For many small businesses, 2019 was a pretty good year. As I spent time evaluating my community, I saw several help wanted signs. I noticed local coffee shops and restaurants full with customers, and I saw the opening of several new businesses. As a small business coach, I know that many business owners sometimes just want to enjoy their success. However, we must always take time at the end of the year to reflect, evaluate, and strategize. As you get ready to end the year, I wanted to share five areas to review, to ensure a successful 2020.
- As an Economics Professor and Small Business Coach, I share with students the principle, that every business must understand the market or industry in which it operates. Therefore, it is important to understand your particular industry. What is happening in the coffee, t-shirt, restaurant, or retail industry. Is your industry thriving? Is your industry maturing? Where are opportunities for growth?
- When you create goals for your business, remember that these goals may require a full year commitment. Therefore, the first quarter of next year should be used to evaluate your year-long strategy. You may also find that the goals you created require a longer implementation plan. Therefore, decide what’s first, second, or third on your list.
- Review your cyber security measures. Think about how you can back up your company’s data and create a firewall that prevents hackers from accessing your corporate newtork. Determine if you are using the latest security software for your computers. Is there more efficient way to handle moble transactions. Finally, encourage employees to change their passwords on a regular basis.
- Reduce Debt – As a small business owner, it is important to review and understand your financial outlook. Therefore, look for ways to eliminate debt. For example, can you take out a business line of credit, and take advantage of lower interest rates. Can you consolidate credit cards, or can you pay off a loan with a year-end bonus and free up your credit cards.
- Review your growth plans. Look at your product and services. The beginning of the year, may be a great time to add a new product or expand your services. Researching growth opportunities in your particular industry, can also help you identify opportunities in this area.
As you end the year, review your 2019. Reflect, evaluate and determine your goals for 2020. You may not eliminate all your business debt, but your strategy to expand your product and services may increase your profitability. You may find through your reflection and evaluation that 2019 provided a solid blueprint for 2020. Remember business goals are designed to provide improvements to your business. Therefore, think about your goals carefully and strategize for a profitably 2020.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall
For more information, on how we can help you create your 2020 vision, please complete the contact form below.