As the new year approaches, you may wonder how to prepare your small business to make the most out of 2022. It’s wise to plan ahead to promote earnings and growth for your small business. But how can you set yourself up to thrive?

This guide will offer some business tips for the new year, including: 

  • Attracting sales during the post-holiday slump
  • Putting together financial forecasts 
  • Creating financial goals for the new year

Attracting sales during the post-holiday slump

Once people indulge in holiday spending, it’s unsurprising that retail sales see a decline at the beginning of the new year. A Statista report shows how UK online retail sales dropped by nearly a billion pounds from December to January last year. So, how do you find sales new in a slower market? 

New year-focused marketing 

A great way to find sales is through relevant new year marketing. Consider how your products and services might be useful this time of year, or how they might relate to new year’s resolutions. To do this, you’ll need to know your target audience well and how you can help them. 

For example, if you have a coffee shop, you may want to market your decaf coffee to those who gave up caffeine for their resolution. On the other hand, you could market yourself as an option to keep people energised in the dead of winter. 

Winter offers

Winter offers are another way to earn sales during this post-holiday slump. Discounting your services or products could encourage people who are trying to cut down on spending. 

To earn new customers, you could offer a first-time discount or a free trial. Or, you could offer a deal on long term purchases, such as subscriptions, to earn more significant or continuous sales. For example, if you run a yoga studio, you could discount the first month of a year pass, or offer a deal on a twenty-class package. 

Target current or past customers 

You may also want to target your existing customers or customers who purchased from you this time last year. Reaching out to people who have already shown interest in your business could earn you more sales. 

Putting together financial forecasts 

Another important business tip for the new year is to plan for your finances. If you look closely at your finances, you can set yourself up for a successful year ahead. 

Assemble financial statements 

Start by rounding up your financial records from your business bookkeeping to create financial statements, such as a cash flow statement and income statement. Assessing your current financial situation will help you understand where you succeeded and struggled with your business over the past year. 

You can understand how much you earned and spent, to understand how profitable you were. Then, you can assess your cash flow, or the amount of cash flowing in and out of your business over a given time. Did you struggle to meet short term financial obligations? Do you have excess money that you can put towards growth? 

Forecast your finances

Once you compile your records, you can use that information to forecast your 2022 finances. A financial forecast is an estimate of how much you’ll spend and earn for your business over a period of time. So, add up your 2021 revenue and expenses to predict your 2022 outcomes.

To get a realistic picture,  add on any new expenses you expect. Also, research competitors and current market trends and incorporate this information into your expected business finances. Overall, forecasting can help you prepare financially for the new year. 

Budget for the new year 

Another great business tip for the new year is to assess your spending and earning expectations to outline a 2022 business budget. While forecasting helps you predict expenses and earnings, budgeting allows you to outline your spending goals. Still, the result of your forecast can help you put together an informed yearly budget.

Consider how much money you hope to allocate towards each area of your business, such as marketing, product development, and stock, depending on your financial goals for the new year.  

Creating financial goals for the new year 

The start of the year is a great time to assess and improve your business practices. So, the next business tip for the new year is to establish new financial goals

Assess your practices 

Before deciding on your goals, look closely at how you currently run your business. Highlight the pain points and stresses that slow down your business success. Knowing how you can grow, learn and improve can help you determine short term and long term financial goals. 

Short term goals 

Consider three short term goals for your business. For example, maybe you want to invest in Google Ads, increase sales by 15% in the first month of the year, and design a new website to accept online sales. 

Whatever goals you choose, make them specific. Consider your timeline, which may be one to three months. Then, outline steps towards achieving these goals and how you’ll measure their success.

Long term goals 

Then, outline three long term goals to help you pursue growth and change for your business over the next year. Where do you want your business to go? 

For example, you may want to reduce business expenses by a certain percentage, grow your revenue, or focus on product development. While a new website could be a short term goal, a long term goal could be to increase sales through that website by 20% over the next year. 

Make these goals as specific as possible. Again, be sure to attach a clear timeline, success measurements, and steps towards reaching those goals

Discover how Countingup can help organise your 2022 finances

To make the most of the new year, you may want to invest in tools that help you manage your money better. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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