We’re still in the early part of the year, and that means it’s still the planning season for businesses. Today we’re taking a look at some of the most important milestones in the year for any business, and the things you need to plan ahead for to make the most of those highpoints and opportunities.
Identify Busy Periods
When you’re planning your year, it’s important to construct a calendar of peak times (and of troughs as well). These are the periods in the year when people are naturally interested in, searching for and ready to spend money with your industry. For many retail and hospitality businesses, it’s the November and December build up to Christmas. Recruitment sees a boom in late winter and early spring, and of course, accountants and financial experts are at their busiest in the run up to the end of the tax year.
Your busy periods may not align with the obvious busy times for many industries, but it’s rare for a business to be entirely without seasonality. Find when people are particularly interested in what you have to offer, and you find your times of greatest opportunity for sales, and bringing new people into your brand.
The opposite times of low interest are good times to make changes to your business, for research, for developing new products and offers to tempt customers when the spotlight falls on you once again.
Not seeking investment, but investing in your business. There are several resources that can provide you with big advantages as you run your business, and it’s well worth plotting out when and if you’re going to invest in them.
If you’re looking at developing new products or growing your business this year, for example, some well targeted market research can give you the data you need to get the decisions around those projects right. Similarly, commissioning a competitor benchmarking study can help you understand where you sit in your marketplace relative to other brands, which is important information to help you calibrate your marketing and sales as you head into a peak period!
While some hiring decisions are forced on you – if someone leaves requires a full time, long term replacement, then you simply do have to replace them – it’s worth planning out others. Think about your staffing requirements for the year – if you’re expanding, you’ll need to hire new staff and maybe even new managers. If you’re heading into a peak time, you might need a temporary boost to meet customer demand!
Recruitment can have a long lead time – the challenge of finding the right candidate gets harder and more important the more senior position they’re filling, as does the chance they’ll have a long notice period to work – so it’s worth knowing when you’ll need your new starters well in advance!