, you could aim to increase your year-on-year revenue by 25% or grown your client base by 15%. If you were to grow your client base by this much you can estimate what this would equate to financially in year 1, as well as following years as part of their customer lifetime value!
Once you decide what you want your business to achieve, the next step is to decide the timeline for these goals. An overall business strategy can then be decided, so that your business has a plan in place to reach its goals for the year.
If your business did not have a clear plan in place for 2022, creating one now will help you see things much clearer throughout 2023. It will be possible to track your businesses performance regularly, so that you can tweak your strategy throughout the year. Over the course of the year you may need to change resource levels, the budget or even staffing levels. With a clear plan in place for 2023, you will have the foundations you need for coming year.
Don’t forget to have a look at what has been going on with your competitors and how they are progressing. What do you need to do (if anything) to compete effectively and highlight to your clients how you can meet a wide range of needs.
Answer questions such as:
- What do we hope to accomplish this year?
- How will we accomplish it?
- Who are the competitors we need to be aware of?
- What changes do you anticipate in your industry in the upcoming?
Answering these types of questions will help prepare you for the new year and lower the likeliness of being caught off-guard. Businesses will be faced with surprises over the course of the year, but having a game plan will help you be ready for some of these.
Organise, organise, organise
It is undisputed that being unorganized slows down a business. Your business is not operating at its highest level if you are spending time in 2023 cleaning up the messes from 2022. Being organised allows your business to hit the ground running at the start of the year. Organisation is essential to maximizing your business’ efficiency. Make checklists that contain all the necessary supplies needed, make sure software is up-to-date, all emails have been ready and responded to. While organisation is important year-round, but the end of the year is a perfect time to get caught up in time for the new year.
Businesses can get weighed down by expenses (many are not even necessary). Businesses often overlook recurring expenses because they don’t bother to look into what the expenses are. If you subscribe to something on a regular basis, have a check and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Review all the different software platforms, do you use them all effectively.
Additionally, make sure to make a budget for 2023 (if you don’t already do so) and make it a goal to stick to it for the year.
Some key actions
Here are a few actions to take in order to ensure your business starts 2023 on a positive note:
Action Item #1
Talk with clients about their needs – send out a simple email survey or have a quick end-of-year check in call with clients to get a view on where their focus will be in the coming 12 months. Ask for feedback on your business and be realistic and open to responses.
Action Item #2.
Consider how you can pivot to meet more client needs
Proactively update your business offerings to fit with your client needs that are identified in action 1above. This is the best way to “pivot.” Implementing changes because you have decided to make them based on information rather than perception.
Action Item #3.
Set your goals for the new year
As outlined above, set out a plan with goals. You may want o set goals for financial growth or to expand your product offering, but focus on gaols that will be positive, they may need a little hard work to achieve but nothing good comes easy!
Action Item #4.
Look at your marketing
Do you have a marketing plan with a budget? If you do then review what worked and what didn’t, if not then assess what marketing you need to get in place. See what your competitors do, understand where your customers are and consider getting a budget in place.