A guide to business objectives for the New Year

Growth and strategy

12 January 2018

Failing to plan is planning to fail, and there's no better time to set your business goals than the new year.

Grab a pen, pour yourself a cuppa, and get ready to detail some achievable (and rewarding) objectives for your business in the year ahead.

Improve your online presence

Google is the go-to these days, and having a strong internet presence has never been more important. This can be achieved through SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as by having a comprehensive social media strategy.

For a complete guide to setting up Google My Business, take a look at How to get your business on Google.

Boost your offline profile

Online marketing is a huge part of getting the word out there about your business, but the personal touch is still important.

  • Offer incentives to customers for word-of-mouth referrals
  • Attend monthly networking events to meet and mingle with potential clients and partners
  • Look for small conferences or podcasts to speak on and set yourself up as an industry thought leader

 Manage cash-flow more effectively

Reducing costs is a quick way to improve your bottom line, and keeping a close eye on money in and money out will help to secure your business' financial future.

  • Conduct an audit to find out what’s costing your business most
  • Build stronger relationships with suppliers; negotiate and buy in bulk
  • Set up calendar reminders to invoice promptly, and to chase late payments

 Improve your leadership skills

Whether you run a small team or are operating as a sole trader, you still need to have good leadership skills in order to take your business to the next level.

  • Devise a clear vision for the business with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound) objectives for each quarter
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible and trust your staff (or outsourced freelancer) to complete them effectively, offering constructive feedback when needed
  • Work on your communication skills and make sure you maintain a good dialogue with your employees

Every business is different, and your plans should be tailored to your specific needs. Before stepping into the new year, conduct a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis and work out your personal SMART objectives from there.

For more help to get your year off to the best possible start, take a look at the latest small business advice on Business Guardian Angel