December may feel like a busy period but it is the best time to assess where your business is at and start planning for the year to come.
Here are some things to consider in your end of year review and start of year planning:
1. Goals for the new year
What do you want your business to achieve over the next 12 months? It could be a growth in customers, a percentage-based increase in profits or a bigger team.
Write down a wish list then narrow it down to some specific and attainable goals.
You might also want to have a ‘moonshot’ or BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) that you focus on as part of a longer term plan. This could tie into your company values and sharing it is a good way to create alignment amongst your team for the long term.
Do you have enough people on your team and which skills are lacking?
Review what your staff are up to and think about what you want them to focus on in 2022. Some gaps could perhaps be addressed with the help of an offshore team that takes care of administration, onboarding or finance. This will give you the flexibility to give your existing team more complex responsibilities.
Remember to research incentives to hire older workers or people who have been claiming Jobseeker payments as there may be wage subsidies available.
3. Physical and online security
The new year is a good time to make sure your company’s property is safe. Ensure you have the most up to date protection for your internal and external websites so the financial and personal information of your team and your customers are protected.
If you have people working remotely, a refresher session on cyber security can be a good idea. With employees using their own devices and logging onto secure work websites from home, the risk of a cyber attack is high.
While you’re thinking about security, check your physical office security as well. Have people left for good and taken swipe cards with them or do building access codes need changing?
4. Logos and branding
Is your ‘look’ in need of a refresh?
The world has changed so much over the last two years and everyone is hoping for a fresh start in 2022. A logo and branding update could be a smart move.
Even if you don’t go for a full upgrade, you may wish to update your branded apparel via your own corporate store. New outfit choices will give everyone a boost as they start the new year.
5. Opportunities to Upskill
If finding new team members isn’t the right option for you, you could decide to upskill your existing team (or yourself).
Taking courses can be tax-deductible and can be a great strategy to grow your business. As the saying goes, ‘The more you learn, the more you earn’.
6. Customer relations
If you don’t have a regular communications strategy, you should reach out to your clients with a card or email at Christmas (at the very least) to thank them for their support during the year.
A more effective strategy could be to connect with your best customers and reinforce your relationship by sending them an end of year gift. There are so many creative, economical and eco-friendly ways to show your appreciation (and we can help with ideas).
7. Marketing strategy
Are social media ads starting to let you down? There are other ways to reach people. Think about trade shows, giveaways and other ways to give your target clients a more tangible way to remember your brand. And while you are there have you got a means of capturing your new leads for future relationship building? A CRM can help you keep in touch in a meaningful way with prospects, or if at a tradeshow grab your visitors details with an interesting lead generation activity that will have them queueing up to speak with you.
At the end of the year, it’s important to look at how your marketing has performed before you come up with a strategy for the next 12 months. There’s no point sticking with costly campaigns that don’t give you any returns.
All businesses exist to make money in some way and if you’re not in the habit of checking your financial progress regularly, make it a resolution to do so during 2022.
Work with your accountant to review performance in 2021 and see what patterns emerge at different times of year. This will help you with forecasting for 2022.
It’s great to set goals for profit growth but you have to figure out ways to achieve it. This may mean introducing new products or services, minimising costs or borrowing funds so you can grow your business.
9. Employee satisfaction and engagement
Profits and wages are not the be-all and end-all of operating a business. With the threat of the ‘Great Resignation’ looming over employers’ heads, it’s important to show people you appreciate them.
As the new year approaches, you may want to revise your onboarding or reward programs so people feel as though they are part of the team. A branded backpack/laptop carrier, company uniform or ‘swag’ pack with water bottle, hat, keychain etc can be one way to do this in 2022.
Want to know how to elevate your business with branded merchandise? Contact Honeycomb Agency.