There is still a quarter until we greet the new 2015 year. For many small businesses the upcoming weeks will revolve around the holiday shopping season and Black Friday campaigns. Owners of small-sized companies have already started planning and preparing for the holiday sales and promotions. However, not many have thought about their small business strategy for 2015. No, it is not too early to create a business plan for the next year in September. In fact, now is the ideal time to do that.
As it was already mentioned, the Christmas shopping season will kick off in just a few weeks. Once that happens, small business owners will be busy focusing on their current tasks instead on the near future. If they choose to leave all the planning for the end of 2014, they will have very little time to design a proper strategy for their company. Beyond that point, it will be simply too late and too risky.
How to Plan You 2015
What do you want – The first thing you need to consider is your personal wishes and ambitions. What do you want to do with your small company? There is a number of basic options ahead of you – to grow the business, to try and maintain it on the same level, to find a way to stabilize it or to sell it. Once you figure out which direction you want to take, it will be easier to come up with a business strategy for 2015. For instance, if you want to sell your small business, you may need to stabilize it a bit in order to get a better offer for it.
Things that need an improvement – Every small business has its weak sides. The goal of every company owner is to find them and then to eliminate them. Make a list of the things that are working against your business and the issues that are holding you and your company back. Those could be lack of sufficient budget, insufficient or unqualified staff, high product or service prices and etc. This is a quick and easy way to find all the gaps that need to be filled. For example, if money is the issue, you can focus your efforts on finding an investor to finance your company in 2015.
Consider current and upcoming consumer trends – Every small business should be trendy. In order a company to be successful, it should be well-aware of the latest consumer trends today and tomorrow. 2015 is expected to be the year of the mobile consumers. That is why you will need to make your business more mobile-friendly by releasing a mobile app or a mobile version of your website. Also, ads are predicted to be less effective than ever. Instead, consumers will rely more on recommendations from their friends and family or online reviews. This means that to charm a attract a new consumer, you will need to charm your current clients.
Look back at the future – There is no point in planning the future if you cannot learn from the past. Simply said, before you come up with a small business strategy for 2015, you need to look back and analyze in detail your company’s performance over the last one year. Which were your highs and lows, your hits and misses. Also, estimate how much you have spent on your small business in the past twelve months and on what specifically. That will allow you to see whether you have overspent on something and to make some budget cuts.
Last, but not least, planning your small business strategy for 2015 so early in 2014 is a good idea only if you remember to review and revise your ideas. By doing this, you will stay in line with the latest tendencies in your sector and ahead of your competition.