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How to Prep Your Business for the New Year

By Ashley Orndorff, aka Marketing Geek notebook with new year and goal, plan, action checklist

As the last quarter of the year winds down, your business may be experiencing a slow period. Instead of slumming through the “post-holiday drag” and taking it easy, you can use that time to get things back in order and prepare your business for success in the new year. Here’s how to prep your business for the new year:

1. Take Inventory and Review the Year

Whether you’re a retail business or a service business, this is the perfect time to take inventory and review the year. On the retail side, it’s a good idea to take stock of what you have. Pairing inventory numbers with analytics from what was likely your busiest season allows you to determine what you need to re-order and re-stock and what you might want to discontinue next year.

No matter what type of business you have, this is a great time to brainstorm new ideas or products and review results from the year. Doing so gives you a ton of useful insights to use for next year and allows you to tweak next year’s plans as needed. Based on what you find, you may also discover gaps or things your business is missing that you can add in the new year to improve.

2. Move Spring Cleaning to the End of the Year

Cleaning things up should not wait until spring. The end of the year is a good time to clean things up and start the new year organized. First and foremost, get your books and finances in-line and wrapped up. In retail, you can clean up and organize the storefront and your back room. Not only does this get things ready for the next year, but it also frees up storage space for potential new stock or even new product lines.

Cleanup and organization aren’t just for physical stores; they apply to websites too. Once the holiday rush is over, you don’t have to worry as much about site changes ruining your year-end growth. So, you can use the insights gained from reviewing the year’s data to update the most important pages on your website. This is also a great time to re-crawl your website with an audit tool and fix any errors that you find. Carve out some time for your social media profiles as well. You want to check in on how your content performed there and spend some time updating your profiles.

3. Upgrade Technology Where Needed

Part of reviewing the year’s data and results is reflecting on the year as a whole, including pain points and areas where your business could use some improvement. For many businesses, even those in the tech space, this means adding or upgrading technology. This could be anything from automatic bookkeeping to productivity tools and more. Whatever your business’s main pain points were over the course of the year, take a closer look at them to identify recurring trends. There may be a software out there that can help you solve recurring issues and become more efficient in the new year.

4. Assess Customers and Update Target Audience

You want to spend a lot of time reviewing your business to find improvements, but you also want to review your customers too. Think about the customers you attracted this year – were they a good fit for your business? If not, you likely need to update your target audience and tweak your marketing efforts in order to better communicate to and attract your ideal customers. Doing this before the new year allows you to change communications and update information on upcoming campaigns ahead of time and start off on the right foot.

There are plenty of things to do to prep your business for the new year. Whether your business experiences a “post-holiday drag” or not, it’s important to make sure your business is poised for success as the next year rolls in. If your website needs some work, contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to get it updated and working for your business!

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