The daffodils are now out in full bloom (well for some of us they have been out since January), the sun is shining and Easter eggs are in the shops, that can only mean one thing – it’s now Spring time!
Many people use this time of year for some serious spring cleaning at home, but how about leaving the pair of marigolds at home and instead doing some business spring cleaning?
This is the perfect time to brush up on business plans and strategy to ensure that you and your business has a killer 2016.
So take a look below at what we recommend to get your business in the best shape for the rest of the year:
Revisit your business plan
When was the last time you looked at your business plan? Most entrepreneurs spend hours, weeks and months writing a business plan only to never look at it. When you write a business plan you normally write it before you have even started trading. The problem with this is before you start trading you are essentially doing some serious guesswork which means that even the most in depth research figures are never quite 100% spot on.
Now is the perfect time to go back to your business plan and update it. This will help you develop a focused strategy for the business and generate a clear idea of the direction you want the business to go in. A ship without a rudder goes nowhere, so why don’t you have a clearly defined, written down direction for your business?
How about a marketing strategy?
Does your business have a marketing strategy or even a specific marketing budget? Most small business owners have no defined plan for marketing activities and simply haphazardly doing various marketing activities here and there in the hope it will transpire to those all important sales.
So we strongly suggest that you have a marketing strategy. This starts with identifying your target consumer and finding out about what they do, where they shop and what social media they use. Once you have figured this all out you can then figure out the best ways to dedicate your marketing budget in order to generate sales and interest.
Plan your recruitment
If your business is currently in a growth stage its a good time to plan your recruitment now. By knowing when (according to your forecasts) you will require a new team member this allows you to have time to advertise the position and recruit the perfect individual. There is nothing worse than leaving it too late and then having to desperately recruit someone (even if they aren’t the best fit). Ultimately this can lead to a very costly mistake – so plan your recruitment in advance and get this right the first time round.
Take a look at your social media profiles
Firstly, have you changed address or re-branded in the last couple of years? If the answer is yes then you will want to make sure first and foremost that your branding on your social media profiles and general directories is up to date. Failing to have this up to date could be losing you a lot of customers, and detracts from that professional image.
Once you know that the details are up to date take a look at your social media profiles. If you prepared a marketing strategy you will know what social media platforms are commonly used by your target market, this allows you to focus on specific sites instead of being on all the sites.
We strongly suggest that if you have a social media profile which was started years ago and then never used that you delete the profile all together. By having a few sporadic posts and no recent activity it may be doing your business more harm than good.
Finally devise a content strategy plan so that you can carefully plan times to update and monitor your social media. By planning the time in and making it a standard part of your to-do list you will ensure that your profiles are kept up to date.
What does your website say about your business?
When was the last time you looked at your website, I mean not just glance at it but really look at it. Have you compared it recently to the competition? I am always surprised when I hear business owners say to me that a website doesn’t really matter for their business, they couldn’t be more wrong.
Unless the business owners customer base is predominantly retired people then having a modern, up to date, responsive website is a must. These days your website is your virtual shop front and it says a lot about your business. You may the best in the world at what you do but if you have an old out of date website many buyers these days will simply discount you as they perceive you to be out of date or not of a high standard.