As the New Year (and new decade!) approaches, small business owners should be examining their operations in 2019 and devising a list of things they can do better in 2020. Resolutions help us improve on the shortcomings of the year prior. For instance, entrepreneurs should now be thinking about how to improve their marketing efforts in the coming year.
Small business owners who may have struggled in 2019 should use the looming New Year to address things that went wrong. Entrepreneurs are inherently optimistic and tend to focus on the positive. The dawn of a new year brings promise and, hopefully, greater success.
Trimming excess weight is one of the first things a small business owner always vow to do, and the beginning of the year is a good time for any entrepreneur to get his or her company’s finances in better shape. These resolutions can help.
1. Lose Weight
No surprise here. Fat firms should trim the excesses — whether it’s overstaffing or excess inventory. Even successful companies find that they have room for improvement. Examining expenditures during the past year enables a small business owner to truly understand whether or not the firm has been successful over the past 12 months.
Some tips for “losing weight” include examining staffing, particularly during slow periods of the day and during slow seasons of the year. Reducing the hours of underutilized part-time staff can cut costs in a hurry. Another good practice is to rid the organization of slow moving product. Selling it at reduced prices still generates revenue (and maybe even profit) while freeing up space for new inventory that might create more income. Even if the cost reduction amounts to just a few dollars each day, the number grows during each month and, naturally, over the course of the year.
2. Improve Your Record-Keeping
Sloppy bookkeeping can lead to losses. Be sure to record all of the income your company has generated and monitor expenses. It’s the unexpected and unrecorded costs, such as lost petty cash receipts, that eat into profitability. Until a company keeps accurate financial records of what happened in the prior year, it will struggle to assess its profitability.
Having good records of operations and financial performance during the previous year can dramatically impact what happens in 2020. For those who have been doing their own accounting, perhaps hiring a CPA or other experienced tax accountant will help find areas in need of improvement. Many small business owners try to tackle the task on their own. However, hiring a professional to handle the accounting function may lead to savings that outweigh the cost of the accountant’s fees.
3. Ask for (and Listen to) Feedback
Feedback can rub you the wrong way if you receive it at the wrong time, in the wrong manner or from the wrong person. However, if you take the initiative to ask, you can receive quality constructive feedback. Tailor your questions to each person you ask.
At the end of the day (or decade), what matters is what the customers think about you and your business. In this age of Internet and Social Media, its impossible to grow your business without getting yourself a solid reputation and the only way to do that is to get your customers to leave reviews. Sadly, only 2% of your customers leave a review because it takes up so much time and effort to do so. And those that do leave a review, they tend to be negative. Getting the customers to leave a review has never been easier for a small business owner with Feedback Systems’ 5-Star Review Accelerator™. Getting up to 300% more reviews will not only Establish Social Proof, but also Drive Customer Decision leading to more sales, increased revenue and business growth. Read more about it here.
Ultimately, as we turn the leaf on another decade, every business owner wants nothing more except to get more customers and increase revenue. Whether it’s the 1980’s or the 2020’s, nothing will increase revenue quite like reviews from your satisfied customers.