Episode 24 – Business Growth Checklist for 2016
Steps for Success in a New Year
We want this to set the theme for your 2016. We want it to be a light document to plan out your year. Making a giant plan can be stressful, and chances are you’ll procrastinate doing it. Our idea is that you write down a couple bullet points and we’ll go through some ideas on the business side and on the sales & marketing side. And then take them to heart and figure out how you can incorporate them into a growth plan for your business.
If you want to look to the future, you may want to look to the past.
- The best ______ to work with. – shirts, tote bags, hats, etc. Were they easy to work with, were they profitable, were they easy to order and in stock, are they continuing for 2016? Pick out your favorites, make them your staples for 2016, and use those as your top suggestions when customers are making orders.
- What was your most profitable deal? – Not your largest order, but which customers and deals had the highest return on investment? (If you haven’t already, make sure you check out Knowing your Numbers.) Imagine if all your deals had that same profitability? How much money would you have made in 2015? How can you replicate that? Can you suggest it as an option for your customers?
- What was your worst mistake? – Was there a deal you, unexpectedly, lost a lot of money on? You picked the hardest shirt to print on, or you allowed a customer to bring in their own shirt, and you ruined half of them. Do you order the wrong item? Getting the wrong piece of equipment, taking on the wrong employee.
- Vendor review – Who did you really enjoy working with/ordering from? How were your issues handled?
Take the proper steps to manage your inventory, billing, taxes, etc.
- Have you seen your CPA this year? Go over what you can do better in 2016 as far as managing your finances, so when you see them next year it’ll be easier.
- Get a second opinion if necessary – meet with someone for an hour, who might be able to give you advice.
- Get some accounting/finance software.
- Order Entry – how you’re managing your orders. Move from paper to software.
- Inventory management – what you have on hand, what is on order, what you need to complete the order, what do you go through the most/fastest. Have a schedule, and check on what’s there, and what you need. You should have a 60-day supply of all the major things you use, in your shop, and then after 30 days, re-order so you’re always a full month ahead at any given time. So if you suddenly get an order that uses more than you’d expect, you’ve still got supplies, to fill it and all your other regular orders.
- Customer info management – Name, address, phone number, what they ordered, notes about them, do they like to be called on the phone or do they prefer to communicate over email. There is plenty of software out there that is free. This will help you not lose their information, and provide better service.
Focus on a few things and re-evaluate. And share this with others to help them be successful this year.