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The start of a new year makes many business owners look to the future and think about where they’d like to be in a year’s time. You may be looking to expand your business, build on sustained growth, diversify, or move premises.

Perhaps you’re looking to run a new marketing campaign, employ more staff, or open another branch. There are many exciting possibilities to consider rather than resting on your laurels and continuing down the same path.

On the other hand, maybe last year wasn’t your best year, and you want to improve your performance going forward. Whatever your ambitions might be, there are some important foundations to put in place if you want to ensure your success.

Reviewing your performance to date

Successful entrepreneurs understand that reviewing all aspects of the business on a regular basis is vital, so you can learn from what went wrong and capitalise on what went right. Mistakes are inevitable in all areas of life, but by examining why they were made, you can avoid making the same mistakes again, and very often there are valuable lessons to learn. Remember what Thomas Edison said when asked about his many failed attempts to create a working lightbulb:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

While you won’t have the luxury of being able to make that many mistakes in your business, the principle applies to life’s endeavours in any sphere – you learn from making mistakes, and without errors being made, most of the world’s great inventions would never have come to light.

Build on the strengths you have

Analysing your previous performance should highlight aspects of your business that are performing particularly well, and once you’ve found the products or services that are making the most significant contribution to your profits, you can focus your marketing on them and increase the weight they’re given within your business.

Budgeting

The exciting part of running a business is making more sales and seeing the revenue increasing as a result. The ins and outs of using marketing wisely, getting your message across, having the right product or service that people need and are willing to pay for; all combine to provide the thrill and the challenge of being in business.

However, behind the scenes are the less thrilling but influential matters of overheads and expenses. Minimising costs while maintaining quality and continuity of service makes a big difference to your net profit. Have you, for example, looked at how to switch business gas supplier to lower your bills using a service like Utility Bidder? Saving on unnecessary costs gives you more capital to reinvest in your business – or enjoy a luxury holiday if that’s your priority!

Planning and forecasting

Planning is also vital in business; you can’t hope to succeed and grow if you don’t put plans in place to guide the process. Use your business plan, making adjustments to reflect changes in your business model and the current market, and keep your budget updated to ensure your financial forecast is on track.

By putting these foundations in place, you’re giving your business the best chance of success in the future and assuring your own happiness and fulfilment.