By the time you actually get to reading this, there is a very good chance that you’re reading a voice from the past. I make it a practice to prepare my Sugar Land clients and friends a few days in advance, and RIGHT NOW, it is still 2023.
But 2024 is beckoning and is probably already here for YOU.
The thing to celebrate is that your Houston business made it through another year. Pop the champagne for THAT. It’s no small thing to run a business that doesn’t die in this economy. And it takes fierce intention and good leadership — even if only over your own worst impulses.
That’s why I still make it a practice to set my intentions for the year ahead — simply because when I do so, it has a way of working itself into my business operating system throughout the entire year.
I’ll start here: How can we serve you and your business in setting AND reaching your goals?
Let me start here, with some thoughts inspired by the golden arches.
McDonalds is reinventing itself in 2024. They’re testing a new small-format concept called CosMc’s that focuses on beverages and treats in an expanded, and more diverse, menu lineup. It seems that their market research revealed that there were growth opportunities to be had in these product offerings.
The point I’d like to make is that they were asking these kinds of questions to begin with. And giving honest answers that led to a new business growth strategy.
Is it time for your business to do the same in 2024? If so, read on…
TN CPA’s 18 Questions to Drive Business Growth in 2024
“New Year’s resolution: To be more awesome than last year.” ― Kid President
I want to start by pointing out that business growth isn’t just financial. Consider that your accountant is the one telling you this.
It’s true that the numbers have to balance out for any of it to go. But once you’ve reached a state of some financial stability (with the help of a good accountant), it’s important to acknowledge that there are other factors that can also drive financial success.
There is business growth to measure in your leadership, in your team development, in your mission and values, in your work culture, in your impact on the local community and economy, and beyond.
So in the spirit of reflection that usually comes with a new year and time off to reflect, here are some questions to ask yourself as you plan your 2024 business growth goals. I can’t take credit for all of them. These are questions that have helped me, and others I’ve worked with, over the years that are worth sharing.
1) If you could only accomplish one thing next year, what would it be?
This is a question of prioritization. Sometimes narrowing down your goals to just one thing can be revealing as to what really matters most for your business.
2) What do you want your business to look like this time next year?
Often, this looks like fixing the things that are broken and causing you frustration.
3) What do you want your business to look like in 5 years? 10 years?
Fast forward a little further ahead.
4) If you could give up one task or responsibility, what would it be?
Think about who you could delegate this to in the coming year, and map out a plan for training and hand-off.
5) What is one thing you absolutely cannot hand off to another team member for the health of your business?
Ask your business partners and fellow leaders if they agree with you in this.
6) What is one area you want to grow in as a business leader next year?
What would make a big impact if you were stronger in one area of your leadership? Take stock of your own weaknesses, interests, and skill sets.
7) How can I invest in my staff?
Financial incentives and benefits are well and good, but consider other ways to invest in them as people and potential business leaders.
8) What are my business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis)?
This is a great one to tackle with your core leadership team in a designated planning session.
9) Am I spending enough time working ON the business (versus IN the business)?
An oldie, but still a valuable question worth considering again every year. If your answer is no, how can you take steps toward changing that?
10) How would you describe your business’s current financial health?
If you don’t have the visibility to be able to make this diagnosis, set a to-do item
11) Can the business function without me?
Follow-up question: Do you want it to?
12) Do I have an emergency fund?
Unexpected expenses can arise.
13) What is one new revenue stream I could pursue this year?
Relying solely on one income source is obviously risky. Make this the year you do something about it.
14) Have I conducted a profitability analysis by customer/service/product?
Not all customers or products contribute equally to your profits. Make time to identify and prioritize your most profitable segments.
15) Is my insurance coverage adequate?
Review your insurance policies to ensure you’re adequately covered in case of unexpected events, such as natural disasters or lawsuits.
16) Am I leveraging technology to save money?
Explore how technology can streamline operations and reduce costs. There is plenty of emerging tech these days to experiment with and invest in.
17) Am I monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) regularly?
Identify the KPIs that directly impact your financial health, such as customer acquisition cost or customer lifetime value, and track them consistently.
18) Have I assessed the impact of inflation?
If you haven’t done this yet, you’re overdue for an analysis of pricing, supplies, budgets, and financial goals.
In the year ahead, challenge yourself to delve into these questions, dissect your financial strategy, and take the necessary steps to spur business growth. Need a kickstart? This is what we do for our Sugar Land clients:
Happy New Year,