13 Planning Factors for Your Business in the New Year II

Small Business Management | Advansis Virtual
January 8, 2019 Advansis Virtual 0 Comments


Written by Jabiha Razi


Last week, we discussed four factors we should consider for planning for our business in the New Year: vision, annual business goals, products and services and markets. Today, we are going to discuss the rest of the factors. So, without further ado, here they are:

Human Resources:

The people aspect of the business is crucial in taking your business to the next level. It always pays to show your employees the “big picture” of where you want your business to go. It is also imperative to involve them in reaching this “big goal”. Show them how their contribution would help achieve the overall big picture. Try to set your employees’ individual goals and link their rewards to the performance of their goals. They will also feel ownership of your business and become more motivated to work towards this common goal. Are the job descriptions of your employees supporting these goals? Do you need to reassign some jobs or create new positions?


Do you have the funds to attain your business goals this year? If not, can you look for new avenues of financing? Considering the interest rates and payment terms, is it more beneficial to take a line of credit from a bank or financial institution? Can you avail of any small business grants? Sometimes, friends and family are also interested in becoming a silent partner/investor (short or long-term) in the business. Maybe they can partner in one of your offerings instead of the whole company? This way, you could use the freed capital on other offerings, increasing the chance to grow the overall business.

Feedback and Research:

Having candid feedback from your existing customers regarding your products or services is always beneficial. There is still room for improvement; customers’ needs also evolve and expand. This feedback would also help you retain your customers in the long run. However, keep your surveys short for a better response rate. It is better to have one objective for each study than multiple goals. For instance, if you want an opinion about your experience with the product, there is no need to ask questions about your communication in the same survey unless your customers are ready to sign up for a lengthy, in-depth interview or questionnaire.


We all have a clear idea of our main competition, which is on par with us in most of our offerings. Which of the products or services of your competitors “clicked” last year? Would their “formula of success” also work for you? Could you make small changes to their offerings to make the value proposition even better for your consumers? Are there any possible new competitors that could disrupt your business? Look at their online and offline communication for the last year to learn more about them. This analysis helps in identifying their business strategy.


How is the overall industry in which you are operating? Is it growing, stagnant or regressing? Is your growth in line with industry growth? If, on the other hand, it is regressing, which other industries could you diversify to over the mid to long-term most easily?


Were there any new tax reliefs or subsidies given to your industry of which you are unaware? Were any tax reliefs given to your vendors or suppliers that could have been passed on to you but were not?


Could any demographic shifts in your area affect the demand for your product or service? It is especially vital to reassess the demographics of your market from time to time if your business is locally operating.

Cost Savings:

Take a look at your various business processes. Are there any steps that could be eliminated or readjusted to save costs? Of course, this cost cut should not negatively affect the quality of your product or service.


Small businesses are primarily a one-person show. You have to see all the aspects of your business: planning, sales, marketing, accounting, etc. This workload requires a sharp eye for tasks that are time wasters and could easily be delegated to a virtual assistant. Also, some aspects of your business can benefit more if you hire a consultant instead of wasting time learning new complex skills_for instance, accounting, taxes, legal issues, etc. Write down what repeatedly wastes your time that you could delegate and focus on more critical aspects of your business.

Once you have written down answers to the questions and statements above, you will be in a better and more confident position to plan for the New Year.

Happy Planning!