INSIGHT: Top 10 SMB business tips for 2015

“A summer break is an ideal time for small business planning,” says Victoria Crone, Managing Director, Xero New Zealand.

“A summer break is an ideal time for small business planning,” says Victoria Crone, Managing Director, Xero New Zealand.

Seen as a time when owners can take stock of the year that has been and identify improvements to make for the upcoming year, Crone, an industry veteran, documents the top tips for Kiwi small business owners to think about over a barbecue or at the beach.

Set goals and objectives:

Summer is a great time for small business planning - SMART (or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-related) goals are an effective tool for small business owners.

Maybe you want to achieve a 50% increase in sales? Maybe you’d like to gain five new customers? Or maybe you’d like to give yourself a day off each week? SMART goals make it easier and clearer for your business to reach its potential. Set some goals with interim milestones, write them down and stick to them.

Expand your social media presence:

Social media is a great tool for engaging with current and potential customers and gaining valuable insights. It’s important to find the right social media platform to reach your target audience.

Spend some time scanning through potential new “Followers” to grow (or simply start) your Twitter base and map out a content plan for the year ahead so you’re posting regularly and engaging your audience.

Update your website and enable SEO:

Having a website is fundamental in today’s tech savvy world and it’s important to make sure it’s fit for purpose. Is it mobile friendly or mobile optimised? SEO (or search engine optimisation) is the process of making your website visible in search engine results.

One way to optimise your website is to identify keywords that could direct people to your site, then make sure these terms are throughout your site.

Regularly updating your website with new, relevant content is important as this also effects your search engine ranking.

Budget:

Work with your accountant or business advisor to establish a budget and financial forecast for the new year. This will help you to plan for tax payments as well as cash flow management.

With some planning you’ll be able to set targets with the aim to build your business for the future. Finally, don’t forget to dream about where you want your business to be financially in the next 3-5 years.

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