It is amazing to think we will soon be in the next decade, and while the year 2020 has always sounded like the distant future, it’s almost here. With the world in an uncertain place and an economy that seems to be fluctuating all the time, it can be difficult to know where your business headed in a few years. This is why it is imperative to plan and prepare ahead, and here are a few things you can do to get your company in the best possible position for the future.
Attend Industry Events
Running a business day-to-day can take a massive toll on your time, having to manage operations, marketing and maintain client relationships can get so demanding. Finding time to network and mingle with your industry colleagues can be challenging. However, attending industry events can boost your business and your career, as you build relationships with the right people and ensure that your pitches meet the right people.
Nurture Your Client Base
Using the 80-20 rule, take a good look at your clients who have brought the most income, growth or impact for your business. Set up appointments throughout December & January; dedicate time for each account to know your clients better.
Speak to your clients about their goals for 2020, ask about the plans they have and how your business can help with those plans.
Accessing Finance for Business Growth
More often than not, if you want to start a business or expand it to that next level, you will need funding. There are grants available for small businesses from different avenues, it would be beneficial to stay aware of such grants and funds that your business can take advantage of to grow.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has also made available a 10-year tenor loan for businesses in the creative industry, this would ultimately be set up through a Nigerian bank, and you would also need to present your business plan and financials for the loan to be approved.
Demand More From Yourself And Your People
When you’re planning for 2020, implement a viable financial plan based on various operational and organizational improvements. Planning ahead would avoid putting your employees in situations you wouldn’t want yourself in.
Hold your employees accountable to their KPIs and implement a pay-for-performance plan for employees that go above and beyond.
Focusing On a Marketing Strategy That Works
If the past ten years
With Google and Facebook at the peak of perfection for online marketing and customer/demographic targeting, how can you not be taking advantage of these opportunities? Not only do they work extremely well and give you access to more than 70% of people throughout the world; it’s also one of the best ways to actually track your results and see if there is a positive or negative ROI every time.
Employees, Staff, and Cost Management
When you look at some of the biggest businesses that have failed over the years (and even internet-based ones), it often comes down to excess costs and trying to scale too fast. Associated costs with growth in customer service can quickly flow over in the wrong direction.
Better options lie in hiring freelancers, using automation to run your business, and also having a business online that actively runs 24/7/365. These methods likely won’t apply to all businesses and brands, but they definitely can help with cutting costs, limiting the need for physical people within a business location, and new opportunities in scaling globally through hiring freelancers and using advanced automated solutions.
Entrepreneurs and The Fear of the Unknown
We’ve covered several spectrums of technology advancements and what’s probably going to be standard across the board in the coming years. The big question here is: why are so many entrepreneurs and businesses still on the fence?
For the most part, this often comes down to FEAR. This can apply for many different reasons, such as:
- Fear of making a financial investment in new opportunities
- Not completely understanding the opportunity and letting it pass by
- Staying comfortable with the way things are and ignoring the opportunity for growth
In summary, technology is growing at a rapid pace, and it’s completely changing the world of business around us. If you aren’t adapting with these changes as well, you and your business might not be around to take advantage of it in the coming years.
Prepare for Automation
Many people are pretty confident that their job won’t be automated, but you’ll be surprised how many roles could be replaced by robots and software in the next few years.
Automation is a great thing for your business, freeing up employees from boring, repetitive tasks and allowing them to be more creative and take on skilled tasks. Look for automation tools that your business can leverage on to make repetitive tasks a thing of the past, and incorporate them into your daily operations. This saves costs, time and allows employees focus on more complicated tasks.
Work on your Online Presence
Social media is more important than ever, with around 54 percent of millennials using social media to make purchasing decisions. The new year is a good time to review your social media strategy, so take some time to look at your engagement statistics and start brainstorming some ideas to improve your numbers. It’s also worth reviewing your website and thinking about your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
If your business is doing well and you’re happy enough with the figures, then you might not have spent much time thinking about the competition. However, it’s important to see what’s going on in your industry, so you don’t fall behind. Visit their websites or take a few mystery shopping trips to get inspiration for your own expansion plans.
2020 could be a turning point for many businesses, and it’s important to think ahead at how your own business will be able to adapt and survive during difficult times.