7 Monthly Tasks For Successful Business Growth
You’re running a small business so you probably already have a lot of things to do each month. For the successful growth of any business though, you need to take some time each month to check-in with yourself. To go over how things are going this month and what could be improved.
Below is a checklist - it’s not exhaustive, but it’s definitely a starting point to go through each month.
Can other potential customers find you?
How are your customers finding you? Do you even know? Make sure you’re checking your Google Analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from and what pages are a hit. If you’re driving people to your blog, where are they coming from and how do you reach more of them?
What’s your marketing up to?
You can potentially throw away a lot of money by running ads on Facebook or Google AdWords by either not targeting them correctly or with a poorly created ad. This is about more than just your social media channels with your followers and engagements but about trying to find cost effective methods to market your business. This could be from brand awareness to promoting your product. Is your daily budget to low or is your ad not performing, causing a low return on investment (ROI)? It’s okay if you’ve tried something and it hasn’t worked. Adapt it and see how that performs, then adapt again, and again until it becomes more refined to reach the audience you are after.
How were your sales?
You need to know how you are performing month on month. Are there any trends? Is your business seasonal or does it have similar “quiet” periods around the same time each year? You can use this level of information when you are budgeting and planning (you’re doing that, right?).
Anything happening in your industry?
Are you on top of the latest trends or is there a significant change happening soon that will affect your customers? Being “in the know” and keeping yourself fresh is just as important in year 1 of business as it is in year 5. Everything is evolving, and you can’t let yourself stagnate. Also, look at expanding within your industry - things like events and awards can provide not only credibility but also potential customers. It's something to think about.
Have you talked to your accountant?
This is key. Most of your business decisions will have a direct effect on your taxes, cash flow or business performance and usually, it will affect all 3. Sometimes, having a chat with your accountant can be good to get another perspective.
Any development plans for your business?
We like to do this each month. Try to pick 3 things in your business that you want to improve and try to solve them in the following month. You can set yourself deadlines if you find that helps. It can be small, from “update the contact form on my website to include first names” to “I need to completely revamp my website” or even potential services or products that you could roll out to your customers. It goes back to staying fresh and relevant.
How are the business's finances?
This is the nitty-gritty. How is your cash flow? Are your bills being paid on time? How long is it taking your customers to pay you? Are you in your overdraft? Could you be improving your sales next month? Using accounting software like Xero gives you a real-time look at these issues to help you make informed decisions. Spreadsheets and shoeboxes just don’t cut it anymore, and it’s even better if you can have a chat about these with your accountant.
Keep yourself in check and go through a checklist like this each month to keep on top of your business. It can be easy to slip into working in your business the entire time, but sometimes you need to take a step back and look at your business objectively. It can be hard to do but start implementing it now to save yourself a lot of potential hassle in the future.
About the author
Ben Nacca is an accountant but is nothing like the stereotype you have visualised in your mind! He has worked in the accounting industry for almost a decade and is CEO here at Cone.
Ben loves travelling the world, playing video games and playing his acoustic guitar whenever he finds the time between spending time with his two chihuahuas, Hugo and Pablo!