The least favorite time of our business year has come. It's time to project sales and growth for the next year.
Anyone that runs their own business knows that trying to plan for next year is one of the hardest things that any business has to do. Is your business going to grow? Do you need more employees? What new products should you be sourcing? Is there an increased demand for something that you cureently sell?
All of these questions are terribly hard to answer. That's what makes the planning process so hard. So before you do the same thing as every other business owner (read: pull some more hair out), listen to a couple words of advice from all of us here at Pine River Bedding.
If you don't know where you started, how can you plan for more growth? Review your results and be super critical with yourself. What did you do really well? Where did you fall short? Where are there opportunities for growth? Be honest and critical with your business, but be fair about it. Look back proudly on what you achieved and consider where your strengths will help you grow your business going forward.
Don't ever grow your business just to grow! Identify your opportunities for cost savings by buying larger quantities from your vendors. Buy more products from one vendor if it fits your needs going forward. Look at growing your profit dollars, not just sales volume. Add products that your competitiors don't have.
Use a budget to plan the months out. Plan for your income and expenses both. Look back on previous year's for guidance, but look for opportunities to really accelerate your growth in key areas. Again, focus on growing profit, not just revenue. Look for cost savings.
Also, try to determine where your business can add value to your community or area. Become an expert in your field. If you can build up trust from the community as the "go to" place for certain needs, then you and your business will prosper long term.
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