With the close of the 2012 tax year, you should now be armed with useful figures to benchmark and assess your business performance. You can therefore use this data to implement strategies to improve your results for the 2013 tax year.
It is never too early, or too late, to start planning ahead. The reality is that to make the most of your budget, you need to lock in some strategic plans now and prepare for the Christmas rush. Use the time now to reflect on business operations and find ways to work smarter.
One way Zeald can help you work smarter is with Website Results Consulting, which is designed to assist you in achieving maximum results from your business website. A Website Results Consultant will look at the ‘big picture' objectives of your business and make recommendations about how to optimise your website to maximise your online results.
You want to build on your positive trends. Look out for areas where you are doing well, see if you can do even better and make the most of your competitive advantage or market conditions. Look for ways you can maximise sales and revenue during peaks.
If your gross profit margin has improved year-on-year, can you continue the trend in 2013 with a small increase in prices, or by buying in bulk, sourcing new suppliers or trying other products to reduce your cost of sales?
Try to minimise or (if possible) negate negative trends. If you see a pattern in your sales cycle eg post-Christmas sales slump, looks for ways to increase turnover, such as appealing to a different market segment by offering package deals, off-peak specials or add value by offering something for free with purchase like a lesson. You could even look at adding a new product, which is especially helpful for seasonal slumps.
The new financial year is a good time to look back over the year that was and look to the year ahead. Review your progress relative to your business plan – or to write up a business plan, if you don’t have one. It’s relatively easy to get side-tracked by a new idea or opportunity, so you’ll want to assess if you’re on track to achieve your business goals and ensure you’re not diversifying when your goal is to specialise in a niche market, for example.
This is also an opportunity to assess whether your goals and plans are still valid. Have market conditions or trends changed? Did you uncover a new opportunity that you would like to explore? Schedule some time to review your plans and work strategically for the 2013 tax year.
A common goal for businesses in 2012 is to focus on customer satisfaction and growth in new markets. To retain customers, business owners should structure their businesses to be more service focused and be proactive to keep existing customers from jumping ship. New Zealand is quickly becoming more competitive as an economy.
To gain new customers, you will have to increase activities in new markets. This increasing trend of diversifying into new markets shows Kiwi business owners are looking at opportunities beyond the current, constrained performance of the local economy. Again, this trend towards a broader mix of products and new markets will position the whole country well for the future.
New Zealanders are also recognising the importance of the digital economy and finding ways to use the internet to engage both local and international markets. According to a recent MYOB Business Monitor survey 25% of business owners hope to increase online sales and 41% of all businesses say they are likely to use their website to drive offline sales.
If you are thinking of broadening your market then you may want to consider a multi-currency add-on from Zeald. Multi-currency is a facility where the visitor can choose a currency from a drop down box of available currencies and then have all the prices on the website display in the selected currency. This improves results by making it easy for users to understand pricing, it makes it obvious to international audience that you cater to them, that you deliver to them. This means you sell to customers by expanding to international markets without the expense of opening international offices.
It also gives you the ability to tailor your pricing to international markets. For instance, if you want to charge a higher price to a UK or US customer, you can. For more information about this add-on you can visit the online store.
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