Spring is just around the corner and as we leave the colder months behind us, now is the perfect time to reflect and carry out a business ‘spring clean’. Every business can benefit from an operational and financial review and some serious decluttering to reorganise and prepare for strategic, long term growth. We’ve put together five tips to help you take stock and get your business in top shape for the months ahead.
- Reassess your goals – January is the traditional time to set plans for the year ahead, but spring is an even better time to review where you and your business are up to and perhaps adjust your targets for the remainder of the year. It is a great time to appreciate how far you, and your business, have come in Q1. It is also a good point to assess those targets and budget goals that you have not yet reached. Ask yourself key questions to reflect on your goals. Are they realistic? Do they need to be changed? Or do you simply need to change your approach.
- Revisit old connections and make new ones. The season of rejuvenation is an excellent time to make new relationships, so now could be a great time to get networking. Look out for sector specific breakfast events and seminars in your local area. You will also find that your local chamber of commerce hold networking events and many other groups will hold industry specific events. The FSB have some helpful links if you’re looking for networking events aimed at small businesses, take a look here. Online networking via channels like Twitter and Linkedin can also be a great route to success. Start by looking for hashtags relevant to your business or local area and get involved in the conversation. Business is built on relationships, and past connections are equally as important as new ones. Take time to follow up with people that you have not seen in a while, update them on where you are at and where you want to go. If you can not make time to do this personally, you could perhaps start with updating your company newsletter and featuring an update for your followers. I would also suggest calling your existing clients, past ones as well as the ones who got away, to see if they are happy. Are you able to help?
- Refresh your brand – define what your brand is and what you want it to be. A common issue for start ups and SMEs is having a brand that lacks consistency. Conduct a brand audit – is your brand consistent across all medias ? Are you happy with your branding, logo, and colour schemes? If the answer is no, start thinking about how you might change this. Do you want a total rebrand or would a few subtle tweaks do the trick?
- Review finances – if you want to grow your business it’s essential to know your numbers. If you’re just starting out you might need some support to guide you through your first steps, from company formation, compliance, business modelling and budgeting to help raising finance. If you’re a more established business you may be looking to strengthen your position, increase profitability and improve cash flow with quality forecasting. If this feels daunting now could be the time to think about getting an external expert to help you.
- Refer to the experts – if you need advice or support then ask for it. Building a community of other business owners who can offer advice and support can be crucial. This is particularly true during the start up phase. If you can find a business mentor to offer guidance as your grow then do so. Don’t be tempted to try and do everything alone, many successful businesses sub contract elements of their operation and it can be a cost effective and wise move.
We’d love to hear about how you plan to review your business this spring. Get in touch and share your top tips with us.