As your business opens its doors to a fresh new year, it pays dividends to do a little spring cleaning.
You may well have faced a seriously unhinged year of business, with the pandemic overstaying its welcome and putting its feet up on your business, like a coffee table.
Despite the disruption, there’s a few easy wins and ways to prepare that will put you in the best stead ready for a new year in business.
1) Take stock of last year – there’s lessons to be learnt
It was a serious doozy. Lockdowns, business decline, shifting practices and altered client behaviour. But how did you fare as a business?
If you take the time to collate it, there’ll be a lot of data and related insights that can be gathered and drawn. These insights can and should be used to sharpen your strategy for the year ahead.
You may feel the urge to charge headstrong into the new year to reinvigorate your business, which is great, but do so with a cool head.
So, log in to your software tools such as accounting and management apps:
- What your profit and loss looked like with a P&L statement
- Figure out your cashflow for the year and what it may look like with a cashflow report and forecast
- Document client behavioural changes, including ebbs and flows
- Determine your high / low performing services
- success / failure of remote or telehealth measures
- Understand your high value and repeat clients
- What was the effectiveness (or lack thereof) for your of marketing campaigns (ROI)
- What’s the future viability of your chosen business model in the face of COVID-19?
You now have some serious data on your hands from which you can gather insights and then create meaningful actions.
2) Make real changes based on your data insights
Once you’ve done some basic reporting and gained some insight into your business over the last year – you need to take one more important step. Action it!
Crunch the numbers for the previous year and determine:
- Your profitability levels. If you’re in strife, what can you do?
- Is telehealth working for you?
- Who are your most loyal and profitable clients? How will you retain them?
- Can you cut down on expenses and overheads?
- Is there a way to insulate yourself against lockdowns?
- Do you need to cut down on underperforming services and adopt others?
If you have trouble in these areas, consult with a trusted business advisor or accountant.
3) New year, new marketing plan
Its time to revaluate your marketing approach for the year. Log into your social accounts, website, google analytics and email software. Time to run some more reports and check the value of your marketing efforts, ready for a re-jig.
- Your social media performance – what worked well and what didn’t?
- Your email campaigns – What had good open rates and click throughs? What didn’t?
- Your ads – which ads performed well and which should you ditch?
- How’s your general marketing ROI? Are there clear winning strategies and losing avenues?
The direction here is simple – take what worked and do more of it. Take what failed and trash it.
If you want to try something new, think about A/B testing it. This means doing two versions of an ad or content and seeing what worked better.
You should also take the time to plot out your content calender for at lest a quarter or six months to cut down on ad hoc work.
4) Work on your online presence and client journey
The pathway a client takes to find you online, check out your presences, visit your website, and book a session is paramount to success.
This is the modern passive sales pipeline and it needs to be tended to, especially in lean or uncertain times.
Before you get into the year, do some due diligence around your online presence and client sales journey.
- Your website is never complete. Refresh your branding and clean up unnecessary tabs or pages. Be sure your booking form is front and centre and requires minimal input.
- Make sure your Google listing is up to date and functional.
- Can you improve online reviews?
- Do an SEO review to make sure you’re searchable for keywords related to your business. Enlist an expert if need be.
- Refresh your socials to ensure they’re on brand and link through to your website and booking forms.
- Reduce the number of steps it takes from searching to booking.
If in doubt enlist the help of a friend or family member. Get them to search for your services, google you and see how easy and clean it is to book with you. Sometimes you’re too close to see any issues.
At the end of the day, by cleaning house and setting a fresh slate, you’ll be prepped for whatever comes your way this year. Good luck!