Hopefully you’ve done your 2012 review by now and have set out the framework for a prosperous 2013. It can be a really time consuming process, but one that is definitely worth while when you see the results.
In case you haven’t got around to it yet, or maybe just need to tweak a few things, here are some extra planning pointers from the folks at MYOB.
1. It all starts with a plan
A clear strategic plan is the foundation of any successful business. A detailed, forward-looking plan covering all key business facets will ensure your activities are geared towards growing your profitability.
Review and update your plan this month to ensure it takes into account any new developments or opportunities found last year and those you expect to work on this year.
This could be investing in growing your market share, improving your market intelligence so the business is more competitive, or even aspects as simple as setting sales targets.
2. Seek professional advice
The mix of business commitments such as compliance, accounting, payroll, export rules, council codes and employment relations can be overwhelming for many business owners. Take the opportunity now to catch up with business advisors such as accountants and business coaches for advice on the year ahead.
This is also a good time to tap into your wider networks to explore what opportunities they think are on the horizon for this year.
3. Review your supplier base
One way to boost business performance this year is to review your current contracts and suppliers, to see if you’re getting your money’s worth. Research your suppliers’ competitors to find out their service offering, prices and the discounts they’re prepared to offer for placing regular bulk orders, referrals, ongoing loyalty to their business and so on.
Also consider whether a service you currently outsource can be carried out more cost effectively internally, or whether you can consolidate your suppliers.
4. Diversify your range
Innovation in products and services can be a sure way to stay well ahead of the competition. Offering a new or improved range to existing customers will help retain them and can also attract new customers. Find the courage to trim away any non-profitable activities and back the winners.
Talk to a professional who can help identify what strategies, products and services deliver the healthiest returns, re-evaluate your margins and benchmark your performance against similar businesses.
5. Spruce up your systems and processes
With all the different hats that a business owner wears, getting your systems and processes right is vital to business success. SME operators are spoilt for choice when it comes to technologies that will improve your efficiencies, such as MYOB’s range of business management solutions that help make business life easier.
When it comes to improving processes, consider building a comprehensive operations manual or fine tuning the one you have and then have staff contribute to discussions on how to improve the way you work as a team.
6. Be where your customers are: online
With more than 80% of consumers researching online prior to making a purchase, being online offers a huge opportunity to connect with more customers. The latest MYOB Business Monitor survey revealed SMEs with a website were 53% more likely to experience a revenue rise over the last financial year.
7. Re-engage your team
It can take some time to get back into work mode after a relaxing holiday, so consider ways you can reignite staff motivation. Perhaps organise a catered kick-off strategy meeting to celebrate the return to work and to run through plans for the year ahead.
You could also have one-on-one meetings on how individual goals relate to these plans, so your staff understand the important role they play in the business. Getting your team fired up about projects on the horizon and how.
How is your planning going? Come and tell us!