What do you want for your business in 2011?
Perhaps you want it to grow? To increase your customer base? Or even just to survive.
There’s no doubting the tough economic conditions out there, but businesses are adapting and some are even thriving. So where do you start?
A year may seem a long time, but set a long term goal. Make it short and measurable: for example to find three more major clients who will will pass you work regularly if you are offering a service. Perhaps you can decide to develop three more markets for your products if this is what you are offering.
Write down your long term goal. Now jot down underneath all the ways you can think of to achieve it. Some may not be immediately achievable, but others you can start on right away. Set aside some time in your busy life to work on just achieving this goal.
What about something more short term? You can set weekly, monthly or quarterly targets to help keep yourself on track. Make sure you keep a note of them and review them regularly. If you are not achieving your targets, then what is holding you back? Try to analyse where things can be improved.
What if your business is struggling? What if you are finding it hard to just stay afloat?
Then it is worth finding some help. Talk to your bank if you have cashflow problems, approach other business contacts that you know can help you out and seek out information on the internet as a first move.
Find your help sooner rather than later and act on the advice given. Take steps to minimise your losses and seek out ways to bring in new business. Try and think innovatively and seek new ways to target your business effectively to your clients.
Track your finances closely. Remember that the last date for filing your tax return online in the UK is 31st January and that the website can get overwhelmed in the last few days. Include financial goals in your planning to help you get on track.
Setting goals for your business can help you to understand where your business is going as it allows you to compare to the previous year. Not all goals will be achievable, so make time for regular reviews of your goals to enable you to ensure that they are still relevant to your business.
If you manage to achieve your goals early, then congratulations! Don’t rest, however, but set new and more challenging goals in order to boost your business further.
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