Here are a few ideas to help get you started when planning your resolutions.
Every small business should have a plan in place to help guide growth. And there’s no better time to review your plan than the beginning of the new year.
Before you start making new goals, pull up your existing plan to see what you’ve already accomplished and what areas you could improve on. Using information about industry trends and new technology can also be a critical factor in preparing for the upcoming year.
For an overview of what a business plan is (and if you should have one), check out this article here!
Not every product is going to be a hit and not every marketing method is successful. Instead of focusing your energy on trying to improve things that aren’t working, it might be time to move on to bigger and better things.
Were there any products that didn’t sell well in the last year? In that case, it might be time to change the product up (or maybe even scrap it altogether). Did your marketing techniques not pay off? Then investigate different avenues that might work better for your business such as social media, influencers, or in-store demos.
Remember, in business time is your most valuable asset, so don’t waste it on things that won’t help you grow!
Especially in the food industry, trends come and go extremely quickly. The new year is a great time to research up and coming trends and see if they align with your business. Is there an ingredient that’s predicted to be popular in 2019 (CBD anyone?). This could be the perfect opportunity to research new product creation.
And if your business is already on-trend, use this opportunity to focus on marketing and get ahead of the crowd.
Make it a habit of promoting your brand on a regular basis. Use the new year as an opportunity to form a well thought out marketing plan (or to improve on your old one) so that promoting never falls to the bottom of your to-do list again.
And remember — marketing doesn’t just mean paid advertisements or running costly sales promotions. Posting regularly on your social media channels is a great way to increase your brand awareness. Which leads us into…
While social media is a great place for marketing, it’s also the perfect place to grow your brand awareness and create a dedicated following. Engaging with the public regularly and posting updates on a continuous basis is the key to effective social media use.
Not every post needs to push your audience into buying. Instead, create posts that will help you focus on other goals, such as growing your following, teasing new upcoming products, getting authentic feedback, and connecting with other brands and influencers in your niche.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to get into the rut of trying to do everything yourself (your business is a reflection of you after all). But getting caught up in every little aspect can stall your growth and cause you to burn out.
Whether it’s giving more responsibility to existing employees or outsourcing time-consuming tasks like accounting or website design, learning how to delegate will help you create a healthy work-life balance.
Running a business is costly. Whether it’s cash needed to manufacture products, or the run of the mill expenses that pop up, having a thorough understanding of where your money is going is a must.
Start by making a list of business expenses to see if there are any areas where you could be saving money. Are there any unnecessary expenses you’re currently making? Could you save more by buying in bulk or buying locally?
The opinions of your customers are one of the most invaluable tools at your disposal when growing your business — after all, they are the ones buying the products! Sending out customer surveys or engaging your audience on social media can give you insight into your customer’s desires and issues, and help you improve your current products or get ideas for new ones.
Here are a few things to consider asking when looking for feedback:
What are the top products in your portfolio?
What would your customers like to see more of?
What are your customer’s concerns and problems?
Do your products fit into a particular lifestyle? (ex. Vegan, family-oriented, health conscious)