Planning for 2014

Now that it’s less than a month away, it’s time to take a few minutes and think through your business strategies for 2014.  If you’ve already done this, take some time to review them and make sure you are going to be on the right track.2014 Ornament

First step – What is the right track?

Look at where your business is today and try to project out a year from now.  Where would you like to see your business in mid- to late-December 2014?  Have sales shown an increase or are they holding steady?  Will you be in a growth stage?  Transition phase?  Or will it be time to think about exit strategies?

The key area to consider is what your consumers want and need.  You need to know what the market is asking for, and then be prepared and able to deliver it on a consistent basis.  Be on top of industry changes.  Know your market.  Some communities are a year or two behind on trends, and you need to know where your consumers are in your marketplace.  You should be slightly ahead.

Second step – Where are your profit margins?

Remember, you’re in business to make money. Consumers understand that, yet still want a good value at a fair price.  They also want to know why you’re different from your competitors so they can rationalize buying form you and remain loyal to your brand.  If the margin you’ve been operating on has provided your company with good profitability, consider making changes to increase your margins.  Those changes could involve cost reductions, if appropriate.  They could mean price increases if the market will bear them, at the potential risk of pushing too far and losing market share.

Third step – How strong is your brand?

If yours is the only barbershop in town, you’ve got a good chance of securing 100% of the market share.  It doesn’t mean you have a strong brand if the way you treat customers is like you’re the only place in town where they can get their hair cut.  You have a strong brand when your customers love coming in, catching up on the latest gossip, enjoying the experience you provide in cutting their hair, and leaving with a satisfied expression because they know they’ve received a good value for the investment.

There are many variables that you need to think through when it comes to strategizing about your business for 2014:  Management, competition, pricing structures, overhead, growth, productivity, marketing (including sales, advertising, and public relations), and finances, among others.  Call Brand Irons at (920) 366-6334 if you’d like some help.

Take the time to think things through … then act!

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand.