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How to make 2019 your most successful year yet

Steps to making 2019 the best year for your business
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Steps to making 2019 the best year for your business
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Coming into the new year can be a great time to reflect on victories gained and mistakes made in the previous year, to learn and build for the future. Forecasting, setting achievable goals and implementing them effectively can be a great way to hit the ground running in the new year to make 2019 the best it can possibly be for your business.  We’ve pulled together some simple-to-follow strategies to get your new year off to a flying start.

Creating a sales forecast

This sounds like a complicated task but in reality, it can be pretty simple – you just have to think logically. This involves making predictions of sales and revenue for the coming year based on the sales history of the previous year alongside factors which may change that, such as the state of the market, the implications of Brexit, and your prospective growth. This can be done in some simple steps:

  • Analyse your 2018 numbers: Look at the number of clients you averaged each month and what the average net profit per customer was. Try and figure out which months were particularly good and which were bad; you can base your future month-by-month sales expectations on your previous year’s. It can help to visualise this data by using simple bar charts or line graphs.
  • External factors: Keep up to date with market trends – keep an eye on the news and follow market analysis. If your field is expected to grow by a certain percent this year, factor that into your numbers to get an idea of what you should be expecting in the coming 12 months.
  • Internal factors: Of course, your growth (or shrinkage) is not just determined by market factors; your own business may be growing, you may be taking on more clients or investing in more staff - these should be taken into account.
  • Make a calculation: Forecasting software can make this more simple (a quick google search and you’ll find plenty), or enlist the help of an accountant or business mentor.

Setting SMART goals

Once you’ve made some form of quantified prediction, it’s time to set your goals. Take time to create goals which are meaningful and can help to drive your business forward. One goal-setting tool is the SMART method:

S – Specific: goals should be clearly defined.

M – Measurable: you have to be able to know if you have achieved your goal by having some form of measurable aspect.

A – Agreed upon: all stakeholders should agree with the goals.

R – Realistic: try not to aim too high, yes it would be nice to make £10m in your first year, but for most businesses that is unrealistic and unattainable.

T – Time-based: give yourself a deadline, something to motivate yourself and your business to work to.

Using the SMART method to make goals has been shown to be an effective tool to motivate people and facilitate the progression of a business. If you work in a team, getting everybody on board with this can drive motivation and help your business to grow.

Build a plan based on your goals

Once your goals have been realised and established, you need to work towards them. How do you do that? With a business plan.

Your business should already have a plan in place, but it should be a flexible document that is always being updated and changed. What better time to do this than the new year? Updating your plan to accommodate your goals is a good way to hit targets. If one of your goals is to increase your number of clients by 20%, then you may want to address how you acquire clients. Look at your marketing strategy and do what research you can or hire an agency to try and work with you to improve it.

The main headings your business plan should include are:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Sales channels
  • Products/services offered
  • Manufacturing
  • Sourcing
  • Fulfilment
  • Operations
  • Finances
  • Team

This is not an exhaustive list; your business plan should be tailored to your organisation and involve all the different aspects associated with how your business functions.

To achieve your goals, you should try to identify which parts of your business you can change to facilitate the progression of your business, hit your targets and beat your growth forecast.

Write a plan of action

Once you have decided what changes need to be made to your business to achieve your goals, you need to make them happen. A lot of the time these changes cannot occur overnight; they will require planning and execution. Writing a 12-month action plan can help to facilitate this by giving you things to work on that will deliver results.

For example, If you have identified that your marketing strategy needs changing and outlined things that can be done in your business plan, your action plan is the physical to-do list which takes you through how these changes will be made with a month-by-month breakdown. This can help to break daunting tasks up into manageable chunks so that by the end of the year (or your specified time-frame) you will have made the necessary changes to hit your goals.

We want our customers to keep growing and achieving their goals. With the new year finally here, now is a good time to think about target setting and making changes.

To find out how  CapitalSpace  virtual offices or business premises

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call 0800 107 3667