The last few years have been anything but easy for small businesses. Large-scale macro-events have forced us to adapt to thrive, highlighting the importance of remaining flexible and open to new ideas in the face of uncertainty.
As with the last few years, 2023 is set to bring its own unique set of challenges. But with a new year also comes new opportunities for development and growth. It’s up to you to leverage these to drive your business forward.
Here are some key areas to focus on to prepare your business for 2023 and beyond.
Reevaluate your business model
A business plan isn’t something you write and then file away, never to be looked at again. A business plan should be fluid, adaptable and open to change.
The last few years have highlighted the importance of business model innovation more than ever. When the pandemic hit, almost all businesses had to adapt to survive, switching to new, remote ways of operating and delivering services and carving out entirely new offerings to replace lost revenue streams during lockdown.
Think of your business model as a roadmap for helping you achieve your long-term goals.
Take a good look at your business model to define your business ‘as is’. Your business model provides a valuable snapshot of where your business currently stands, providing a high-level overview of systems, processes and structures. It also allows you to see what elements are currently working and which ones aren’t.
You can then make the necessary changes to your model to support your long-term vision.
Plan for the long-term
The next step is bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
To do this, you need to prioritise long-term needs over short-term ones. This means focusing less on those quick, low-value wins and more on the things that will drive maximum value to your business.
What lessons or mistakes have you learnt from in the past year? Which areas of your business provided the most value? Which projects ended up being least successful, and why? These are the keys to how and where you should invest your time in 2023.
Focus on the activities that will generate long-term value for your business, your people and your customers and build those key learnings into your 2023 game plan.
Set the vision and define the figures you need to build it
What kind of business do you want to build? What do the next 3, 5, or 10 years look like?
Having a clear vision of where you want to be and keeping it front and centre will be the key to success in 2023.
But without a tangible plan for how to get there, and accurate numbers to support it, a vision is just a dream.
Define your long-term goals and objectives and get the figures in place to support them:
Cash flow forecasts
Run regular cash flow forecasts and compare your predicted cash position with your actual cash position to see if you’re on track to meet your goals.
Model out scenarios to test plans and visualise how they will impact your cash position.
Create a financial plan for the year ahead to help you prioritise spending, and use your previous year’s figures to guide you. You can create a straightforward budget by calculating your total income and your total expenses, then comparing cash flow in with cash flow out to determine your profitability.
Define which KPIs to track, and how often to track them, to measure your progress toward your goals.
Factor in external constraints and uncertainties
When planning for the future, there will always be economic and political factors that can affect your business. The cost of living crisis, Brexit, and a looming global recession all present their challenges and risks to businesses. Remember to account for these when planning for the future and consider factors outwith our control.
Sometimes these bumps in the road can hinder our progress. That’s okay, as long as you have a plan for how to deal with them. Remain realistic about long-term goals and plans, and what’s achievable in the current economical and political climate.
Looking to the future
As one year ends and another begins, remember to celebrate your wins and utilise your key learnings from the past year and use them as fuel to drive your business forward.
With a clear vision of where you want to be and a foolproof strategy for how you will achieve it, you can make 2023 your best year yet.