Monday, December 15

End of the Year Business Planning...What are you doing to prepare for the New Year?

2008 is coming to an end and yes that means a New Year is upon us…
Are you ready for the New Year? Well today I want to pitch a few ideas and give you a few tips on how to be sure you are ready.

As I have been mentioning, create a budget!

  • First get a detailed idea of your 2008 expenses and revenue.
  • Next, project expenses and revenue for the remainder of the year. Having a picture/idea of a full year will help you know, what and where you need to cut back and/or alter for the coming year.
  • Once you have this financial picture/projection of your revenue and expenses for the year, you can create a budget for 2009, knowing how much you need for every sector of your business: material, production, shipping and profit.

    *Tip: start with revenue goals (February I want to increase 3% from 2008). Then do your expenses and overhead. Be sure to add your ‘just in case’ expense totals (March 2008 I spent $85 with revenue of $100, this year I need to cut some of that expense to really see my revenue).

    Now to the most commonly known business marketing tool and advice…
    Promote, Promote, and Promote some more!

    I for one know the best to get people to remember and know my company I have to be in their face. Greeting Cards are everywhere. In almost every store, on every corner, in every town, so I have a lot to compete with and ground to cover. The best way to do that, besides craft shows in different towns/city’s and states, is to give it away for FREE or offer a something a little extra… Whether you give a gift as favors, thank you gestures or for the holidays, the point is to get your name known and remembered.

    When doing this, remember you are in the business of making money not losing money, but your give-a-way should be of good quality. Set a limit, which should include production, packaging and delivery. Your give-a-way(s) should represent you and your business, so it should be something done with great effort as if it were a regular purchase, but still without exceeding a budget. We all know how important packaging is. Your items should be well packaged, because presentation means a lot. Besides you never know if the item will be giving to a third-party which could end becoming a future customer. I have learned that proper etiquette when sending an item is to include a note/letter whether handwritten or printed. This lets the recipient know you care and appreciate their business. I read somewhere that your gift or favor should be of relevance. I feel, as in my case, that the customer should be able to pick the theme. Makes no sense of me sending or giving-a-way a new born congrats card if they are not having children or no anyone who is…So I try to allow the person to pick a theme and in turn I would give them a card displayed or create a new card for that theme.

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