The beginning of a new financial year is the perfect time for small business owners to prepare their business for a profitable year of growth. Here are three areas you could look at in your business to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of having a successful 2019/20 financial year.
1. Business Planning
We often have a business plan when we first start out in business but how often do you revise yours? A business plan not only helps you to expand your business, but it helps you stay in control and maximise your potential growth and finances.
When reviewing your business plan, you should ask yourself a number of questions: are your long-term goals clear enough? What worked and what didn’t in the previous financial year? Are your goals specific enough or do you need to redefine them? Have you done enough research (e.g. market research on your market, industry and competitors)?
Set yourself short-term (three-six month) and long-term (six-12 month) goals and develop an action plan for each, to visualise how you’ll achieve those goals.
2. Automation technology
Look at every area of your business and ask yourself: how can I make this more efficient? There’s always room to improve business processes and automation can drive this. Automation will provide better transparency for processes and make reporting more accurate, faster and improve decision-making.
Areas where you can and should automate include:
3. Digital Marketing
Your strategy – Is your digital marketing strategy up to date with your marketing goals? Review your goals and ensure they are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based). Your strategy should be customer-focused, so you should have detailed customer personas set up to help you understand who your customer is. This may include their demographics, what their goals are and what they value, their pain points and how your business can solve those pain points.
Your brand – Is your branding consistent? You should have specific brand fonts and colours that are used across your graphics, logo and any other documents on and offline. Creating a style guide can help your visual brand while setting out your values, mission and niche will help strengthen your brand voice.
Your platforms – Are you using your digital platforms effectively? Your website is your digital storefront. Review it to see if you can maximise the user experience. Your website should be easily navigable, be optimised for mobile and search engines, and have clear CTAs. What about social media? Not every platform is going to be right for your business so it’s important before the new financial year to review each platform and its success and adjust accordingly.
Brooke Arnott, Managing Director, The Small Business Lounge