2023 is moments away, and it can feel like there is so much to do to prepare. I have put together a few of my favorite tips on how to prep your business for the next year… for basically free!
Everything starts with a plan. For me, all I need is a new, fresh notebook. I have a good friend who prefers to organize things with post-its on a whiteboard. Whatever works for you, just get your goals down on paper, speak them to the universe, believe in them, and then get to work making them your reality.
Check out our Featured Small Business shop on Etsy, Newa Paper Boutique.
Want a chance to win one of their journals? Send me a picture of your goal list for 2023, and you will be entered to win one of 3 handmade journals.
Your time is valuable. Let me repeat that, YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE. You have to decide which tasks for your business are worth your time and attention, and which tasks take up too much of your time and attention. Then delegate those tasks accordingly.
Struggling with SEO? Consider hiring an SEO expert. Keep putting off setting up your CRM and workflows. Look into a CRM specialist who can help you automate your business (thus giving you more time). See how it works *wink, wink”. Delegating a few items off your to-do list will give you back your valuable time.
Have you done your Cost of Doing Business recently? If not, start there. Here is a great calculator you can use.
Make sure to include…
…to treat yourself with when you have a good month/year. This gives you a personal goal to reach for, with a reward at the end.
Print out your list of expenses for the next year, or add it to an Excel spreadsheet to make it easy to reference at any time.
Once you have a better idea of what you need to make for the year, you can break it down to figure out what you need to make each month. You can then break it down again to give you a better idea of what you need to charge per product/service/sale.
Use these numbers to help you choose a financial goal that you add to the list you made in step one
Review your business license, biz insurance, service warranties, annual subscriptions, etc. Anything for your small biz that has an expiration or is reoccurring. Keep a record of when each item renews/expires. This will help you know when you will need to update or renew these services and what the expected cost should be. That way, you aren’t surprised when these reoccurring expenses pop up (like I was in my early years in business). While you’re at it, grab an envelope or folder to neatly keep all of your business expense receipts for the next year, so when tax time rolls around you have all of your receipts in one spot.
Marketing plans can be tough, just remember It doesn’t have to be perfect. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be finished, but you should take a little time to start planning for what you want next year’s marketing to look like.
Brain dump all your marketing ideas onto a sheet of paper, or grab your planner and jot down ideas for each month. You can then refer back to these notes when it’s time to plan out the next month’s marketing.
Your marketing strategy should be multi-layered and achievable. Instead of only marketing in one space like social media, or trying to market to too many things at once, choose 3-5 areas you would like to market your business to. This helps you stay focused when building the rest of your annual marketing plan.
Your interactions with clients should be more of a quality-over-quantity approach. Social media is great, and it definitely should have a spot on your marketing plan, but providing an experience your clients will never forget is much more important, and brings in more quality clients, than using your socials as your main marketing focus.
I try to go out of my way to spoil my clients because I know that they will in turn rave about me to their friends and colleagues. In my business, 95% of new clients have been referred by a previous client, and that’s exactly how I want it. I spoil the heck out of my clients, and they in turn do the marketing legwork for me by raving about me to their friends and colleagues. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.
It’s really simple when you think about it, a thoughtful birthday email, a handwritten note, a small “Thank You” gift, just making sure clients know that you’re there if they need anything. These are just a few ideas of how, with little to no money and just a tiny bit of your time, a small gesture can elevate your entire client experience.
I’m a Cali girl with a touch of southern roots, currently falling in love with Oregon. I’ve been known to wildly chase dreams, especially the “crazy ones” … Ask me about that time I made my family travel the US in an RV for almost 3 years!
After a decade of running a successful photography business, even while traveling full-time, I realized, almost by accident, that my real love is helping other small biz owners navigate through the usual hang-ups that come with running a business. From custom branding + web design to business organization + marketing, I am with you every step of the way. Helping others reach their dreams is my love language (well, that and chips), so what dreams are you holding out on? ‘Cause I’m ready to show you how you can make them a reality!