The last few weeks of planning for 2018 will set the tone for your organization in the coming year. You might be experiencing a busy year-end, but you can start to prepare for success today. A goal can start with the improvement of your content marketing by investing in training for your staff.
Most companies prepare for this moment 12 months before the New Year. With the help of roadmaps and an action plan, updates can be added throughout the year.
Before you schedule a meeting to discuss ideas with executives and key players in your company, we recommend that you consider implementing these strategies in your company.
1. Marketing to New Audiences
The demographics of your accounting firm is set in stone from previous decades. However, there is currently a shift in an age group in the United States that your research team needs to consider.
According to a graph on DQYDJ, in 2015 the workforce primarily consisted of employees between 25 – 44 years of age. The moment you invest time in segmenting the age, income, and race of your target audience, the branding, messaging and products you offer clients can change. As a result, you can increase profits by catering to the needs of potential customers.
2. Time to Consider New Markets
If you provide accounting services for clients to walk-in, you may want to consider opening a new location next year. Office space in urban city locations can be expensive. Personal and business customers that reside in the suburbs need a convenient accountant or firm to depend on throughout the year.
The concept of maintaining relationships with customers is ideal. However, the opportunity to service new customers is as rewarding financially.
3. Embrace New Equipment or Technology
Do you have outdated equipment? It is time to reconsider the idea of saving money with a new and improved system. It can potentially increase the productivity of your users and revenue. The best route is to start with a platform your teams uses every day such as an invoice software and encourage an open discussion on how to improve the system.
If you are lacking in resources, a small business line of credit or loan can be used for the expenditure with monthly payments established that you can afford. Here are a few pieces of equipment and technology to consider:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- New signage
- Office equipment
- Heavy machinery
- Office furniture
Set up a meeting with key members of each department to discuss items that software and equipment that is outdated. It can appear at first as an unnecessary expense that can result in a high return on investment.
4. Improve Employee Benefits
Most areas overlooked by organizations when planning for the year ahead is its internal staff. The human resource team is your key asset to discuss plans on how to retain top talent.
One of the best ways to prevent employees from considering new employment at another company is to provide improved benefits. A few of the least expensive ideas are listed below:
- Remote work opportunities
- Career development resources
- Training in other departments
- Decrease summer work hours on Friday
- A room for employees to take breaks
5. Business Plan for the Long Term
A starting point to determining goals for the following year is to understand goals for the next five years in a business plan. Once you establish a list of short and long-term goals, set the timeline for three to five years. It will be easier to start preparing for 2018.
Think of it as larger pieces of a puzzle placed together to help your team see the overall picture. On a piece of paper, set goals into categories that can include, service, social, profit, and growth. A list of the benefits to focusing on these categories is listed below:
- Customer service and retention can improve
- Community involvement to improve public relations
- Increase of revenue
- Enhance the organization’s size of target audience, employees, etc.
We recommend that you encourage your employees to be creative when thinking of ideas. The imagination can produce strategies that can potentially improve the way your organization functions.
The internal and external factors of the way you do business can be improved in many areas. It may have been a good year in 2017, but the moment employees feel comfortable about organizational success is when most companies begin to recognize problems.
Think about your employees, customers, potential customers, stakeholders, and investors. If you can establish a set of goals for all to benefit, you can review this blog again at the end of 2018. Good luck!
Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with clips from CNBC Make It., Huffington Post, Glassdoor.com, Elite Daily, Fast Company, among others. She owns an online writing business and enjoys traveling in her spare time.