Ways to prepare your small business for 2022

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In this blog post, we will explore the ways in which you can help your business thrive in 2022, with 6 easy New Year’s resolutions you actually want to keep.

Nurture the good – throw away the bad

One really easy resolution is to take a look back over the past year at what worked really well for your business, and what maybe didn’t. Is there anything you can continue to do or develop, or maybe there’s something that just isn’t working for your business anymore? Whatever it is, be sure to identify it, what made it a success or failure, and learn from it.

Understand the power of marketing

Whether you’re a buy to let landlord, a café owner, or a dog walker, whatever you do you’ll need a new customer’s business in order to grow. One way to gain new clients is to create a marketing strategy for the New Year.

To some, self-promotion is second nature, and they find it very easy to shout about their business to prospective clients. If this isn’t you, then here are a few tips for you to include in your 2022 marketing plans:

  • Identify your client base and understand their needs
  • Consider approaching your clients for referrals. Could you offer them an incentive for successfully promoting your business to a friend who then goes on to become a new client?
  • Cross / up sell your products to current clients, if they have additional needs your products could satisfy
  • Utilise social media. It’s a fantastic way to see where your clients are and promote your services directly to them. And it’s free!
  • Take a look at advertising in local publications that are distributed in your local area. Usually for a small fee you can run a print ad in a local newsletter, which would also probably include a mention in their email newsletter and also on their social media
  • Ask your current clients for google reviews. Word of mouth is such a strong form of promotion (who doesn’t read Amazon reviews before making a purchase?!) and if you’ve got happy clients, it’ll really help new clients in making their decision whether to use your services or not
  • Ask other business owners what has worked well for them, and if their service compliments yours you could even collaborate on a special offer or promotion

Build your business plan

Building a business plan can sometimes seem overwhelming, but it needn’t be. There’s no set plan to what you must include, so build one that works for you and your goals. If you’re having trouble getting going, think about where you want to be this time next year, and how you can achieve your goals. By doing so you’ll also have a clear indicator of how well your business is doing financially, and what you might need to spend money on the following year.

You can find plenty of free business plan templates online, so if you find it easier to follow a structured plan where you just fill in the gaps, this may be the best option for you.

Create a business to-do calendar

So you’ve got your marketing and business plan sorted, what’s next? Looking at the big picture with twelve months’ worth of work to do will be a lot to take in at once, so have a think about what you can achieve on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Create a plan on what you need to do every week to keep on top of things, and at the end of each month do a round-up on how well certain things are working.

Ensure you are also setting yourself some personal goals. This can be anything, from getting your personal pension sorted, to thinking about financial planning or investing. A specialist small business accountant will be able to advise you on all these areas, and help ensure you’re taking care of your most important client – you!

Cut costs where you can

Now is the perfect time to review your outgoings and see if there’s anywhere you can save the pennies. Is there a particular supplier that has increased their prices, or a cheaper insurance or energy provider you could swap to which would free up more of your cash flow? Whatever it is, it’s worth taking the time to shop around to see if you can save money, which ultimately will mean more money in your pocket.

Get the right professional support

Do you find yourself struggling to get your accounts done, or frantically panicking come tax return season to ensure you’ve included everything to keep HMRC from knocking on your door? There’s a reason why accountants exist, and for a monthly fee, you can offload the stress and time constraints that come with trying to do it all yourself, to someone whose business is looking after yours.

The same can also be said for needing extra staff, help with managing your marketing, the day-to-day running of your business, the list is endless! Hiring extra help can free up more of your time to drive your business forward. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s not a permanent fixture, so you won’t lose out financially in the long run.