With just a couple of months remaining in 2022, now is a great time to reflect back upon the wins you’ve had this year and what is worth carrying forwards with you into 2023. The best businesses are constantly adapting to continue their successes and stay tuned into what is working well for them. Continued growth doesn’t happen by chance, so reviewing your performance and acting upon your findings is how you can proactively take steps towards an even more successful 2023.
Here’s four ways to identify your wins and weaknesses ahead of the new year.
Identify what went well
A great place to start is by recognising your biggest wins of the past year and seeing how you can replicate this in 2023. It is worth examining all aspects of your business, from your financials and team morale, to your production efficiency and the quality and depth of your product line.
Finance-wise, you should start with your EBITDA Margins. Were you able to deliver a profit and what were the reasons that enabled you to do so? Were there easy wins from product lines with great margins of return? It’s great to be in the black, but could you be working smarter to reduce costs and improve your profitability even further?
When it comes to your product line and depth, consider your most popular products from the past year – could you be doubling down on your most successful offerings and ramping up production? Or perhaps developing new areas further to keep your customers interested and your offerings fresh?
And in terms of building your business’ brand, have you made any considerable gains from the way you position your brand in the last year? More and more it’s becoming essential for businesses to factor in the cost of building a brand reputation, so if you’ve managed to develop a well defined brand identity, think about why it is that customers have this connection to your brand.
A great example of a brand building on what had previously worked well is the evolution of hairbrush brand Tangle Teezer. They began by differentiating themselves as a single comb with considerably more teeth than a standard hairbrush that was also capable of brushing wet and dry hair. Now with a valuation in the tens of millions, Tangle Teezer now has hundreds of hairbrush products, including pet combs!
Identify what you don’t want to repeat
It’s just as important to know what didn’t work for your business in the last year and to identify anything that could grow to be a problem in the next year. For example, are rises in raw materials or supplies likely to affect you? Even if this wasn’t previously a concern for your business, this should be factored into your considerations as the cost of doing business increases for many sectors.
The infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone is a prime case of a product its makers would quickly want to forget. A fault in its design led to phones repeatedly exploding in planes and cars. The Note 7 was banned on flights with Samsung eventually recalling the entire line, but production continued with the Note 8 after identifying what went wrong and improving the model.
Similarly if you had experimented with product lines that weren’t right for your brand or ended up being too expensive to implement, were there any useful lessons that you learned as a result? Is this perhaps a product for a different region, or is this something you could try again in the future?
To probe why something didn’t work for your business, ask yourself:
- Was this right for our brand?
- Was this product right for the moment?
- Was this positioned in the right market to the right consumer?
Identify areas to expand upon
Having looked at what went well for your business in the last year, there may be some obvious areas to expand into. Have you had a particularly successful line of products or have opened a site that would be beneficial to replicate?
This was the case for the Inception Group when reviewing some of their best performing premises. Dubbed one of London’s most experiential bar collectives, they decided to build upon the success of their Mr Foggs’ brand of fantastic themed bars with a loan to fund 3 new bars following a bumper year.
It’s also a good idea at this point to set benchmarks from your previous successes to measure how your expansion plans perform in the future, as well as taking note of what your competitors are doing. This could also affect your decisions as to what to focus on next, whether you want to follow the crowd or to focus on something unique.
What resources are you going to need to make that happen?
Once you’ve planned where you’d like to develop, you’ll need to think practically about the resources required to make this a reality. Will you need to invest in more staff, purchase more inventory or acquire property to make your next project come to life?
For expensive assets such as the later, you may need to boost your cashflow by taking on debt finance to fund these plans.
How debt financing can help you achieve these goals
If financing is something you need to make your plans a reality, a fast business loan can help bring these to life sooner. We understand the frustrations of slow financing holding you back, and take every step to fund your business quickly and efficiently, letting you get on with your 2023 successes sooner.