3 Key Areas to Reflect on for Local Business Growth in 2018

A how-to guide for setting your small business’ new year’s resolutions and growth goals for 2018

With 2017 quickly coming to an end, it’s time to start strategic planning for your local business marketing and growth in 2018. But before you dive too deep into envisioning your 2018 successes it’s important to take some time to reflect on the past year’s wins and opportunities for improvement. Reflection is a key piece of resolution setting and Welcomemat Services has pulled together the 3 key topics that your small business should be reflecting on now to ensure you’re setting the best resolutions for your small business in 2018. Read on for key tips on how you can pivot off both your successes and shortcomings from the last 12 months.

1. Evaluate your Marketing Strategy

The key to revising your marketing plan is to identify whether or not you were able to accomplish the local business marketing goals you set for last year. If you were able to meet or exceed your marketing goals from last year, then you should build more aggressive goals for 2018. Plan to spend more time and capital on marketing since you know how to reach your audience successfully. If you were not able to meet your 2017 marketing goals, then you need to spend time understanding your customer and exploring your options on how to reach them more effectively. Ensure that you are setting a quantitative way to measure your goals that focuses on key metrics. What was your cost per customer acquisition? Does digital or direct mail marketing give you the best return on investment? How many new customers did your marketing bring in? These are all important questions to address as you plan for 2018. If you need help with small business marketing plans, Welcomemat can help!

While metrics based evaluations are key in documenting success it is also important to consider qualitative factors that will affect the long-term success of your small business marketing. How do consumers perceive your brand? Did you increase brand awareness? How is your business positioned compared to competitors? These factors can be easily measured through surveying your customers either in person, via email, or even on social media.

2. Examine your Operations Plan

Having a strong operational strategy is often a key indicator of a successful business. Your business should be growing each year and if it is not, then you should ensure that you’re being realistic with yourself operationally. Are you hiring good staff, and training them well? Are your products or services priced right? Are your overhead expenses reasonable? Are you able to pivot and adapt to the expanding digital trends of your customers? Are you growing in capital, experience, and reach? If you’re able to answer each of these questions about your 2017 operational outcomes, then you have the bases for your 2018 strategy. Create key indicators for each of your operational goals and ensure you’re staying on the right track with monthly operational evaluations.

3. Reflect on your Finances

Did you make more than you spent this year? It may seem like an obvious question that all small business owners should be asking, but sometimes it’s complicated. Understanding the value of each line item in your small business is an important part of maximizing your profits. By reflecting on your finances in 2017 you can better understand how and where you need to invest in your business in 2018. Understand where you under invested and where you overinvested. Find ways to cut unnecessary expenses and set realistic profit goals for each quarter of 2018.

As the new year approaches it’s important to reflect on the year past and consider ways to learn, grow, and improve in 2018. Set your small business resolutions but also consider resolutions to avoid. A little planning goes a long way in your small business growth. But if you don’t have the time and are looking for local business marketing plans proven to bring you loyal, repeat customers, Welcomemat can help with our turn-key marketing solutions.