The end of one year and the beginning is a good time to take stock with your business. You’ve likely just come out of your peak period in the run up to Christmas, and can look back on a whole year’s worth of revenue, footfall, achievements and, inevitably, missed opportunities too. It’s also a good time to make your plans for the next year: in many industries, post-Christmas is a quieter time. People have just spent a lot of money and don’t have the budget, whether domestically or in their business, to spend more. It’s a good time to reflect, work out how you want the next year to be different and start putting the plans in place to make it so.
One thing many businesses plan around this time is growth. Growing your business may come out of a desire to double down on the previous year’s success, or turn around a disappointing period of trading. You may have some money in the bank to invest in your business, or simply want to find some new customers to counter the attrition of others moving away, or looking elsewhere for their needs.
Growth is an important thing to plan – poorly structured growth can actually be a risk to your business, leading to financial overcommitments or even brand damage. Take your time to research what you’re doing. Make sure there are customers ready and waiting for you if you’re planning to open a new location, or that any proposed new product is priced at the right point and fills a need for the customers you’ll be selling it to.
Market researchers and other specialists can help with this kind of research if you have the opportunity to work with them. If you’re a mid-sized business or larger, it could be worth looking into the strategic consulting UK companies increasingly offer at many different levels, to help you plan a full, cohesive growth strategy.
It’s also a good time to look at side projects for the year ahead that aren’t part of your core business strategy. Whether it’s leveraging your reputation and expertise to do some consulting – or even teaching – on the side or organising events to boost your business’ profile and bring in new customers, this is a great time to make those plans. All side projects like this can affect your reputation and your business’ too, so it’s worth making a solid plan to ensure they deliver value and don’t leave clients, customers or guests wanting.