Just like a car needs a regular service to keep running smoothly, your small business needs a health check to ensure it is in good shape. By taking the time to check your business health, you can spot problems before they happen and identify new opportunities to fuel business growth.
The good news is your business health check doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process.
Here are five essential checks you can do throughout the year to keep your business growing strong:
Is your business plan up-to-date and relevant? When you first start out, your business plan is created from what you thinkmight happen. A few months in and you have the experience to feed into the plan and create a strategy for growth. Think about any challenges, issues and opportunities you’ve experienced over the past months. Create a fresh SWOT analysis to ensure you stay competitive. And review your goals: consider where you want your business to be in the next year and set specific targets in line with that.
Take a good look at your finances and assess where money is coming in and going out. Track your expenses to get a good idea of how money is spent. Which ones take up the bulk of your cash flow? How can you save money? If you’re consistently in the negative and struggling to pay the bills each month, it could be time to seek some professional financial advice.
Look at the big picture. How are market or customer needs changing? What new opportunities or challenges exist? Consider how you can meet the needs your target audience, and ensure they choose your business over the competition. Think about how your customers hear about you – do you need to ramp up your marketing? Business.gov.au provides lots of practical information on how to create a marketing plan, including handy templates.
Is it time to top up your skills and qualifications? Industry requirements are constantly shifting, so look at any new qualifications you may need. There might also be some business courses that can help you on a journey for growth, such as management courses. This article provides more tips on how to stay up to date in your industry. Industry groups can also provide opportunities to maintain a professional accreditation. As a NatHERS assessor, you can look to ABSA and BDAV for industry networking events and training. Industry groups can also provide ideal situations to consider partnerships. Have you checked out our article on partnerships? Read it here.
How up-to-date is your risk management plan? What will you do if there’s a legal dispute? (Read our article for tips on what to do if contracts go wrong). Review your insurances, too – does your insurance cover match your needs? Make sure your current assets are covered by insurance.
Performing a business health check may seem time-consuming at first, but it’s an essential part of growth and success. Use your health check to identify the areas that will help you reach your goals and keep your business growing and thriving long into the future.