With the first six months of the year almost gone, now is a perfect time for entrepreneurs to evaluate the business plans and goals that they set at the beginning of the year. If this sounds like you, are you on track to achieve what you set out to? 1 July marks the beginning of the second half of the year. Make the next six months count by using our five-point check list to keep on track of your entrepreneurial targets.
Revaluate your target audience
If you are a new business, that task of identifying and understanding your target audience can take quite a long time. Learning their spending habits and how they operate is invaluable knowledge to you and your business as will have a better understanding of how to relate to them. Halfway through the year is a good time to ask your customers for feedback on your business, and while you’re at it, you may wish to ask them some basic survey questions too. Having a clearer picture of who your audience is, their habits and lifestyle will ensure your business can serve them more effectively.
Reassess your short and long-term goals
A common mistake that many entrepreneurs make is to set goals at the beginning of the year and shove that information in the filing cabinet for the next 12 months! Your short term AND long-term business goals need to be assessed and reassessed regularly, or at least every few months to ensure that you are responding to external changes and factors that occur in business all the time. For example, changing interest rates, supply and demand of raw materials, even a new competitor setting up shop next to you, etc.
Refresh your marketing strategy
As with the points above, visibility and awareness of your business can change over a matter days and weeks. The six-month point is a good time to evaluate the areas of your marketing that’s giving you a return on investment and the areas perhaps that you need to give a little more attention. It goes without saying that businesses ought to develop and follow a marketing plan. Depending on the sort of business you have, it needn’t cost an arm and a leg. Many emerging businesses start modestly, focusing their efforts on a social media plan. Whichever way you go, your business needs to grow and it can only do that if it is visible to your target market.
Invest in systems to improve productivity
In the initial stages of a business there is no doubt that the business owner will be on a steep learning curve and there will be many basic, but time-consuming tasks to learn and master. However, after a few months, it may be a good idea to start looking around for tools and automotive workflow systems that could help to free up valuable time.
There are numerous project management systems and content management systems out there that once you put in the initial effort of customising them to your needs, can potentially save a lot of your time so that you can focus on other areas that need your attention.
Book some time off
As the founder of a new business, you probably wear a lot of hats and are doing some crazy hours to ensure your business is successful. The problem with that is that you could be heading toward burnout and exhaustion. While there are no short cuts to running a successful business, it’s important to factor in some time to recuperate and replenish your enthusiasm. The simple act of book a short break, somewhere, you can really relax should not be overlooked. You will find you will return to your business with renewed zeal.