How do you know if your business is performing well? Well, autumn is a great time of year for small local business owners to take a look at how their businesses are performing; especially if you’re looking to start gearing up for the busy Christmas period!
So how can you tell if your sales have increased? Simple, take a look at your monthly profit and loss accounts for this year and last year. You’re looking for the total sales, or turnover, figure for each month. Maybe try plotting a graph using a spreadsheet and if you’ve plotted it correctly, you should see a trend that is higher on the right side of the graph!
If your sales have increased, then where did it come from? Well if your sales have increased that’s great! But do you know where it came from? This is important to find out as then you may be able to take more advantage of that. Consider things like where people who purchase from you are based, whether or not you have utilised more advertising avenues or improving your online presence through social media. Once you have a good idea about why your sales had increased, you can hopefully use this knowledge to enhance your business for the upcoming year.
Likewise, if your business didn’t grow, you need to find out why. Then you can focus more on the specific aspects that may be hindering your business from reaching its full potential. Look into what was holding you back. Did you lose a major customer? Did one of your services not perform very well this year? Is there a new competitor on the market? If you manage to pinpoint exactly where the problem is, then you can fix it for next year.
Sometimes you may not even want to grow your sales, or they might be already growing too fast for you. Even if this is the case, and you’re comfortable with the current development speed of your business, don’t push growth completely out of your mind. It’s worth having a plan in mind to be prepared for the future – you never know what the next season will bring!