The new year is traditionally a time when we review the previous year, highlighting the areas where we can make improvements. This allows you to re-focus on what you can do to improve, develop and grow your business in the year ahead. 
Many business owners that have had a reasonably successful 2022 may well live by ‘if it isn’t broken, why fix it’. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with that. However, not spending time reviewing and re-focusing on your business may lead to a fall in sales or open up gaps that your competition can jump into and steal your customers. 

Reviewing your business 

It’s easy to get ‘stuck’ into a rhythm and not change anything, especially if the business is making money. But it’s also worth reviewing your business every so often to see if any areas could be improved. 
Let’s ask you a series of questions to help you understand why it’s important: 
Is your business focused on the right area of your industry? 
Are you doing the right things to generate sales for your business? 
Do your social media channels tell the right story? 
Does your website still accurately represent your business, what you stand for, like your ambition/mission/ethos, and does it tell your customer what you can deliver? 
Is your market becoming saturated, and do you need to diversify? 
Do you need to expand and therefore need a growth strategy? 
Is it time to give up, sell the business and retire? 
If any of these questions has caused you to think a bit more about your business and its direction, then it’s time to refocus on the year ahead. 

Are you targeting the right area for your business? 

When you first establish a business, part of the task is to identify your target audience. The problem is that that target audience will likely change over the years. This is mainly because people's wants and needs change with society's trends, such as sustainability. If you haven’t kept up with these trends and changes, your business is no longer targeting the right area. 
Identifying the right target audience ensures: 
Placement of your marketing campaigns is more accurate. 
Better keyword/phrase identification. 
You are putting the right products/services in front of the right audience. 
The generation of more enquiries, conversions and sales. 
Whether you re-identify your target market from existing data or conduct market research, now’s the time to do it. 

Is your marketing strategy generating sales? 

Look at your marketing strategies and campaigns and identify how many sales are generated from this activity. If at least 50% of your sales aren’t coming from marketing, you are wasting your budget. 
Assess your current marketing efforts and adjust your marketing strategy to make better use of your budget, including: 
Use different marketing channels. 
Highlight social responsibility – if your processes and procedures are sustainable, tell people. 
Put email marketing at the centre of your efforts. 77% of marketers have seen an increase in customer engagement from email campaigns over the past 12 months. 
Personalisation of the customer’s journey – make the most of automation to deliver a personalised message to your customer. 
Reassess your 2023 marketing plan, and be prepared to rip it up and start again. 

Are your social channels telling the right story? 

Two aspects to consider here; are you using the correct social channels for your business, and are they telling the right story? If your business offering is less visual, using Instagram or TikTok isn’t going to make the best use of your budget. However, if your business is product-related and visuals tell the right story, platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook will be beneficial. 
Social success relies on telling a story your audience can relate to. Here are five tips to get you on the right track: 
Know your audience and the social platforms they use 
Jump off the pandemic bandwagon; that ship has sailed, and your audience has moved on 
Remember the impact of video; short, effective, high-impact videos make a big difference 
Seek out the stories in your business, like successful case studies, and tell them to your audience. 
Socials are moving goalposts, so be prepared to adapt, change and experiment. What works one month may not work another, so be flexible. 

Does your website truly represent your business? 

Apart from the fact that Google changes their search algorithm regularly, meaning its search criteria also changes if you answer yes to any of the following, it’s time for a website refresh: 
The user experience is poor, particularly on mobile devices 
The content doesn’t tell the right message for your business anymore 
It’s difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for, and CTAs are in short supply 
The website design is outdated in comparison to your competitors, as well as the latest trends 
You get little to no traffic from Google, and/or it has a low conversion rate 
Page loading speed is in the dark ages, i.e. it takes a minute or more to upload 
Adding content or making changes is just too difficult, so you avoid it 
… and this isn’t the whole list of problems! A decent website isn’t a ‘once in a lifetime’ project. It is an ever-evolving marketing tool that is your business's storefront and needs regular updating. 

Is it time to diversify, and if so, do you need a growth strategy? 

If you’re in an industry that is becoming saturated yet have a healthy proportion of the market, maybe it’s time to invest in diversification rather than pouring money into the existing business. Consider a new range of products/services, entering a new market – like going international – or even going into a new industry. There are several benefits to diversification, including: 
Greater sales and, therefore, revenue 
Reducing the level of risk and vulnerability 
Opens up a variety of new opportunities 
However, ensure you do your homework and are fully aware of the risks involved. 
It’seeze Twickenham is a website design company that specialises in affordable website packages with ongoing expert support. Our professional web design services are ideal for start-ups and small businesses in Twickenham. Not sure if your existing website is working for you? We also offer a free Website Health Check that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. 
Tagged as: business strategy
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