A new year represents a fresh start. The commercials, radio ads, blogs and social media networks all promote the opportunity. A new year gives us a chance to review the previous year and to look ahead to the next. Sometimes this review can be a bit daunting, especially for small business owners, so here are 15 bite-size tips to launch 2015.
To be successful professionally, we need to first ensure our personal lives are in order. Start by asking the following questions:
- What does a successful year look like for you? Does it include more vacations, more money, more flexibility or a different type of work altogether?
- What do you want to accomplish personally in 2015? Maybe you want to learn a new skill, visit a new place or grow your business?
- Are you set up for success? Do you have the right support, systems and resources in place?
Finance & Legal
Ensure your business house is in order.
- Review the profitability of each of your product or service offerings to identify what is working and what is not. Work to eliminate those that are not contributing to your business.
- Review your client list to understand which clients are truly contributing to your bottom line. Then, don’t forget to acknowledge and celebrate your best clients. Send a card or small gift to let them know you appreciate their business. It will start the new year off on the right foot.
- Complete your year-end financials, if applicable, and make sure you have the funds needed to pay your taxes. This thorough financial review will also help you start off fresh and to prioritize goals for 2015.
Marketing & Sales
The right messaging and sales processes drive revenue.
- Review your messaging and tools to find out what was effective and what was not for the past year. We often throw money at sales and marketing without truly evaluating what worked and what drove business. Freshen up your messaging and how you want to position your company in 2015.
- Look at your sales strategy and team. What can you change to increase your pipeline?
- Set a new budget and plan.
This is the backbone of our business.
- Review systems and processes. What can you do better to increase efficiency?
- Do you want to grow or expand? Think about how you will make it happen.
- Do you have operational gaps? Do you need to invest in more equipment or technology to enhance operations?
Do you have the right people in place to achieve your 2015 goals?
- Identify and celebrate your top performers.
- Review those people who can do better and make necessary changes.
- Create an HR plan to ensure your staffing needs are in place for the new year.
Take a moment over the holidays to re-boot. The refresh and positive outlook will ensure a thriving 2015.