5 Blue Sky Ideas to Make Your Business Fly High This Year

Welcome back to our first blog for the new year!
There's much for small businesses to look forward to in 2016.
We're keen to start off with ideas to freshen up and re-invigorate our businesses.

1. The Fitout
Study objectively how your business fitout is looking. 
Be honest with yourself. If words like: tired, cluttered, outdated, uninspiring or inefficient come to mind, then the new year is the perfect time to make some changes.
Presentation to your customer base is more important than ever, especially in the retail sector with so much online competition.
Upgrading a commercial fitout doesn't necessarily mean overextending the budget.
There may be simple things like applying a few visual "tricks", installing better lighting, creating a new colour scheme or an improving the front counter design and that's it!
A fitout specialist can be a great asset in helping you spruce up your retail, office, hospitality or medical practice.

2. The Space
Assess the costs of your shop, office, café or practitioner space.
How much are you paying on the lease for square metres which you may not be using or may only be partly benefiting from?
It's hard to predict exactly how the business will grow in the current economic climate, but take a hard look at where there may be losses and benefits in the way your space is being used.
Do you really need such a big meeting room? Is the front counter area efficient enough? Maybe there's not enough retail display space or not enough restaurant indoor seating?
It might be time to reorganise the layout or even consider the terms of your current lease in order to make some permanent changes in the near future.
If you do need to make a move, then don't be tempted to leap into the cheapest property you can possibly find. A poor location may mean you're going backwards.
Think through your future needs before deciding on where you might head.

3. Marketing
Check to see if you're marketing your business well enough.
What "face" are you presenting to your customers?
Look at everything from your logo, signage, business cards, stationery, facebook page, twitter account, website, menus, brochures etc to assess if the same "look" is presented to the outside world. Is there a consistent thread running through -same colour scheme, font, message?
Is it clear what you do/sell/provide? Is it clear how you do/sell/provide?
Put yourself in the shoes of a brand new client who knows nothing about your business and see how well your message and your brand is conveyed. If you're confused, then so are your customers!
A new year is the time to call in the marketing experts to get some help.

4. Running a Test
Time to run a test on your business which would be an informal valuation and some financial projections for 2016, as well as a forecast for your industry, whether it's retail, hospitality, medical, commercial.
Is your business in growth, maintenance, or mature mode? If you're in growth mode, then your company needs great people, a good workable system, and marketing in place to bring in additional revenue.
If you're in maintenance mode, then you'll want to reduce expenses and maximize profits.
Mature mode could mean taking yourself out of the process of being involved in all the critical decisions day to day and working on a long-term strategy to enable others to take over.
Test according to your needs.

5. Keeping good Records
Be sure to think not only about making money, but keeping good financial records so that your business isn't in a mess at the end of the year before the tax deadline.
It's easy to file things away "for tax time later on " and then run into trouble when you need to work out the sums.
There are heaps of free resources for record keeping of income and expenses, some cloud based and others in traditional software format.
It's also a great way of determining if things need to change things like pricing. Record keeping is an invaluable practice. Don't ignore it.

A great, positive start can mean a great positive year.
Time to get going!

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