With the new year fastly approaching, there are many uncertainties to take into account as a business owner. 93% of small business owners have shown concerns about the direction of the economy for 2023, meaning you shouldn’t feel alone in any concerns you have. It may be hard for you to visualize what your business plan for 2023 should look like, but there are ways you can prepare and pave the way for a successful year. Staying ahead of employee satisfaction, generating or revising your yearly budget, and staying ahead of the competition should be some of your top priorities when striving to achieve your business goals for the new year.
When it comes to managing your employees and preparing them for the year ahead, now would be the time to reflect on strategies that have worked well or re-establish control in places you feel could use improvement. Employee satisfaction dictates many aspects of the productivity that occurs within your business, so implementing a stable company culture and staying aware of employment trends will bring results everyone can feel good about.
A strong company culture that your employees will look for includes transparency and accessibility. In order to prevent quiet quitting and high turnover rates, understanding where your employees’ concerns lie will provide insights to what you can do to improve their working culture. Turnover and quiet quitting can result from work fatigue, micro-managing, or lack of communication, so finding the sweet spot to keep people engaged will be crucial when developing improvements.
80% of workers preferred jobs with benefits to those with comparable pay, but no benefits. This is an outstanding percentage that speaks to the importance of establishing a transparent relationship with your employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act was put in place to ensure employees are protected and taken care of in the workplace. It’s your duty as a business owner to ensure their needs are being met – which comes from fully understanding the role you play in maintaining their basic work needs.
With 2 million more employed people expected for 2023, you can anticipate a jump in potential employees seeking a career change, a better work environment, or even new graduates entering the workforce. Implementing changes and listening to your current employee’s needs will attract those currently seeking employment and help you gain an employee-focused environment they’ll actively be looking for.
Breaking down your annual expenses can be a daunting task, but taking the time to sit down and evaluate where your financial resources are being allocated can help you smoothly transition into your new year plans. We know that navigating the ups and downs of the economy can be tricky, but here are some action-based strategies you can implement to adjust or create your budget:
- Estimate your revenue based on this past year’s numbers. Your revenue is how much money you’ve brought in regardless of how much you’ve spent. If you look at your revenue over a 12-month period, you’ll be able to predict seasonal patterns or low-traffic periods. This data allows you to adjust your finances accordingly to account for future lulls in business.
- Account for your fixed costs. These numbers are based on your daily business operations – utilities, equipment fees, rent, or any service you use to make your business run. Fixed costs don’t change, so you can plan on keeping these variables constant in your month-to-month budgets.
- Be proactive with the reality of unexpected expenses. Obtaining some additional funds to give yourself some wiggle room for situations out of your control will put you at ease if the unexpected happens and you need to tap into your rainy-day funds. Unexpected expenses can be anything from adding new training for your employees, repairs or renovations, and changes in costs from a supplier.
When creating your budget, understanding the fundamentals above will lead you to a better understanding of what to expect and create a realistic overview of where you should be. With a detailed plan, any red flags you establish now can be worked out.
With the small business industry experiencing rapid growth, competition is an ongoing threat. That being said, there are ways you can set your business apart from the rest. Researching and implementing effective marketing strategies based on your industry will put your business on the map and make your competitors fear you!
Putting your foot in the door of the marketing world can open up endless opportunities on your road to success. Reaching out to outside agencies is a great start. Be prepared to share your goals and open a line of communication with a third party to encourage the collaboration you’re looking to achieve. You never know what an outside perspective could offer!
Another way to combat competition is to seek out investors. You may have big dreams for the direction of your business and an investor or consultant could be your ticket to expanding on those goals. Create a pitch they can’t refuse and be open to having tough conversations about your finances and general business plan.
Sometimes a fresh look can introduce changes you didn’t know you needed to make. Investors want what’s best for both parties as they’ll be contributing just as much to your business as you have in the past, so don’t be quick to shut down constructive criticism as they want to succeed with you. Taking the lead on these preventative measures to ensure the start of a successful new year will help you navigate the perceived uncertainties that can come with being a business owner. Your employees will appreciate your efforts in creating a work environment they can feel proud to come to every day, and your thorough planning when establishing a realistic budget will pay off when it comes to making those big business decisions. Keep your strategies moving in a positive direction and 2023 will be a breeze!