One year has ended and another has begun. If you own a small business or startup, it's time to check your performance and create new goals. Look back and look forward – doing both will enable you to take a long, hard look your business. You'll see where you are at the moment, and where you want to go in the coming months. Here are some things to consider for your retrospective.
Assess your goals. What were your business goals last year, and were you able to achieve them? What went well? What went wrong? Go through all the objectives you set in 2015 and analyze the results. If there are goals you weren't able to meet, see if you can still achieve them in 2015 or let them go to make way for new ones.
Wrap up your documents and bookkeeping. File away all your documents from the past year and tidy up any loose ends in your bookkeeping. Deal with any pending files and go through all your invoices and receipts.
It's best to get everything in order now, especially your finances, before the new year kicks in. This way, you can see the big picture and you can apply any improvements for 2016 immediately. Use an app like Freshbooks to help you, or hire a freelance accountant to do it for you.
Make your appraisals. How is your product or service doing? Has it improved, and what other improvements can you do in the coming year? Check your revenue against your losses. It will help you determine your direction in 2016.
Planning for 2016
Create your goals. After making your 2015 evaluation, you can now identify your 2016 goals with ease. What results do you need for your product or service? What revenue targets do you need to hit? What kind of growth you need to reach this year?
Overhaul your business processes. The start of the year is the best time to make a change in the way your business approaches things. This is your opportunity to make as many improvements as possible. Be flexible – get rid of everything that has been holding the business back. Take steps to free up any roadblocks that may have sprung up over the past year.
Pin down your marketing plans. Marketing is an essential part of your business, which is why a set marketing plan should be in place every year. Consider all your options – are you going with traditional, digital, or social? Make sure that every effort has an identifiable impact on growth and revenue. You should have a testing plan in place as well before you roll out any major campaigns.
Update your online presence. January is also the time to make any major changes to your business website and your social media profiles. Check that all facts and figures are current and correct. Identify any dead pages and clean them up, then add pages if you have new information. Also, if necessary, update your website design and social media headers and profile pictures.
Your online pages are the first things that people see about your brand. You can get an online designer and developer in a jiffy to help you.
There are so many ways to grow your business. Figuring out which initiatives to undertake can be quite the task. Just don't rush through it. Be systematic in going through your evaluation. Put some time into it, and you'll be ready for 2016 soon enough.
To get you started, here are 11 ways to help your business take off this year.