‘What should I put on my business ‘to do’ list?’ is one of the questions our ‘Boost Your New Business’ trainers are always asked. When it comes to running a business in its first year, it can be easy to be side-tracked by the day-to-day running of your business and lose sight of your business goals.
That’s why its so important to take time out to strategize and create an action plan to keep you on track! Here are the FIVE things you should put on your ‘to do’ list today…

1. Re-visit your market research
Lack of market research is well-cited as one of the biggest causes of start-up failure. Everyone knows the importance of conducting market research before taking the plunge into a new business, but many forget to set aside time to keep up with the market as their business progresses.
You should be re-visiting your market research on a regular basis to find out how market trends and your customer needs are changing. And of course, to keep up with your competition!

2. Carry out an updated SWOT analysis
Much like your market research, your SWOT analysis can easily fall by the way-side in the day-to-day running of your business. But it’s an exercise which you simply can’t afford to forget.
The opportunities and threats within your market change on a daily basis, as do your strengths and weaknesses, so it’s vital that you continue to adapt and change with this document. This will help you to grasp those opportunities which can help you to grow and avoid pitfalls which could damage your business.

3. Review your pricing
When you first start out in business it can be easy to undervalue your product or service and sell yourself short when it comes to your pricing. This is one of the main mistakes we see new businesses making.
As you begin to grow into your business, make sure you set aside time to re-evaluate your value proposition and adjust your pricing accordingly. Don’t sell yourself short! It’s also worth bearing in mind that your competition may be changing their pricing strategy as the market changes.

4. Check your time budget
Between juggling your sales and marketing, business development and finances with the day-to-day running of your business, your time as a business owner is a very precious commodity. It can be easy to get side-tracked on tasks which take up your time but aren’t profitable. ‘Don’t become a busy fool’ is our motto!
Take ten minutes out to look at the tasks where you spend the most time and ask yourself if you could be working more smartly. There are lots of free tools out there which you can utilise. 

5. Review your marketing strategy
“How can I increase my sales?” is the BIG question. Clients always ask what they should be doing to reach their target customer and boost their sales – the answer will be different for every business.
If you’re putting hours into your marketing but aren’t seeing any return, then its time to change your approach. Ask yourself, am I using the right marketing channels? Am I engaging my audience – if not, why?
You can find out more of our top tips for actioning all of these factors through our free ‘Boost Your New Business’ programme. This is an interactive two-day course which will help you to survive and thrive in your first year of business.
To find out more, contact enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or call 0151 706 8113 for an informal chat.