Your 2019 Business Resolutions, Part 1
What are your goals for your business in 2019? What will it take to meet them?
The answer to the second question could also be called your “business resolutions.” And they should be firmly embedded in your 2019 business plan.
In this two-part series, we’ll share 10 ideas to get you started: Review where you are, where you’re going, and where you want to be.
You have to look back to look forward.
How did you do last year? Did you end the year ahead, behind, or about the same? Use your 2018 performance as a baseline for your 2019 planning. Look at your financial performance, marketing activities, product launches, rates of repeat business, and new clients. Look for patterns and determine the causes of both the highs and the lows. Is there seasonality in your business? If so, how can you better plan to take advantage of the best months and mitigate losses when sales are lower?
What worked for you last year?
What promotions are getting your clients’ attention? What is your top-selling service or product? What is effectively driving repeat business? And what new products might capitalize on last year’s successes?
Make your business plan for 2019.
Not accustomed to using a business plan? Think it is a waste of time? Far from it. A plan can save you time and money by outlining the most meaningful activities you can take to stay on – or above – your goal for 2019.
Review your current client list and fire some of them.
This may seem radical when you feel like every dollar of revenue is important, but high-maintenance, low-margin clients suck time and resources from more profitable clients. Make a list of your clients and then give each of them a grade. D’s and below need to be expelled. Then create a client-specific strategy to turn your C’s into B’s, and B’s into A’s. This introduces a key discipline to your company, that of evaluating each client’s potential value. The flip side: When you keep your most valuable clients, you have the time and resources to offer them better service and better products in return for their loyalty.
Clean up your prospect list.
Fill your funnel with prospects that will actually buy from you. Have you been working on prospects that no longer return your calls or e-mails? Remove them from your hot list and put them back into your marketing funnel. Then, only spend time calling on prospects where you know: a) the pain you solve for them, b) their budget, and c) who can make the buying decision. Identifying the real buyers will increase your sales productivity.
All of the questions above should be answered by data easily accessible from your CRM. And if it’s not… well, maybe a new CRM should be on your business resolution list for 2019.
In the next installment, we’ll take a look at five more ideas that can propel you into a more successful and profitable 2019. Your CRM is a key component for gathering and acting on all the information listed above – if one of your business resolutions is to evaluate new CRM systems, grab a spot on my calendar and let’s talk. (www.meetme.so/MarshallKnapp)