2018 is a year to be optimistic. Nevertheless, it’s also a year to be more projective and realistic with business goals. The real value of doing business this year is not only being profitable, but providing real solutions to real consumer problems.
Typically, many startup businesses would be looking forward to hitting turnover targets to keep afloat. I won’t put you off because, as a business owner who have tangible business resolutions, I’m also anticipating an over the roof turnover by end of the year. However, a business has to be well positioned and doing the right things at the right times to achieve results.
Here are 20 ways to make sense of your business this year
- Decide your goals
Businesses don’t run mainly by goals but by defined plans. Goals are there to serve as guideline to serving the real deals. The goals for the year should be organized, precise and factual. It should be in line with your main business plan.
- Create schedules and simplify your work routines
If you want to be really productive this year, you have got to create a simple, clear, and effective schedules. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” –Stephen Covey, American educator, author and businessman. Make the hours count by the day.
- Put your brand together – re-establish the business identity
Small businesses are usually faced with brand crisis, a situation where brands are neglected to focus on growth during inception stages. For you not to lose focus off your brand, consider this step and as often review and fix key constituents. Integral to reassessment is getting consumers to identify with your brand again. Your brand must always be communicative and easily identifiable.
- Introduce your business to potential
Don’t be limited to same old clients and customers, expand your business. There are quite several ways to get your business to the right targets. Employ the use of service offering proposals and business introductions, through email marketing, business presentations, and letters. Don’t wait for the customer; go to the customer when you have identified them.
- Connect and reconnect with business networks
If you want to go far, go with others. Networks and business relationships are the backbone behind any business. Genuine networks can foster referrals, give good recommendations, and reviews, among other opportunities. Don’t make those relationships lay dormant, get it working.
- Take a second look at your products or services
It is a must your services and products get better by the years. No matter what category of your business happens to be, one thing is necessary in order for your business to provide its customers value for value: make the commitment to continuously learn, remold what’s “hot” in your market or industry. High quality products or services are essential for business growth and customer loyalty.
- Don’t be competitive: be the competition
If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. Being a startup business you don’t need challenging the gamers. It is not the time to be competitive at all. Best understand the business and focus on the customer. They will keep you in the game.
- Be accessible and visible
Take charge and market your brand aggressively. Whether it’s your brand’s online or physical visibility, be easily accessible. Highly these days, a number of startup businesses run from homes. It should not limit your accessibility and visibility. Make your business know.
- Develop some winning strategies
Often plan ahead. Have a preliminary strategy ready before you need it. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to execute your strategies calmly and confidently. Winning strategies takes time: be sure to include all the tools in your toolbox.
- Develop a plan and measure the results
Decide which tactics you’re going to use that will give you much better outcomes compared to the previous year. Review results quarterly to maximize progress and make adjustments where necessary. Make every opportunity count.
- Market to the right targets – sell it right!
Make a commitment to market your business. Marketing can be basic and straight to the point. Set the right target, communicate the message, win their hearts and make a sell.
- Re-examine your business model(s)
This is an important point to note. You can’t win without a model. The relationship between your products or services, customers, purchasing power and cashflow is determined by your business model. It is therefore key to assess your model periodically and revise them to stay relevant.
- Increase social media presence – engage more and listen!
You don’t need to be on every social platform, all you need is what makes sense to your business and what can easily be available to target audience. Make it a point to define some priorities, set some goals, create powerful contents and engage more. Vital purpose is to listen to what your audience will say about your business, brand, products and services.
- Spend a little on advertising
It is quite a challenge for small businesses and startups to save a little out of the meagerly for advertising. Because they do not have the excess capacity, they deemed it unnecessary to give it a shot. A little advertising will boost your brand.
- Borrow less
Now this is a habit of many startups. You have to learn to make use of what you have. Stick to your budgets. It can be difficult to carry out projects and improve services with insignificant cash or no money at all: mastering your financial management and cutting costs for things that matters will improve your finances. If possible, borrow nothing not at all.
- You need an F-Plan; Financial plan
I never fail to make strong emphasis on financial plans because it is the soul of your business. Businesses run on cash: good cash. It will serve your business a great deal, if you take some pain to exclusively write a financial plan for your business quarterly or every six month. I mean it will not hurt you to be all informed of your business financial projections and goals.
- Get a couple of ethics up your sleeves
A good business practices good ethics. Honesty, punctuality, respect for other businesses, integrity and confidentiality are a few principles of ethics. Let the morals of the business guide you to success. You will not get it right all the time, but an effort will be recognized.
- Protect the business
It is your responsibility to do everything within your means as a business owner to limit risk and to keep the business running smoothly. Most often, it is not just about the business ideas, logo, business names etc that needs to be protected.
Contracts are one huge setbacks for startups when they do not seek the services of a competent attorney. In any dealings that bind two or more entities or individuals, get the assistance of a lawyer. There are affordable law firms that serve startups and small businesses.
- Prep and motivate your team for the year’s target
Get your team ready and motivated to go all out for the new year’s goals and target. A gentle reminder to rekindle them often throughout the year will help keep them on their toes.
- Ready, get set: let’s get to work!
Opportunities will not happen much this year as predicted by some business analysts, so you have to create them. Work smart, take risks, get things done, and repeat!