Resolutions for a successful year
As we head into the third month of the year, having survived the slow start of the year weighed down by the budget speech and economic predictions from all and sundry, it’s time to put those fears behind us and tackle the year with energy, determination and positivity. These simple commitments can really transform the way your business works.
Look at the Big Picture
Always have the ‘big picture’ in mind; why you set out on this business journey and where you are heading in your business On the one hand, don’t get bogged down by negativity that can weigh you down but on the other hand always know exactly where you stand financially and in terms of the ‘bigger picture’. Take out your original business plan when you started your business and revise it for the next five years, mapping out clear goals.
Recognize market disruptors and act accordingly
Market disruptors can be both negative and positive. The global pandemic and in South Africa in particular, the riots, floods, load-shedding and general political chaos, have been the most negative disruptors our country has ever seen. But out of crisis comes opportunity, and it is often these market disruptions that spawn new ideas, new companies and technology innovations. Keeping tabs on market trends and anticipating the direction that business is heading will help to stay ahead of the pack. Technological innovations such as the metaverse should not be seen as a passing fad but be investigated (as has McDonald’s that filed applications for the metaverse) as potential ways to expand market share.
Capitalize on your brand’s stability
Whether you are talking to existing customers, looking to grow your customer base or, as a franchisor wanting to attract new franchisees to the fold in this world of uncertainty, capitalize on your brand’s stability. Don’t be scared to divulge the steps you took to mitigate the challenges your brand suffered, how you stood by your franchisees and by extension how you went out of your way to service your customers. In a sea of businesses that have failed, those that are struggling and new ones that may or may not succeed, a strong brand that conveys the narrative of resilience, consideration and care will win the day.
Make your Business Mean and Lean
Balancing the books and keeping a healthy cash-flow is crucially important in any business but especially in a small business. Take a long, hard look at your business and trim away any unnecessary spending – from superfluous staff to small things like incidentals or luxuries in the business that could be done without. Invest in a progressive accounting software that allows you to, in real time, track your business and to assess whether it is in the red or the black. If you have an accountant, schedule regular meetings to discuss your results for that month, catch any issues early before they become a problem and advise you on achieving future targets. Discipline time-wasters in your staff complement and look at ways of cutting out what is not absolutely essential – that could mean that luxury car you bought when things we going swimmingly!
Step up your Marketing
This is one area you must not cut back on. In today’s world of internet, online and social media, marketing need not cost an arm and a leg. Look at areas of exposure that will give you the most optimum return on investment (ROI). Identify your target market and how you want to position your brand or service and find innovative ways to tap into that market – it could be through direct marketing, creating blogs or positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
Balance in life is important
When the pressures of running a business override the simple pleasures of life, then your business could be at risk. Make time for yourself in order to clear your head and run your business more effectively and encourage your staff to keep a healthy balance in life.
To protect, lobby, promote and develop ethical franchising across all sectors in South Africa with specific focus on transformation.