Every new financial year brings with it the opportunity to make vital improvements to your business strategy. We know it can be overwhelming, so we have some valuable business advice for small businesses to help you spot anything you might have missed. Remember that it’s never too late to turn your year, and your business, around.

Take a look back

Review your previous year. Identify what worked well and keep it going. Whatever didn’t work needs to be improved upon or removed. Don’t make the same mistake twice.

Identify trends

Look around you. What trends can you spot in your area and your community? They don’t have to be buying trends. Fashion, travel and entertainment trends can easily be turned into buying trends with proper business sense and creative thinking.

Improve customer service

The customer is king and customer service can always be improved. Listen to your customers’ compliments and complaints and find more ways to improve their shopping experience. When customers have to choose between two close competitors, they almost always opt for superior customer service.

Introduce card payments

If you haven’t already started accepting card payments, you’re at a major disadvantage. Not only have customers come to expect businesses to accept card payments, they also grow your business in many ways with little effort from you. Your cash flow is simplified, security risks are reduced and your revenue goes directly into your bank account.

Project your income

Take all the lessons learnt from the previous year and use them to project your income for the new year. Be as detailed as possible, but remember that your projections aren’t a true reflection of how the year will work out. They’re just goalposts – sometimes you’ll miss, but without them you have nowhere to aim.

Set targets

Speaking of goalposts, it’s important to have weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual targets. Don’t overthink them, just make a list of realistic short- and long-term goals and what you need to make them happen. This structures the time spent on your business into small practical steps that lead to greater rewards at the end of the year.