Once one year ends, it’s time to prepare yourself and your business for the new one. For many business owners, this usually means evaluating their accomplishments and setting the course for what lies ahead. But as you do this, it’s important to note that most of the problems that plague small companies are rooted in a failure to do the little things right. That’s why you should always turn to the fundamentals of good business practice to get you ready for the new year.
Every small business will have a slightly different end-of-year checklist. That’s because each enterprise faces its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. That said, there are some common themes that run throughout. And that’s what we will focus on here. Some of these items may seem a little bit obvious, but you would be surprised just how many are overlooked. Remember, a small change may be all that’s standing in the way of you making a difference and accomplishing all your business goals in 2018.
With that in mind, here are 5 things that you should do for your business this year:
- Develop a Data-Based Culture
Let’s face it: the more you track data and use it to make business decisions, the better those decisions will be. Sure, business sometimes needs for you to make some moves based on your instincts and “gut” feelings.
That said, you will always get much better results if you ensure that all your choices are backed by as much information as possible. Make sure that you are always tracing the key performance indicators for your business. By understanding what impacts them and how, you will be able to make decisions that keep your business on track and help it grow.
- Collect Feedback from your Customers
No matter what your operating hours are, your business should always be “on”. If you need to, set up alerts that let you know what the market and your competitors are saying about you. You should always be the first to know if a customer is raving about your business online, or if someone gave you a bad review.
The best – and most cost-effective – way to do this is by actually talking to your customers as often as possible. Whether you’re running a big or small enterprise, surveying customers is the easiest way to know how to improve your product or service. Feedback is an integral part of the business progress – don’t ignore it.
- Organize your Books
Most small businesses fail because of a failure to keep their books well. For instance, if you haven’t set aside enough money to pay your taxes, then you are in trouble. That’s why you should make a point of reviewing all your financial reports in 2018. Not only will this help you assess your progress, but it will also help you identify what change to make in order to ensure that your business is more profitable.
- Upgrade your Technology
It’s vital to recognize that we’re living in the time of constant innovations. The most successful businesses will be those that embrace and incorporate this fact into their own operations. And this won’t be that hard to do. After all, there is a lot of new tech available every year that can benefit your business. The only downside is that you might have to replace old systems with new ones. But, in most cases, this is an investment that usually pays off in no time.
- Start Networking
This year, make it your mission to attend as many conferences and industry events as possible. That’s because these are the best places to learn new things that you can implement in your own business. They are also the perfect place to network and meet like-minded people – whether they are customers or people who can help your business grow.