The first Monday of the ‘New Financial Year’ is as exciting as January 1st, a new chapter in business.
Business resolutions, big or small will always have an impact on your business and its development. No business is ever ‘finished’ there’s always improvements, growth and expansion to be investigated. Goals and targets are an important part of any business and brand. January is a great time to set personal goals and even business development goals, but financial structure is strengthening when working year to year against books and targets.
scrat. Verb. To scratch, to rake; to search.
The term Scrat, comes from the fictional character in the popular Ice-Age movies as well as meaning to rake, claw or search. Scrat was an acorn-obsessed sabre-toothed squirrel who spends the movies attempting to protect and grow his most prized possession – the Acorn.
Scrat takes the Acorn with him everywhere hoping to find a place to store it for the winter. Scrat also unsystematically searches for other Acorns to grow his store. The problem with foraging in the wild, as it is on the internet is, it can be entirely random. Mistakes lead to lost Acorns and little growth for the winter months.
There’s a lot to learn from Scrat’s scattered approach and to ensure we avoid tackling our business needs in this way, and expecting customers to search and rake through the internet to find you, we’ve devised S-C-R-A-T, four business resolutions you can implement in your company at all levels for the 12 months ahead;
Speculate to Accumulate
Financial planners recommend reviewing your investment portfolio at least once a year. Your business is an investment, financially and emotionally. It’s important to take stock of how your investments are growing, find whether you can implement strategies to reduce tax liability, company costs and spending.
Where spending is concerned its regularly been proven that you can never spend enough on marketing; if it’s the correct marketing for that brand. Profit converted into marketing spend is likely to only increase the profits seen the following year- so why don’t more people do it? Previously, with limited ways for smaller businesses to track the progress and measure the effects of their marketing, companies spent a minimal amount.
How can you possibly know how much to spend?
The best way to obtain the correct amount of marketing for the size of your business is to find hourly paid companies; this way you get the result you desire within the budget your company can afford. Go big or go home, becomes quickly obsolete if you run out of money before you get there.
Promotion and marketing are key to growing your business. Social media platforms offers incredible opportunities and tools to reinforce or assist with achieving your company goals. Not only can you buy promotion to expand your viewing audiences you can also monitor interaction with specifics posts and subjects to measure the impact your marketing is having.
Business goals aren’t going to achieve themselves
Being able to do this via social media analytics is invaluable and crucial to making sure your marketing money is earning its keep in all the right places. The key is to ensure targets are broken down into measurable and achievable stages rather than unattainable dreaming. Breaking down your bigger ideas may mean that to achieve a 30% increase in sales within the financial year requires smaller targets such as;
- Launching a campaign to attract 10% increase in sales within a set month period
- Increasing the sales against one specific product to align with another products sustainability
- Attracting a new target audience for a brand re-develop or change; such as a Vegan option
When measured together at the end of 2019, these small changes could be the building blocks to realise our dream-goals.
Your brand, your values, your mission.
It’s never wasted to ensure your defining factors are shining through in your company image. Reviewing those important aspects of your business is important;
What is your company vision for the next 12 months, the next 3 years, the next 5 years? Have the goal posts stayed the same? Ensure you are crystal clear on where your company is going, and what steps your trying to climb. Don’t fear, these can change, and you can change them, but having a clear idea where you’re going certainly helps with initial navigation.
What are your core values? Do they advocate your target audience, are they appealing to the same people as your product? Are they encouraging trust and relationships between you and the customer? If you’re feeling a little off track, pull these points back into focus or outline the ones you want to attain too.
Does your brand reflect the true strengths of your business? Brands need to be relateable for the consumer and offer stability to the services and products. Brands are delicate and take time to grow, but just by planting that Acorn an incredible Oak can emerge.
On the topic of social media, technology gives companies the single biggest impacting factor for growth and exposure. There are so many things you can take advantage of to increase your sustainability, growth and day to day activity.
As a business owner, a common occurrence is that the enjoyment of the business you desired to design, gets lost in the accumulation of needing to be the manager, bookkeeper, customer adviser, PR marketer and so on. You get pulled in so many varying directions that the skill set for the actual service or product is neglected and suffers unnecessarily.
Why unnecessarily you ask; some businesses can’t afford to expand their staffing at the next level yet. Well that’s where technology can become your greatest asset. Using software designed for easy bookkeeping, smartphone applications for easy marketing, search engine optimisation for easy accessibly to audiences and many more, it’s all invaluable to saving you the time you need to really focus on your businesses needs.
A year from today you’ll wish you had started today…