With so much going on it’s easy to focus on surviving rather than on thriving, so make some effort to be better prepared by creating a Year Planner 2016 – simple steps to have a better year.
With 80 per cent of consumers researching online prior to making a purchase, it’s no wonder research shows SMEs with a website and a social media site are almost two and a half times as likely to expect an annual revenue rise.
1. Review the last 12 months’ wins & losses – Products, Services Financial Goals
Take time away from business – favourite beach or mountain – to reflect upon what worked, what didn’t and what can be improved. Write down a SWOT – the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your business.
2. Plan a new customer retention plan
Studies show it costs 5-7 times more to acquire a new customer (advertising, time cost etc) than to retain an existing one, so it pays to identify your most profitable customers. Don’t have a customer retention strategy? Make time to build one. It’s a great way to develop and maintain productive relationships and encourage growth of referral sales. It also enables you to explore ways to grow revenue and recurring sales, and add stability to your business. If you have key clients make time to call them and see what they are up to and what challenges they face. While the intent would be to say thanks for their patronage, the outcome may well be locking in orders for this year. It’s easy to keep customer and sales records current by using up to date accounting software. Ask us for FREE advice 0407 361 596.
3. Devise a new customer acquisition strategy
WE always lose some customers – they move, find a better deal etc – so you want to attract new customers to your business but are you unsure how or where to find them? A customer acquisition strategy should be planned – to start, determine who your existing customers are, and this tells you who your target customers are. Looking at existing clients can help you understand the customers you want to attract and retain, what they want, how much they’re willing to pay, the products or services they’ve tried, plus their expectations about your brand, product or service.
4. Review your product and/or service offering – and marketing funnel
If it’s been a while since you took a close look at your products and/or services, there’s no time like the present to reassess your mix. How well is your market-offering helping you reach your business goals? Are some product/service more profitable than others? What changes can you make? Are there new opportunities to add to the mix? A great idea is to write what you think are the answers to these questions and then do the work to find the real answers – call existing/past customers/clients. Any gaps can highlight a blind spot in your strategy. Be bold and send out a survey – or prepare one that you ask when you call – and write the answers down.
5. Review your pricing
Knowing what to charge for your products and/or services can help you build a sustainable, profitable business. If you’re unsure, then ask your tax or business advisor, or ourselves, to help – basically – what are your costs to be open per day per hour, then the cost of goods (if you sell product) and what you want to be paid – that is your hourly charge rate – compare to competitors to see if you are in the right ball-park.
6. Perform a cash flow forecast
Cash flow ranks as one of the top pressure points for SMEs – the 3rd highest in the 2015 MYOB Business Monitor report news. Cash flow forecasting can make business life easier in many ways, enabling you to track your performance against predictions.
7. Accounting in order
If your receipts, payments and credit card paperwork are in disarray, it’s time to embrace online accounting solutions. By using up to date software …(including online versions) you can get a better snapshot of your finances at your fingertips, 24/7, minimise stress and maximise peace of mind!
Arrange a ‘health check’ of your business with a trusted advisor, such as your accountant, bookkeeper or other business advisor or ourselves, to start your new year’s success story.
Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!
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