The New Year is invariably an exciting time for business owners.

For those who’ve enjoyed a prosperous previous twelve months, January is the perfect point to launch fresh plans and kick on even harder. For others who’ve endured a more difficult time, the new year promises renewed optimism and the chance for a fresh start.

You can help to dictate the momentum of 2018 by shaping a strong business strategy. Here, we’ve provided some tips on how to ready your business for next year; ensuring you’re financially prepared to meet your objectives.

When putting together a plan for 2018, there are two main types of goals to consider: personal and company.

Personal Goals

As the owner of an SME, it’s important to outline what you want to achieve on a personal level. This will help guide the direction your business.

Where do you personally want to be one year from now? What does the medium-term look like? Do you have an exit plan in mind?

Also, it’s worth considering the type of boss you want to be next year. For example, what sort of role are you aiming to take with regards to how you run your company? Are you going to be a hands-on entrepreneur that’s involved from top to bottom? Or is it better to take a step back and operate behind the scenes?

Most business owners will put as much money into their own venture as they do blood, sweat and tears. Nonetheless, you must be realistic about what you can afford. Consider whether you have enough personal finance to fall back on should things take an unexpected turn during the course of 2018.

Company goals

When setting goals for your company, you should incorporate a mixture of short-term and long-term objectives. It’s healthy to look ahead several years into the future, but meeting immediate aims is the only way to realise these bigger goals.

First and foremost, you need to examine your financial targets over a period of 6-12 months. Are you looking to increase your turnover? Achieve better margins? Reduce your overheads? Or a combination of all three?

Secondly, take staffing into account. Some businesses may benefit from taking temporary staff on board as and when they need. For others, it will be more advantageous to recruit permanent employees. Recruitment drives may result in an initial profit reduction, but can prove fruitful as you grow over the subsequent months.

And thirdly, you need to take time to compile KPIs that enable you to measure progress as you go along. Consider whether all the targets you’re setting are SMART, and if you can use your KPIs to measure the extent of their success.

Reflect and build the perfect plan

It’s also beneficial to look back on any lessons you might have learned from the previous year. Be honest with yourself and assess what went wrong, as well what worked better than expected. Candid evaluation will put you on the right path to creating a more effective plan for 2018.

Nabarro Poole specialise in helping companies build attainable yet ambitious strategies, enabling them to power forwards into the future without looking back. Our team will sit with you, get to know your business and offer invaluable insight into how best to approach your plan.

Get in touch with us today on 0161 998 4276 to set up a free consultation. You can also leave a message using our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.