As we approach a new year it’s natural to reflect on your business’ performance over the last twelve months, and indeed over its whole life. You’re likely coming out of one of the busiest times of the year, and in the quiet that follows you have the space to look back, plan forward and decide what changes you need to make for your business.
Today we’re having a look at some of those changes so you can think more constructively about what’s right for your business.
There are all sorts of services and individuals that can offer help for businesses, owners and entrepreneurs and while there’s a strong culture of individualism and independence among entrepreneurs, taking advantage of that help is no admission of defeat. Trying to spread yourself too thinly or make informed decisions where you don’t have expertise is a recipe for failure in the long- (or indeed short-) term so it’s a good time to think about specific areas where bringing in outside help will deliver value for the business.
Think about issues where you don’t have the expertise in your business to excel, but where it also doesn’t make sense to hire full time: sometimes the flexibility of a consulting relationship is a big advantage. Business strategy consulting, marketing expertise and legal advice are all areas where small and even medium sized businesses can derive a lot of benefit and value. If you’re looking for market research, marketing or strategy consulting London has got a spread of choices from solo freelancers to big agencies and boutique options in between to suit your budget.
Time to Grow?
As a business owner you always have to have your eye on future growth. It doesn’t mean you need to leap on every opportunity you see – sometimes growing too fast with no plan can pull a business apart – but you owe it to yourself and your business to make sure you identify those opportunities and make conscious, informed choices about whether or not to take advantage of them.
Look at your performance over the previous year and how the market has changed. Does it seem the coming year is a good time to build your offering or physical presence? If you’re seeing lots more money being spent in your sector then it might be the time to make some plans!
Time to Shrink?
As with getting expert help, shrinking your offering is not an indicator of failure. Early in the year is a good time to take stock, look at what’s performing for you and what isn’t. If you’re in retail and a product line didn’t perform well over November-December then it may never pay its way!
As well as looking at financial performance, think about your brand. Your brand is created through every interaction your customers have with you – and browsing your product offering is part of that. If your brand isn’t performing as you’d hope, it may be that you need to prune your range and refocus on your core areas to reinforce your customer’s confidence in who you are.