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Build a successful business in 2019 with these five business goals for the New Year

As we wrap up for the year and some workplaces close for a well-deserved break, there’s never been a better time to look forward and set some goals for your business in 2019.

With clearly defined objectives and a solid business plan in place, you’ll set yourself up for a productive and rewarding year.

Ring in the New Year with confidence and purpose and hit the ground running with this list of business goals for 2019.

1. Review and improve your business processes and policies

There’s nothing more dangerous to your business than resting on your laurels. If you haven’t revisited your processes and policies in years, it could be impacting the growth and development of your business.

What’s more, the regulatory environment is constantly changing, so by not reviewing your processes and policies to make sure they’re compliant with current laws, you could be putting your business at risk.

Introducing a new product or service, entering a new market or growing your staff are just some of the activities that should drive a review of your operations. But even if none of these events have occurred in your business, it’s still critically important to review your business through a digital lens. In 2019, businesses that aren’t leveraging automation to streamline and improve their systems and processes are going to be left behind. Automating functions like job management, accounting and inventory will save your business time and money and empower business owners and managers to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Make sure to take the time to thoroughly review your processes and policies at the end of this year to ensure that they’re compliant with current laws, aligned with your growth strategy and driving a positive workplace culture.  

2. Get on top of your business finances

For many businesses, managing your cash flow can be one of the most difficult parts of the job but it’s also one of the most important. As things get busy, it can be easy to lose track of your finances. A reactive approach to incoming invoices and outgoing paychecks means you’ll always feel like you’re just keeping your head above water.

Take a proactive approach to your finances in 2019 by establishing a solid forecast and debtor strategy. Start by reviewing your costs for 2018. By having a thorough understanding of where your money is going the big expenses as well as the little ones that add up you’ll know where you can cut back to improve your cash flow, and where you can increase spending to help you reach your business goals.  

Make sure you have a realistic budget and review your business plan to help you anticipate future financial obstacles, so you know how much you’ll need to spend throughout the year. A good budget will give you clarity and insight into how many sales you need to cover costs and how much money you have to reinvest in your business.

Now is also a good time to review and upgrade your accounting processes. It’s critically important to keep an accurate record of your finances, and your system should allow you to regularly run and review financial reports a spreadsheet isn’t going to cut it. Consider hiring a good bookkeeper, accountant and business advisor to help you out. The ROI will be clear when you realise how much time you’re re-claiming to focus on activities that grow your business.

You should also review your invoicing approach. Implement discount settlement rules to encourage your debtors to pay early and consider creating a template SMS and email to send to your customers when you need to follow up a late invoice. You could also consider automating the discount process with an app like Settlement Discounts. It will save you hours of time and help you improve your cash flow.

3. Create a winning company culture

Your business is only as strong as the people working in it. Your company culture is one of the most important factors for attracting top talent, retaining key employees, and ensuring that staff are productive and satisfied.

On the other hand, a poor company culture can lead to dissatisfied and unhappy employees, loss of key staff, high costs associated with recruiting and retraining, and an overall negative impact on your business’s growth and development.

To improve your company culture in 2019, make sure to review your employee policies, including remuneration, incentives and perks, employee recognition and appreciation activities (such as parties, shout-outs and awards), your business’s social events calendar and employee development programs. Staff will be happier if they feel valued and appreciated in the workplace.

Make sure to also review your business’s core values and integrate these into your day-to-day operations. Staff tend to be happier at work if they understand and respect a company’s values and feel they’re working towards a common goal. It’s also important to maintain an open line of communication with your staff, so make sure your policies incorporate feedback loops and other forms of formal and informal communication activities.

4. Get online and establish a strong digital presence

In 2019 if you’re not online, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. For most businesses, your website is your most important marketing tool. It’s often the first impression your customers have of your business and it’s where people go to research your business, purchase your products and services, and interact with your brand.  

Next year, make sure you have a strong online presence that includes a website (optimised for both mobile and desktop) and a strong social media presence – it’s one of the best ways to interact with your customers. A strong online presence and aligned online marketing strategy will drive new customers to your business, keep old ones engaged and help you grow your business.

Take the time at the end of this year to review your online presence, where your brand ranks in search engine results (your SEO), your online marketing strategy, and how you’re using your social media accounts to see where you can improve.

5. Improve productivity through outsourcing

Small business owners wear many hats. From bookkeeping and IT to social media and customer service, taking responsibility for every role within your business can be exhausting.

What’s more, by taking on too many roles, you risk not giving enough of your attention to any. There’s only so much time in the day and by multi-tasking and switching focus constantly, you’re likely to forget important details and make costly mistakes.

By outsourcing some of your business functions, such as your company compliance obligations or your bookkeeping, you give yourself more time to focus on the high-value, revenue-generating aspects of your business.  

Not only will it save you time and allow you to focus on your business’s growth, but outsourcing to experts ensures that you meet all your obligations and that nothing that could put you and your business at risk is overlooked.

Start 2019 off right

By taking some time to review and set goals for your policies, finances, marketing efforts and company culture, you can make sure that your business gets off to a good start in the new year.  

If you need help ensuring that your goals are aligned with your company compliance obligations, get in touch with CCASA. We’d love to help you have a productive 2019.