Happy new year, and welcome to 2019! Here at Get Ahead VA we love a new year – it’s the perfect time to look ahead and make plans, and what better plan for your business than to make sure it grows this year?
If you want to see your small business blossom, here are three tried-and-tested methods which can help to make 2019 a great year for your business.
1. Do a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is a fairly straightforward way to take stock of where your business currently is, and what challenges you face moving forward. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and you simply need to make a comprehensive list of each of these for your business. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your business, while opportunities and threats are external, existing out there in your market. Once you have your SWOT list, turn it into a plan of action – how can you maximise your strengths, improve on your weaknesses, make the most of your opportunities and minimise your threats? This will give you an excellent guide to help streamline your business and discover new opportunities for growth.
2. Create a customer profile
3. Use SMART goals
Your customers are what keep your business working, so now is an excellent time to take a step back and really examine what you know about them. Try creating an ‘ideal customer’ profile. Who are they? What do they do for work? What worries them? What do they aspire towards? Having a clear picture of who you’re aiming your offering at will help you to pitch your marketing more purposefully, and generate more customers for your business. You should also make the most of feedback, because the best way to get to know your customer is to listen to them. Try sending out email surveys, setting up questionnaires on your website and reading reviews (yes, even the negative ones!). This will help you to improve and get your customers to come back again and again.
Just like new year’s resolutions, the more vague your goals are for your business (e.g. ‘Find more clients’), the less likely you are to achieve them. The key is to use SMART goals to create a very clear vision for your business’s growth in the year ahead. ‘SMART’ means that your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. So, for example, ‘Find more clients’ will become ‘Gain two new clients per month’, or ‘Attend 10 networking events this year and hand out five business cards at each’, or ‘Send out one marketing email per week’. With SMART goals you’re less likely to get lost in the weeds of big, amorphous goals, because you will have broken them down into manageable items that you can easily tick off a list.
Need a hand with business development in 2019? Get Ahead VA’s friendly team of virtual assistants can help you embrace new business opportunities by contacting prospective clients and booking in appointments and networking sessions. If you’re interested in any of our services, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.