December is a hectic time of year for small business owners. Right now, you’re likely in the midst of your busiest season and focused on ending 2022 strong. However, it’s also important to plan for the new year. After all, 2023 will be here before you know it, and the planning you do right now will set your small business up for success. Check out this article if you’re wondering what you can do to prepare your business for 2023. There are many things you can get into place before January that will make a big difference!
10 Ways to Prepare Your Business for 2023
This list will help you get your small business ready for the new year. Prioritize by choosing the things that will make the biggest difference for you as you prepare your business for 2023!
1. Review Your 2022 Results
You want 2023 to be better than this year, right? Then you need to gather the data to assess your wins and struggles from 2022. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- What was your revenue? Your profitability?
- How many revenue streams do you have?
- How many proposals went out?
- What was your close ratio?
- What was your shopping cart abandonment rate?
- Do you need to add to your team?
- Is it time for a brand refresh?
By looking at the data and answering these questions, you’ll understand what went right this year and what you can work on in 2023.
2. Develop Sales Goals
Another way to prepare your business for 2023 is to set sales goals for the new year. Review revenue, profitability, customers served, and other metrics to set reasonable goals for your small business. After selecting an annual sales goal, break it down into smaller goals so you know the sales you need each month and week to reach that goal.
Need some help setting goals? I just wrote a three-part series about developing your 2023 small business plan! Check it out here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
3. Tweak Your Sales Strategy
You can’t reach those higher sales goals if you continue to do the same thing. So, what are you going to do that’s different? Last month, I wrote an article on 25 Ways to Attract New Sales Leads in 2023. It’s well worth the read if you are looking for new sales strategies! You can also ask yourself the following questions:
- How will you generate leads?
- How will you qualify leads?
- How can you upsell existing customers?
- Do you need to hire a new salesperson?
In creating your sales strategy, you may also want to create a promotional calendar that details the promotions you’ll be running next year (at least for Q1). This will allow you to get ahead on your special promotions, which will make them more effective than trying to execute last-minute campaigns.
4. Set Your Budget
Knowing your goals will help you prepare your business for 2023 and set the appropriate budget. Review your financials for the year to see what you spent in 2022. This will give you a baseline budget for 2023. With this starting point, you can start to ask yourself questions like:
- What are your current operating costs?
- What does your cash flow look like?
- What revenue can you expect in 2023?
- Where can (or should) your company spend more money?
- Where can you cut expenses?
With a thoughtful and data-driven approach, you can create a reasonable and achievable budget for 2023.
5. Begin Tax Planning
Reaching out to your account is another way to prepare your business for 2023. Schedule a meeting to discuss how you are positioned for your taxes next year and ensure your accounting records are up to date. You may also want to reach out to your contractors and vendors and get them to update their W9s. Vendors who you’ve paid $600 or more during 2022 will need to receive a 1099-MISC by the end of January. You’ll also want to make sure you have W2s for all your employees.
6. Organize Yourself Digitally
Spending some time organizing yourself right now is a great way to prepare your business for 2023. Who wants to start 2023 with 10,000 unopened emails from the previous year? Now is the time to deal with those unopened emails and start fresh. Another way I like to organize myself digitally for the year ahead is by setting up my admin folders. My filing system is by year and then by category, for example, 2023 Contracts. By setting up all my folders for next year, I’m one step ahead of the game when important files start coming in. If you don’t have a file organizing system, now is the time to develop one (which will save tons of time in 2023).
7. Organize Your Workspace
In addition to organizing yourself digitally, you can prepare your business for 2023 by organizing your physical workspace. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind! Chances are you’ve accumulated things in your office or on your desk throughout the year that can be cleaned up and organized. Set aside a few hours to declutter, find better ways to organize, and create a system.
8. Update Your Website
Your website is your #1 sales tool. Most people considering doing business with you will first look you up online (and most likely from a mobile device). Make sure your website is simple and engaging on mobile. Review load time and think about site navigation. Talk to others to get their opinion. Your website may not need a complete overhaul, but small tweaks may improve the user experience.
9. Create a Social and Content Plan
Speaking of your website, you can also prepare your business for 2023 by looking at your Google Analytics, which will tell you what marketing efforts have been working and which need to be tweaked. More specifically, you can use the data on traffic sources to understand which channels are generating the most referrals and metrics of the most popular content to understand what topics are bringing people to your website. Use this data to create a content and social media plan for 2023.
10. Schedule a Team Meeting
After you’ve done one or more of the things above to prepare your business for 2023, you’ll want to bring your team into the loop by scheduling a team meeting, either in person or virtual. Use the time to explain the key goals and targets for the new year and each person’s role. Create an agenda for your meeting and share it ahead of the meeting to make your time together productive.
Don’t Forget Gratitude!
As you prepare your business for 2023, I encourage you to start with an attitude of gratitude. Reflect on the positive things that happened this year and the wonderful people you have in your life (family, friends, employees, and customers). It’s easy to get carried away with what went wrong and what you need to change next year. But before you go down that road, take time to acknowledge what went right and the people helping grow your small business.
December is a busy time for all of us, but with a little planning, you can prepare your business for 2023 and achieve new levels of success in the new year. Select some items on this list and get started so you’ll hit the ground running in 2023.