How to plan for the year ahead — During the holidays

Running a business, it's easy to burn out.
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How to plan for the year ahead — During the holidays

If you run a service business, the holiday season can be the slowest time of the year — it’s the best time to plan for the coming year!

One of the biggest reasons for this business downturn has nothing to do with your work ethic but everything to do with this simple explanation: ‘It’s time for the holidays. Not only do your customers go on vacation, but so do many of your own employees.

What can you do with this required quiet time? You have several choices: You can take a vacation on your own with a decent income, or you can use your slower work days to effectively prepare for the upcoming year.

If you’re planning to get some work done over the holiday, check out these three high-impact ways to help you set business goals for 2019.

Refine or rethink your marketing plan

During the Christmas week, our inboxes and phones tend to quiet down, which means you have a little time to step back and think. With that period of inactivity, you can take a close look at your advertising and marketing results in 2018.

This includes your engagement on social media. What worked? What did not? Why? Did any of your paid marketing efforts lead to new customers? For example, if you use social media channels — like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — to drive transactions and sales, how much time have you spent on social media marketing, and how much time has this effort been spent on social media? reciprocate yet?

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If you’re actively engaging with customers, your time on social media can be well worth it.

On the other hand, if you’re paying for views and likes, running expensive promotions through Facebook Ads or Google AdWords, or sponsoring other types of social media posts, then you should spend a few minutes. Time to assess your worth. is replied. You can use analytics to determine if these paid ads lead to any paying customers or making a purchase.

After a thorough evaluation, you can decide if you need to adjust your marketing plan and budget for the coming year.

Catch up on research projects

When you’re busy running your day-to-day business, it can be difficult to move your company in a new direction, introduce a new service, or even plan your eventual expansion. Big decisions tend to require focus and research, and during the year it can be difficult to make time.

Now that you’ve had some quiet time, you can take a close look at what you want to accomplish in the coming year. With 2019 just around the corner, it’s a great time to research new bookkeeping options or think about hiring a new accountant.

If you’re a freelancer, you can also use this time to determine if you should incorporate your business in 2019. Perhaps most importantly, the end is a good time. It’s right to organize your taxes and map out your goals for Q1.

Assess your financial needs

When you look back over the past year, do you ever find yourself in a cash-flow predicament? Or were there opportunities that you wish you could have, but didn’t have the money to spare at the time?

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Tomorrow is a new day. Now is your chance to plan ahead so that the next time these situations arise, you’re well prepared.

You may need finances to support your plans, so start thinking about how to set it up first, so it’s there when you need it. Depending on factors such as the size and revenue of your business and the amount of funding you think you may need, there are many options to research, including SBA loans, small loans, and small business loans. , crowdfunding and credit lines.

The holiday season can be a good time to review your budget for the past year, think about when you might need more money next year and how much, then consider your financing options. Which one might be best for you. To help you get started, check out our business funding guide.

Happy (and productive) holidays!

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