Goal Setting for Business Owners
The beginning of the year is when most people set big goals for themselves. We tell ourselves that this is the year that we are going to drink more water, lose weight and learn that new skill. For business owners, goal-setting should not be done in January but rather in the fourth quarter. If a business owner waits until January to plan, they start the year lethargic and without direction. They may find that their goals have to be reduced due to delayed action. For these reasons, the UGA Small Business Development Center is encouraging clients to plan now for 2018. Check out the ways the SBDC can help small businesses plan for an awesome 2018.
Many small business owners understand the importance of a business plan when they start their business. Unfortunately, few business owners review that business plan on a regular basis. The business plan is not meant to be a one-time document that gets prepared and then sits on the shelf for the rest of time. It should be an evolving road map for a business that tells where the business is going. The SBDC helps clients review their business plans to determine what is working and what areas need attention. Reviewing financial statements and other performance measures allow business owners to adapt their business plans to reflect actions that need to be taken in the coming months. In addition, by reviewing and updating the business plan and projected financials, business owners can determine if their cash flow will be adequate to carry out future plans or if they will need to look for additional funding.
Creating a Marketing Plan
When updating a business plan, business owners should also look at their marketing plan. The plan that they made 12 months ago will need to be updated to reflect changes in the market. This is also a great time to review marketing efforts made this year to determine what forms of marketing generated the most business and what forms provided little return. In addition, now is the time to decide what new approaches your business is going to take in marketing. The SBDC can help businesses analyze their current marketing efforts and offer assistance with identifying new ways to market.
Developing an Education Plan
Gaining industry knowledge is important for both new business owners and those that have decades of experience. The world we operate in is continually changing and, as a result, all industries must adapt. Those that fail to engage in continuous learning are subject to falling behind. As a business is planning for the upcoming year, it should include education measures. Business owners should determine what conferences they plan to attend well in advance as these can often be a large expense and require time away from the business. Business owners should also determine what areas they would like to know more about and choose books, publications and classes that will help them gain that knowledge. The SBDC offers low-cost and no-cost classes to business owners that cover topics such as digital marketing, Quickbooks and alternative financing.
The Small Business Development Center is here to help small businesses grow. Business owners looking to make 2018 their best year ever should start planning now. To schedule an appointment or to get more information on upcoming classes please contact the office at (912) 478-7232 or visit our website www.georgiasbdc.org/SouthernCoastal.
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