- Assess How Your Home Business Contributed to Your Goals
- Review your Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies
- Analyze the Financial Numbers of Your Business
- Think of a Backup Plan for Your Business
- Analyze Your Web Analytics
- Prepare Your Mind for New Challenges Ahead
- Assess Your Marketing Strategies
- Make a List of Strategies that Worked
- Check Your Competition
- Develop Your Goals and Strategies for Next Year
- How to Start a Successful Small Business
Develop your goals and strategies for next year. As a small business or home-based entrepreneur, it is easy to get so caught with the day-to-day running of the business that you fail to think about your ultimate objectives for the business. Who has time to sit down and think about what to do next year, when you’ve got a long to-do list of tasks to complete for the day? However, it is essential to create a realistic strategic plan that you can review periodically to assess how you are really doing with your business.
- Initiate a review loop to help you plan your business. Create procedures that will allow you to take time to review your operations, and spot mistakes that can prove costly in the long run. The sooner you correct mistakes — whether in terms of sales, product development or marketing – the better you can avert any disasters for your business.
- Put down in writing your goals for the coming year. If you did not write your plans and goals for this year, make sure that you put in writing your goals for next year. This way, it will be easier for you to review how you are progressing and make it easier to review your goals on a more regular basis.
- Your problem, just like most small business entrepreneurs, is the lack of a regular and impartial assessment of how your business is doing. Especially if you are a solo home-based entrepreneur, there’s no one else around to give you a different perspective of your business. If such is the case, consider signing up with various mentorship programs such as those offered by SCORE or your local Small Business Development Centers. Or you can network and try to find other entrepreneurs you can bounce off ideas and give you advice about your business.
- Prepare your strategic plan for next year. A strategic plan is different from a business plan, inasmuch as scope and coverage. Start by examining the vision, mission and objectives of your business – especially if you have to change them based on your present realities. Then proceed with crafting the strategies of your business – e.g. growth will be funded internally, fulfillment and shipping with be contracted out, new web sites will be launched, among others. The next step is to examine how you are going to achieve your strategies by matching your resources, budgets, and timetable and performance targets. Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to help you understand the environment you are operating in, and how your business can be fortified to face all the challenges for the coming year.