How To Make A Fresh Start In Your Business
Do you ever feel the urge to make a fresh start in your business? Perhaps youâ€™ve hit a milestone and want to bring it on to its next phase. Perhaps youâ€™ve been stuck in a rut and need to find your passion again. Or perhaps itâ€™s just Spring time and youâ€™re inspired by the growth and renewal happening around you!
I felt this urge at the beginning of 2015. After nearly 3 years of trading, I was just going through the motions, losing motivation and needed to recapture the creative energy that I felt at the beginning of my journey in March 2012.
So, over the past couple of months I have been reviewing various areas of the business, in preparation for its next stage of growth. You may have noticed that the blog took a brief hiatus â€“ something had to give!
Following my review, Iâ€™ve been working hard to implement a number of radical changes and transformations within the business, including the new website! I hope you like it! (scroll down to the bottom of this post for links to the people who made it possible!)
If youâ€™re ready to do your own business review and make a fresh start, here are some areas to consider:
Does your branding still represent you as a company? What is it saying to your target customers? Does it resonate with them and attract them to your products and services? What small tweaks could you make to bring it up to date and refresh your message?
When it comes to your website, one of the first questions you need to ask in 2015 is â€œis it mobile-friendlyâ€? Google is about to launch a new algorithm update which will favour mobile websites in search results. Are you prepared?
Another area which we often overlook on a day-to-day basis but which has a massive impact on the efficiency of our businesses is our internal systems. Are there niggling issues which you have been ignoring for the past few months? Does your hardware need upgrading? Is your software still the right tool for the job, now that so many of us live and work in the cloud? How could you make life easier for you, your staff, or your customers using better technology and/or procedures?
Are there opportunities to launch new products or services due to new technologies or changes in the market place? Are all of your existing products/services as profitable as they could be? Should any of them be dropped to make way for new or more profitable activities? Have you asked your customers for feedback recently? Is there anything that could be improved?
Occasionally we need a reminder of the good old 80/20 rule. Look objectively at your customers, track how much time/resources your spending on them and the profit you are generating as a result. You might be surprised to find that your biggest customers are not your most profitable. Another thing to consider is whether your customers still fit with the vision and direction of your business. Sometimes, as our businesses grow, our focus changes and our customer base develops with us. If, as a result, you are providing a half-hearted service to some of your incumbent clients, is it time to let them go?
Vision and goals
Iâ€™ve left this one till last, as often itâ€™s the most daunting for small business owners. Thinking about your overall goals and direction can be overwhelming, but itâ€™s important to spend time on this periodically so that your day to day activities stay aligned with your vision. Dust off that business plan and consider whether your goals and objectives still hold true.
Let me know how you get on with your business review in the comments!
Website thank yous
A massive thank you to the people who made it possible to launch this new website â€“ I am super chuffed with it and would highly recommend: Fiona Robertson Graphics; Jotolio Photography; The Soap Factory, Aberdeen; and The Old Post Office Tearoom, Chapel of Garioch