Cast your mind back to the Christmas and New Year period last year.
You said that business would be different next year.
Crazy long hours. Nowhere near meeting your money goals. Just treading water and making the same mistakes year after year.
So many business owners fit this mould. It’s time to break out.
You’ve already taken the first step to having a better year next year. You know that you’re going to either wind up or wind down for the end of the year.
This requires a strong plan. Review your numbers, review your team. Take a close look at what happened this year that you definitely don’t want to carry into the new year.
Plan for change
Don’t look back this time next year and realise you’re in exactly the same spot.
Your overall plan needs to take several elements into consideration.
The first is taking a close look at the front end of your business. This means being aware of the state of your marketing, sales, and customer support services.
The end of the year is a great time to get organised and make changes that will benefit your business in the future.
What does your marketing plan look like? You not only need a clear plan, but to make sure that it is being regularly reviewed and tweaked.
It’s important to have a strategy in place to test and measure your results against your investment. This lets you make changes, so you don’t throw money at ineffective marketing strategies.
Without a clear plan in place, your business won’t be performing at its best. This will cost you time and money in the long run.
The truth is in the numbers. The long term health of your business depends on having a clear financial plan.
Although you need a plan to see you through the whole year, the end of the year has its own challenges.
It doesn’t matter if you’re winding up or down, your cash flow needs to be organised.
Follow up your debtors, make sure all payments are taken care of, and make sure you have a chance to review your supplier agreements.
And don’t forget to call your accountant. Make sure your tax affairs are up to date.
Your team is super important to your business. Even if everything else is going well, a poorly constructed or in cohesive team can really affect your overall success.
Communication is super important.
The end of the year is a time when you all really need to pull together. Everyone wants time off and if your team aren’t willing or able to work together, it can be devastating for morale and your business overall.
This means your role is clear and early rostering, so your team know exactly what’s expected of them.
If your business is winding up, you might need to think about extra temporary staff to help you through the busy period. Winding down, and your team needs to be aware of how long business will be slow.
You all need to share a common goal. It’s not enough to just get through.
It’s time for a systems review
The biggest question is, are they working for you or against you? Do you need to implement new systems?
Systems exist purely to make your life easier and keep your business moving forward.
But business life can be unpredictable, so your systems may need to be tweaked or replaced if they’re making your life harder. You need a clear contingency plan in case of any surprises.
Also take a look to see if there’s any bottlenecks that have popped up over the past 12 months. Consider what improvements could be made to make your business run more smoothly.
Your end of year plan needs to get you through the holiday period, but your overall goal should be the long term improvement and success of your business. Looking at the state of your front end, financial situation, staff and systems will set you up so that next year can be your best year ever.
This time next year, I want you to look back and marvel at how far you’ve come.
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