Preparing for a Great 2018

Preparing for Growth

Preparing for growth may require some disruption.  Many businesses roll with the flow.  Decisions are made based on the work they have in front of them.  The effort put into building the business is based on what has worked in the past.  The investments made for growth are generally industry accepted and have a success rate that is acceptable.  When we look forward to growing our businesses, we often don’t have clarity on the plans but lean on what has worked in the past.

When looking at steps to be able to grow the business in a healthy and sustainable way we want simple, effective action items.  Preparation requires some work, so here are a few simple things to expand your business in 2018.

Review Your Business

Start with a realistic look at your financials. What income are you bringing in and what are you spending to provide those services?  Hopefully, your bookkeeping process can provide you with this, but it may take some time to review the incidental costs and try to allocate them to clients in a percentage of your business.  When you have a clear look at the financials, you can determine the value of your clients and which ones are producing your best revenue.  You can also begin to determine the areas that you are spending money unnecessarily. This simple review can help maximize profits and reduce expenses as you look at preparing a budget for 2018.

Make a Budget

When you have a budget, you are telling the money where to go.  This, of course, is a simple concept, and yet many business owners will operate in generalities about financial decisions.  With a budget, you can see how much money you can spend in any given category, that would decrease your revenue.  It can also guide you with where revenue might be lagging.  Unless you can see and compare the financial progress with expectations, you are hard-pressed to know where to grow and what to change.  Budgets are excellent barometers to the health of your business.

Cast a Wider Net

Often business owners are too busy to look at growth potential until they don’t have enough business.  When looking at your business review, you might see similarities in clients that utilize your product and services.  Where are your high-income clients coming from, and what services are you providing? Being able to identify core markets will help direct any marketing efforts and dollars effectively.  As the year progresses without shifting marketing efforts you may see consistent income, but no market growth.  A simple marketing plan can make a huge difference in reaching the clients that you want to serve.  Many might not know you are there or have yet to hear about what makes your clients use you over and over again.  Good marketing does not have to cost a lot, but without it, your potential is missed.

As you look forward to 2018, take the time to review, budget and market.  All of this requires taking some time to make a plan.  If you feel like you are too busy, ask someone to come and look at the data for you and help you with ideas and suggestions.  Your business is your livelihood, and gaining wisdom on growth is key to making your vision a reality.