Get your Business ready for the New Year!

As the year slows down and comes to an end, now is the perfect time to sort your business out. Ensuring that your business remains in top form over the holiday period will leave you with a stress free break and you can be assured that your business will hit the ground running in the New Year. To help gear up your business for 2015, we’ve come up with our top six most useful tips to help you along.

Create a strategic plan

Set some time aside to spend on creating your business plan for next year; this will give you the blueprint for your business by setting the direction and establishing your performance metrics. Making sure that your business is on track for next year with a clear business path clears your mind to focus on finding opportunities for growth. If you are too busy to design an in-depth plan, make sure you at least write down a short and simple strategy outlining key dates and achievements.

Set a Flexible Schedule

With so many responsibilities, it can be difficult to schedule activities accordingly. Setting your schedule to have key dates for achievements outlined in your business plan means that scheduling becomes easier knowing when to begin and when there are deadlines for targets. The key to effective scheduling is to make sure that you are flexible. Daily issues arise all the time so always set longer than necessary times to complete tasks, ensuring you meet deadlines.

Develop and maintain workplace culture

In a small to medium sized business, it is essential to have a positive work culture. By having high staff morale, an employee feel valued and in turn, makes them more productive. To develop a great culture, first you must evaluate what value you can offer your employees. Having a clear value statement about what is promoted inside the business can help greatly. Valuing things like honesty, sense of community and providing education are key areas which small businesses promote a healthy workplace culture.

Employees are the greatest asset to any business; once you have found the right people, it is vital to look after them to maintain a vibrant workplace.

Create powerful customer value proposition

Creating customer value proposition is essential; it speaks directly to the customer and provides them a reason to need your products or services. Every business has a unique feature, which separates them from its competition. To create a powerful value proposition firstly you need to understand what it is that your business does better than its competitors, and to make sure that you can easily communicate that to potential and existing customers.

It is likely that your business already has a value proposition. However, it is always good to find new ways to improve or update the current one. Do you have new employees with new skills? Or a newly refined process? All these can build into value proposition for new or existing customers.

Widen market reach

Marketing can be an expensive activity and many small businesses struggle, particularly with the online world. Online marketing, when done right, can expand your reach and find new customers. The best way to reach an online market is to have an engaging website. Make sure that the first thing your visitors see is your value proposition with eye-catching colours and graphics. If your visitors understand what makes your business great they will contact you.

Using social media, review sites and making use of business listings are all ‘nets’ which catch potential customers and lead them to your website. The same applies to ‘pay per click’ advertising through Google AdWords. Getting customers to notice your online presence can be tough, but once you do online marketing can open huge opportunities for your business.

Manage your business

Your business has a multitude of assets and financials that must be properly managed which can be immensely difficult. Many small businesses struggle with being able to see their business, having to scroll through endless excel spreadsheets or asking personnel to get answers needed. Making use of an Enterprise Resource Planning system, or ERP, gives you the means to effectively manage your business. ERP systems provide clarity into your business by centralising your business processes, advanced reporting functions and real time access to information, which all provide business management with the needed information to run the business.

For more information on our Business Coaching service or how to improve your business, contact us on 02 9299 7044 or via admin@lockwood.com.au.

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