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5 Steps To Take For Business Growth In 2023
Most new business owners choose to form an LLC as their entity structure because it’s flexible and easy to create and manage. It’s actually my go-to entity structure for new business owners as well because of its ability to combine the pass-through-taxation aspect of a partnership, DBA or sole prop, with the limited liability protection of a corporation.
So, for that reason I’m just going to discuss everything in this blog from the perspective of an LLC owner.
If you own a business, you know that looking back at the past year to see what went right/wrong and where new opportunities for growth lie, and planning ahead is the best thing you can do to ensure your business will grow in the year to come.
In this blog post, I’m going over how to do just that (and hopefully ease some of your tensions) in just five (5) completely doable steps.
So, how do we begin the year off on the right foot? Well a big portion of the process is auditing and information gathering (groan, I know…) where you are in your business right now, your: key metrics, operational systems & processes, team hiring, training and retention policies, client journey process, business finances, etc.
Only after this step is completed can you really see how you are able to go from where you are now, to where you want to be and then you develop a plan to get there. It’s easy to skip this step and move onto the planning part, but I urge you to take the auditing process and information gathering process seriously.
You can’t change where you’re going, without first knowing where you are.
So, be sure to set aside some real time to accomplish the five steps discussed below. Maybe that means you need to save this blog for later, print it out, Pin it, whatever you need to do – do it now.
And just remember – the work you put in and strategies you implement NOW will be directly reflected in your sales in 2023 & beyond. So, grab that extra cup of coffee, put on your big girl pants, and get grinding!!
5 Steps To Prep For Business Growth In 2023
- 1. Update Your Contracts
- 2. Audit Processes + Client Journey
- 3. Get Your Finances In Order
- 4. Outsource + Delegate
- 5. Develop 2023 Biz Plan & Goals
1. Update Your Contracts
Each year, you should take a look at your existing contract template that you use for each of your Client services and make any necessary changes.
But, how do you know what to update?
The best way to know what to change in your contract is to go through your list of client’s for the year and recount if you had any issues or confusions with each client. If you did, write that issue down.
These issues are areas that need improvement or clarification in your contract.
For example, if you had a client or two request a million and one revisions 90+ days after the projections completion, you need to tight up your revisions process and terms within your contract.
If you rent your products out and some of them have come back damaged, you need to incorporate damage fees and replacement expenses in your contract.
Does all of this sound overwhelming to you?
Maybe you just don’t have the time.
Set up your free Discovery Call and let’s chat about my done-for-you legal solutions – Contract Amendment services and Customized Contract services!
2. Audit Processes + Client Experience
Once a year, it is vital for business’ growth to do a complete audit of your Client Experience Process as well as your business’ operational processes, systems and procedures.
This will not only ensure that you provide the best client experience possible, year after year, it will help you streamline operational procedures and cut unnecessary expenses.
Client Experience Process:
If you don’t have a client experience process in place, I highly recommend you take the time to map one out and start steps to implementing it into your 2023 services. Without an experience process in place, it is not only confusing and frustrating for your clients, it also makes everything much harder on your team.
There are four (4) main stages of the Client Journey for you to audit:
- Inquiry Stage: This stage involves the initial discovery call or consultation as well as the proposal that follows. Knowing exactly how to present your business in an elevated way from the first interaction will make you feel more confident, clients will see your value and the investment conversation will be much easier.
- Onboarding Stage: Start this stage off right by sending a welcome email and letting your client know what to expect. Maybe this looks like asking for client homework/feedback or providing a timeline of your service’s process.
- Fulfillment Stage: This is the stage of you actually performing your services for the client, through the final step in your client service process.
- Off Boarding Stage: The service has been completed and now you need a way to send your client off into the night (with a few party favors). This includes things like off boarding emails, wrap-up gifts, photoshoots of the final look, etc. In your off boarding email, consider including the following:
- Provide any post project resources clients might need;
- Collect feedback + improve the process based on what clients say or when patterns arise; +
- See where things went well and what clients loved and then ramp that up when necessary.
Systems & Processes:
A business system or process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal.
These may be composed of Step-by-step processes, Client Instructions, Template Emails, Scripts, Checklists, Agendas, etc.
Leadership, Operational, Marketing, Customer, People, Finance, Administration are some typical systems & processes that small businesses may have, but your unique business may have more or less than those listed. It will just depend on your specific business industry and/or niche.
When auditing your business systems and processes, use these 6 questions to keep you on track:
- What do you actually need to run your business?
- Where are there gaps? Who/what will fill in those gaps?
- Have you already fully utilized the systems or software you already invested in?
- Can you afford these changes?
- What do you have time for? If you invest in something (a program, course, workshop) do you have the time to do it wholeheartedly?
- Do you have the time to implement and apply the system or software you are using or want to implement?
3. Get Your Taxes In Order
If you don’t already have your taxes in order or you typically have a “messy” time with taxes – keep reading! This is for you.
One of the bigger perks of owning a business are the different types of tax deductions you can use to lower your yearly taxes. But, first you need to have a basic understanding of how your entity is taxed in order to get the most out of it.
LLCs use what’s called “pass through” taxation in order to assess federal and state taxes. What this means is that income passes through from the business to the businesses owners, thereby limiting the amount of times the owner is taxed on that income.
For example, owners of a corporation are taxed twice. Once as the Corporation itself and once again on the income they derive from the Corporation as owners. An LLC owner, however, is only taxed once since the income flows from the one (the business) to the other (the owner).
The LLC owner must also pay self-employment taxes (Social Security and Medicare) on all taxable income from the business, which is why claiming all of the tax deductions you can is so important. Every penny counts!
Want More? Here Are 10 More Deductions For Freelancers: 25 Tax Deductions For Freelancers
4. Outsource + Delegate
There are certain tasks that no one can handle on their own. This may be due to a lack of training or education or simply because you’re too busy. What does your normal day look like? What bogs you down during the work week? These questions should help you establish where you spend the most amount of time – see if you can delegate any of those tasks.
Why delegate? Because in order to grow, you have to start handing off certain tasks that can be done by others while you focus on your mission and high-level governance issues so that you can grow!
But, how DO you decide which tasks to delegate? Easy, you can do so in 3 steps!
- Track Your Time. You won’t know what tasks to delegate if you don’t first know HOW you actually spend your time. Track everything you do from emails, accounting/payroll, product inventory, etc. during the day, every day for a week. And in anything you can think of that you do on a bi-weekly, monthly & yearly basis and add to the list of tasks.
- Organize & Categorize Time. Take all of that time you wrote down for the past week (plus your bi-weekly/monthly/yearly tasks) and write out categories to sort the tasks into. Categories can include: accounting/payroll, administrative, product/service-related, etc.
- Analyze Your Time. Now that your daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly & yearly tasks are organized and sorted, analyze each category/task and ask yourself:
- What is taking up the most time in your business?
- Which tasks do you love doing?
- Which tasks feel like they drain you?
- Which tasks are revenue-generating?
- Which tasks do you not need to do yourself?
From there, you can decide what tasks you want to hand off to a staff member and what tasks to keep for yourself. Be sure to keep sensitive information and secure items out of reach (at least for a while!) for new employees. You don’t want someone working for you for 4 weeks and having full access to your fully online business.
Hiring. When you do hire someone you need to have a list of their duties already written out and ready for them on day 1. You can make this up from your organized list you made in steps 1-3 above.
Be sure to pick people with specific skills that you don’t already have. For example, if you need help with bookkeeping and accounting, then find someone with an accounting background.
5. Develop 2023 Biz Plan & Goals
Hopefully you just need to analyze the information gathered from steps 1-4 and then make amendments to your existing business plan. However, if you skipped drafting a formal business plan, know that it is an imperative part of business growth and isn’t a step you should be skipping.
A great business plan outlines the business’ goals and objectives and is a written summary of how the business will organize its resources to meet those goals and objective and how the business will measure progress.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & Google Insights:
KPIs refer to a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge a company’s overall long-term performance. They help determine a company’s strategic, financial, and operational achievements.
You can track KPIs across all sectors of your business, including: financial KPIs (e.g. monthly profit), marketing KPIs (e.g. number of new Instagram followers per month), customer-focused KPIs (e.g. customer retention rate), operational KPIs (e.g. inventory shelf life).
Google has several platforms you need to enable on your website to get all of the analytics and metrics you can collect through Google’s free platforms:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console: Be sure to add your website to GSC SiteLink
- Google My Business Page
- Google Tag
Use the vital statistics, information and documents listed above and below to create your new monthly, quarterly and annual goals for 2023:
- Financial Reports + Statements
- Hours Worked + On What (Be Specific Here)
- Marketing Stats From 2022
- Lead Sources
- What Went Well
- What Did NOT Go Well
I am here to help you on your entrepreneurial journey as your online BFF with an MBA + legal degree.