Congratulations! The end of 2018 is here, and you’ve made it through the year intact. As a small business owner, that is no small feat. However, there’s always room for improvement. As the new year begins, now is a good time to reflect on what went well, but more importantly, where there is room for improvement. Here are some resolutions to consider for your law firm or other small business to consider.
1. Review and update your business plan.
Every small business needs to be guided by a business plan. If you’ve been in business for a while already, then you know how important that is. But how often do you go back to revisit your plan and make sure that it’s up to date and you’re sticking to it?
The start of a new year is a good time to revisit the most current iteration of your business plan to see if your earlier goals and planning are consistent with your firm vision for the year to come. Chances are, you’ll want to make some changes based on new trends and your observations from the previous year. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but the mere act of sitting down to review and update will help give you a more clear and defined idea of your priorities and goals to achieve for the coming year. Allconus has experts at crafting business plans, if you need a little assistance.
2. Consider your staffing needs for the New Year.
The people who work for you are one of the most important parts of law firm and small business success. But you shouldn’t get complacent and assume the few good people you’ve hired already are all you need. If any of your current staff are overwhelmed (including you), it’s probably time to hire more employees to help spread the work around. And if you’ve decided to introduce new initiatives, you’ll need to look for people with the skill sets required to take the new projects on.
A strong team of employees should not be overestimated. While bringing new employees onto the team can be expensive, if they help your business run more efficiently and allow your firm to grow, then they are worth the investment. With that in mind, take time to speak with your current staff, and consider what your needs really are. If you determine new hires are needed, get to work putting together some job ads and starting your search. Forward thinking like this will allow you to take the time needed to make the best hire, rather than waiting until your staffing is in dire straits and you need to make an immediate hire with a sub-optimal candidate.
3. Listen to your customers.
Employees are one of the most important parts of small business success; your customers are the other. Your business won’t get anywhere without people buying your products or services. It is important not only that you have customers (obviously), but that you work to understand who they are, why they give you their business, and what their experience with your business is.
To do that, you have to listen to them. Ask for feedback at every customer service interaction and make sure you review it and do something meaningful with the comments. Commit to getting feedback and reaching out to customers in the coming year. Your business will only get stronger and more successful for putting the customer experience first.
4. Revisit your pricing or fees.
Pricing isn’t something that you should set once and be done with – it is a dynamic part of every business. Every so often, you should revisit what you’re charging and consider if you should raise or lower your prices. If your brand has gotten stronger in the last year and your sales have increased steadily, you may be able to easily bump your prices or fees up without losing business. On the other hand, if business has slowed in the past year, reducing your pricing may be warranted. Changing your pricing always involves some risk, but if you determine it’s the right choice after analysis and careful consideration, it could mean higher profits in the year to come.
5. Improve your marketing plan.
We’ve already discussed updating your business plan, but don’t forget to revisit your marketing plan as well. Every year brings new marketing trends and channels for businesses to consider, so you should always take time to evaluate which marketing tactics you want to employ in the new year.
Analyze your marketing statistics to determine which of your current tactics and campaigns are providing the best results. You’ll likely want to make changes to your current marketing strategy based on what’s working the best for you now. But also consider if it’s time to try out new marketing techniques. For example, if you feel like you’re lagging in SEO results, it might be a good time to hire a professional to help with that. Or if your content isn’t getting enough online activity and views, it might be an opportune time to think about guest blogging or advertising. Think outside of the box. If you need help, Allconus has marketing experts with decades of experience helping small businesses and law firms thrive.
6. Consider outsourcing.
As has been discussed previously, outsourcing non-core services can result in significant cost-savings to firm’s bottom-line. Outsourcing skilled and specialized professionals to your staff without the added expenses of a full-time employee. For small businesses, outsourcing provides the added advantage of taking some of the load off you and your staff, so you can focus more on growing your business in the new year.
Consider outsourcing your business needs with Allconus. We are a one-stop shop when it comes to outsourcing. By centralizing all your outsourced needs in one place, your firm can further simplify its operations, further increasing business efficiency. We provide many professional services directly, and we have a large network of affiliates for services we don’t provide directly and can coordinate on a project management level. Allconus takes the headache out of managing outsourced tasks and vendors, saving both time and money for our clients. Contact us today to see how we can help your firm make 2019 even better than 2018.