A new year brings a renewed focus on looking ahead and making plans. Then we get moving in the business and focused on implementation. But a lot has changed in the last six months, and it's time to take a look at your business and see if your plan should change too.
Some say you should update your business plan constantly. At the very least, it's good to do a periodic check to assess whether you're on track or need to make adjustments to keep your business growing. Set up a regular schedule with yourself to make the time to work on your business rather than just in it.
Start with a hard look at what is going well. Give yourself credit for the good decisions and the lucky breaks. Look for successful practices that you can build on.
Consider both general and specific actions. Did a particular marketing campaign take off? Did a policy update turn into a game changer? Did you do especially well with the last round of new hires? Now take a look at why those actions work and how you might be able to replicate them.
Let's face it, even the biggest and best of businesses have some places where improvements can be made. Your next step is to identify and prioritize what you want to make stronger.
Here are a few questions to get that process started:
To get a better perspective, talk to employees about what they see happening. Paying attention to customer feedback can give you even more insights.
As part of this process, take a look at your key indicators and make note of year-over-year or month-over-month changes. Maybe it's time for an overhal of your business plan, or maybe you just need to make a few adjustments. Is it time to change up your service deliver, add more products or offer mobile services?
Marketing is an essential function of any business. Midway through the year is an excellent time to review and adjust your existing marketing strategy. If you have a business that slows down when warmer weather rolls in, take advantage of having some extra time and test new strategies, such as mobile ads. Summer is a time when people are less likely to be on their computers and more likely to be on on mobile devices.
How are your ongoing campaigns doing? Are they meeting expectations? Are you getting the number of leads you want? Are you getting leads but losing them along the sales funnel? It can take time to build up the audience you want for online ads, but if it's been months without improvement, it's time to make some tweaks.
Taxes aren't due until April 15, 2023, but now is good time to do check up on your tax situation. Keeping your receipts in stuffed in a box to hand over to your accountant in December is an option, but it's not the most cost effective strategy. Talk to your accountant now, when they're not slammed, about how to take advantage of tax breaks. That way you won't be scrambling at the end of the year and miss out on opportunities to keep more of your hard earned profits.
Now you can take all of this great iformation you've been gathering and use it to make a revised plan for the rest of the year. This plan should include solutions to any issues discovered during your checkup, such as new processing systems to help increase sales, marketing tactics, or growth strategies.
By the way, it's not too early to start thinking about the holidays. What products or services do you want to offer. What are the expectations for your industry. When are you going to put in orders? When do you need to start promotions. Getting set now will give you plenty of run room for a solid end of the year performance.
Now that you know how to conduct a mid-year business checkup, use these tips for your small business today. Remember that without a thorough review, you’re effectively operating your enterprise in the dark. Give yourself every opportunity for success and check back up again in six months to see how your new strategy is holding up.
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