Find out if 2016 is off to a good start with these 5 questions
Many entrepreneurs would have used the first two weeks of the year for self-improvement and setting goals for themselves and their business.
Daryl Blundell, managing director for Sage SSB (startup and small businesses) says entrepreneurs should take advantage of the new year as a fresh start for their business.
“The start of a New Year is always a great time to re-evaluate your business plans and operations, and ask yourself if there’s anything you could do better,” says Blundell.
These are the 5 questions he says every business owners should ask to ensure that they are well prepared for the year ahead.
Q: Have you set your primary business goals for 2016?
The focus of the first few weeks of the year should be on the aspects of the business that are often neglected in the day-to-day running of a business, says Blundell, such as your team, your customers and business equipment.
Q: Have you made contact with your existing customers?
Customers want to be made to feel important, this is one way to build customer loyalty. This time of the year, says Blundell, is an ideal time to get in touch with your customers and to even set up meetings if required.
“Send a New Year’s greeting to people who have opted-in to receive your emails or text messages and give your especially important contacts a quick phone call to catch up. This will help put you on the radar for your key clients right from the start of the year,” says Blundell.
Q: Are your business’ books in order?
With the tax year-end approaching business owners need to start preparing now, to avoid the rush, advises Blundell.
Other financial matters to get on top of are chasing down debtors, evaluating inventory and considering what your tax bill will look like, he says.
Q: Is your marketing strategy up to standard?
The new year is a good time to add “a fresh coat of marketing paint” to the business, says Blundell.
“Why not audit your website, brochures, business cards and other marketing materials to ensure that they’re up-to-date and that the content is professionally presented. If you run social media or a blog account, you could jot down some ideas for content and share during the course of the year,” he says.
Q: Are your team members equipped with the right skills?
Business owners should look at which skills their employees are lacking, says Blundell. One of the ways to close the skills gap is to make courses and seminars available to your team.
“Some ideas might be an e-marketing course to get up to speed with the latest trends in digital marketing, seminars about the latest developments in tax regulation and labour law, or general financial management and leadership courses to sharpen your business acumen,” says Blundell.