Are you working on wrapping up another year and getting your small business on track? What you do in the beginning months of 2019 will set the stage for business success for the entire year. If you are still busy planning and sorting through the details, consider adding the following six items to your small business to-do list.
Reconnect with Your Why
The timing of the end of the year coupled with the beginning of the new fiscal year, leads many small business owners to reflect on what went right, and what went wrong. They revisit their victories, defeats, consider what might have been, and what might still be accomplished. The beginning of a new year is a chance to reconnect with your why. When challenged, your why is your conviction that puts everything into perspective; it is your personal mission and passion that motivates and helps you overcome obstacles. Ask yourself, are you currently doing what your why requires? If not, now is the perfect time to put yourself on the path that gets you closer to your purpose.
Map Out Your Goals
Whether your business is new or established, every business owner needs goals to keep moving forward. Mapping out your business goals will motivate you to do more and maintain the success of your business this year. The key is to break your long-term goals down into smaller steps to achieve the biggest impact. Focus on what you would like to accomplish, document it and then set up an annual, quarterly and monthly plan. This will ensure you always know what is most important and what you are working towards, while also providing a way to easily track your progress throughout the year.
Research Trends Likely to Impact Your Business
It is important to do an evaluation of your market, so you can determine and prepare for changes that are likely to take place this year. To stay current, consider subscribing to business journals, magazines, and newspapers like Bloomberg Business Week, Financial Times, Fast Company, Inc. or website Small Business Trends. These are just a few of the popular mainstream business publications that cover the latest small business and economic trends. In addition, one of the best ways to stay connected and up to date is to engage in social media. Joining groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, for example, can provide opportunities to exchange tips with those in your industry.
Improve Customer Experience
Transformed by technology, customer experience today is about much more than person-to-person service – companies can now connect with customers in new and exciting ways. To exceed expectations and build loyalty with your customers, you will need to create a customer-first strategy. The best place to start is to understand who your customers are. What do they need? How does your small business fulfill those needs?
It is also important to create an emotional connection with your customers. According to research by Harvard Business Review, emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend your product or service, and three times more likely to re-purchase. You should also focus on capturing customer feedback in real time. Incorporating post-interaction surveys and similar customer experience tools can help you continue to improve the customer experience this year.
Revisit Your Company Culture
When it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, the value structure of company culture is more important than ever before. Many companies are experiencing a generational shift in values. Millennials, for example, are bringing new values into the workplace and the need for a collaborative culture. To ensure your small business is considering the needs and values of a mixed workforce – Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and now Gen Z – make sure that you have a shared purpose. Does your whole team understand the mission, vision, and values? If you have discovered a culture misalignment, it can be fixed with a little time, trust and open communication. Above all, focus on being authentic with your core values.
Create a Plan for Responding and Adapting to Change
Trends can change quickly, and opportunities can pop up overnight. To make sure your business is ready, it is important to have a plan that will allow you to immediately respond and adapt to these changes. For example, if your business encounters an unexpected opportunity to grow or expand, you will need working capital and flexibility. To take on a new, large job opportunity you will need access to quick cash to cover payroll and supplies. Do you know where to find these additional funds? How long will it take you to secure the cash you need to say “yes?” Many small business owners are turning to invoice factoring for a fast (and debt free) cash flow solution.
If you feel that there are a few areas you could focus on improving, now is the perfect time to put together a plan. Checking the above items off of your checklist will help get your business on track for a successful and profitable year.
Security Business Capital’s Invoice Factoring Services
Does your small business need a little extra cash to put plans in motion? Based in Midland, Texas, Security Business Capital is a premier invoice factoring company with years of experience. The team of experts at Security Business Capital specialize in helping companies secure the funds they need to operate smoothly, grow their business and take advantage of opportunities. Our invoice factoring services, for example, allow you to use unpaid invoices to easily secure the cash your business needs.
Oil and gas services, temp staffing, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation are just a few of the business types that use Security Business Capitals' invoice factoring services to generate cash on hand. To learn more about Security Business Capital’s invoice factoring options (or our other service options, like purchase order funding), contact SBC for a free quote and/or consultation.
What you do in the first months of 2019 will set the stage for business success for the entire year. If you are still trying to sort through the details, consider adding the aforementioned six items to your small business to-do list.