With 2019 only just getting underway, what better time is there to whip your business into shape for a successful year. Taking the time to review some of your existing processes, implement some new best practices and throw out some old bad habits doesn’t need to cost the earth or take up too much time.
To help you get started we’ve compiled some of the key areas of your business to focus on and how you can achieve your best year of business!
Whether your business has 5 or 35 employees, as a small business owner there are a few effective ways to ensure your team is on the same page and prepared to tackle the year ahead. A good place to start is by communicating what goals your business is aiming to achieve, and what everyone needs to do to make it happen!
Having a motivated team is always a good start, but the real challenge can be keeping that motivational fire burning all year round. These are some tried and tested steps which can help:
- Recognise & reward: it’s important to celebrate wins, however big or small within the workplace. Activities like team lunches, staff birthdays and awards to recognise hard work are always a winner.
- Be all ears: be there for when your employees want to share their ideas, improvements and even complaints. Just by being heard, your employees will feel more engaged with your business.
- Think outside the box: encourage your employees to think outside the box when it comes to planning new projects and sharing ideas. A little bit of creativity may create new opportunities your business never even considered.
When it comes to marketing, the internet is your best friend with thousands of free marketing tools ready at your fingertips. It can feel overwhelming with so many channels and resources available, so we’ve surfed the web and found these golden tips to help you boost your marketing efforts:
- Subscribe: many marketing websites, such as Hubspot, Backlinko and Social Media Examiner, send regular newsletters full of useful resources and tips. Best of all, they are free and are delivered straight to your inbox!
- Create a marketing schedule: an online template, a whiteboard or a traditional paper calendar, whichever way you choose, mapping out your marketing activities for the year is going to help in the long run. Make sure to include items like industry related events, key holidays, promotional periods, etc.
- Get social: if you haven’t already connected your business to the world of social media, now is the time. There are many different channels to choose from, so pick a few channels that you think will suit the style of your business and focus on managing these well instead of lots of accounts which can be hard to keep in control of.
It goes without saying that a central area of your business is your finances. With an efficient system in place, you can take away the stress that can come with balancing the books. If you have some downtime, check that your files are in order (you’ll be thanking yourself come tax time) and all financial policies and procedures your business may have are all updated. A few other ways you can keep your finances in order include:
- Review: rechecking items such as how much you pay for suppliers, ensuring sales are being tracked correctly and reviewing your working capital are ways you could potentially save your business some serious cash.
- Payroll: make sure all your staff’s details are up to date with the correct tax and superannuation details and that your business’s PAYG obligations are being met.
For more information download a free small business finance checklist here.
There’s no doubt, your small business relies on technology to get the job done – from accounting software to customer databases, managing your social media accounts and everything in between. In the ever-changing and growing online world, it’s important for your business to keep up to speed:
- Updates: make sure all your systems are up to date, especially anti-virus programs. If your business has IT policies and procedures, it is also a good time to check and ensure all the information is correct and up to date.
- Solutions to save: there are plenty of programs and tools that are designed to help your business save time and money. Investing in voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) systems like Skype can help keep communication costs down. Investing in artificial intelligence like a voice assistant is another efficient way to get menial tasks done without spending a fortune.
One of the most important elements to keeping your business safe is having the right business insurance policies in place to protect it from unexpected risks. Reviewing your insurance is an opportunity to make sure you are not under or over insuring and that you’re covering your business for the things that matter.
Not sure where to start? Assistance from one of our friendly business insurance specialists is only a phone call away. They can help put you on the right path when it comes to sorting out your business insurance.
A few small changes to your small business can have a big impact. It’s all about working smarter, not harder, so go on, kickstart your business to a productive and successful new year!