Tips to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

10 Business Preparation Tips for the New Year

For many organisations Christmas is a time when business quietens right down and you can have a well-deserved break. But it can also be a time that business owners take advantage of, to get a good head start on the coming year.

Despite the quiet time, many businesses remain open with staff having little to do work-wise. Rather than waste the time and resources, there are some productive tasks that you and your team can be getting on with to maximise your advantage. Often these are essential jobs that get pushed aside during busy times and fall to the wayside.

Here are some top tips for making the most of the quiet time that will prepare your enterprise for the year ahead:

  1. Review your website

Websites can quickly become out of date with information. Unlike print, you have the opportunity to correct this but often we lack the time to administer our online content. If you’re amidst a quiet time, have an overhaul of your site’s content. Refresh anything that’s old and remove pages that are no longer relevant. Remember to redirect any pages you remove, in case the URL is advertised anywhere. Freshening up your website is also a helpful task from a digital marketing perspective as it shows search engines you are current.

  1. Request testimonials

What your customers say about you is really important. It’s an unbiased, accurate indicator of how you are performing as a business. Testimonials are also an important signal to Google and other search engines about how credible you are, which will help them to define how they rank you. Write to your customers and ask them for feedback. Add this to a dedicated testimonials page, but also ask them to leave reviews on you social profiles, such as Google My Business.

  1. Go through your expenses

This is a laborious task for most of us but one we eventually need to do in order to get our tax returns in order. In an ideal world, we would go through our expenses and receipts monthly, but this doesn’t always happen and we find ourselves with a mountain of paperwork to go administer. The quiet time between Christmas and New Year is a popular time to get up to date with your finances.

  1. Tidy up your databases

It’s important to keep your databases clean to improve accuracy and efficiency. Databases can become overloaded with out of date information, duplications and information that’s just not relevant. Clean up your databases is a worthy exercise and gives you peace of mind that the data you have is current and accurate.

  1. Clear your computer files

Mundane it is, but we all need to spend time tidying up our computers. It’s the digital equivalent of tidying our rooms! Clutter just makes things harder to see and slows down navigation. Archive the things you need but don’t use day-to-day and delete information that’s no longer relevant. Consolidate files and folders and avoid clogging up your desktop with documents. If you’re not using cloud solutions for storage, consider investing.

  1. Focus on your social media profiles

Like your website, these need freshening up. Do your social profiles link to your website? Is the about you section accurate? Are you using the right branding and logo? Are there any gaps in the information that can be filled in? Spend some time looking at all your social media profiles to see where you can improve them. Have a cull of who you are following and research other industry leaders and key figures that you can newly follow.

  1. Look at your competitors

Let’s face it, finding the time to conduct competitor analyses isn’t easy. Ideally this should be part of your marketing strategy but it often falls to other areas of the business like Business Development and can sometimes be overlooked. Analysing your competitors’ performance enables you to benchmark and assess the level of activity required to perform as well as them or better.

  1. Consider cost saving tools

Technology is advancing to become more and more streamlined and make processes more efficient and productive. Whether we are talking about apps, software, systems or machine learning tools, we should all be embracing what we can, to keep up. The first place to start is an overhaul of business processes and how these can be made more efficient with the technology that’s out there followed by an assessment of cost. Look at the outlay of the tools and how much work they can save – what does this equate to in costs?

  1. Set up meetings

Utilise your quiet time to plan and set meetings with businesses or individuals that will help you to meet your 2020 goals. Establish a hit list of the key people to contact and drop them an email or a call. If they too are on wind down for Christmas, it may be the optimum time for them to reply. If not then you can follow up in the New Year.

  1. Realign your strategy

It goes without saying the every year should start with a new strategy. Your business objectives are likely to adjust over time and so a new year is an opportunity to realign your goals and tweak your strategy in order to meet these. Look at your previous year to see how you performed and what you need to change in order to perform better. Consider your business plan, your marketing strategy and your sales forecast to create a workable strategy that you can keep coming back to.

So there you have it, 10 business tips to prepare your enterprise for the New Year. Of course, it’s unlikely that you will have the time to do everything, but you can pick a few achievable ones to make some headway. Alternatively if you have a workforce in the office twiddling their thumbs, you can put them to good use.