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  As a business owner, you’ll want to meet your targets for the year before the final quarter runs out. But maybe, like so many SMEs and startups, you’ve already fallen short of your aims so far, and reaching them already seems like a longshot. Don’t despair. If you get things together and play the final months smart, you’ll wind up hitting your marks—or at least get much closer to them than you presently think is possible.
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In this article, we’ll talk about 10 things you can do to rally all the way to the end of your business year and finish stronger than ever. If you run with these tips, you should do way better than you’re anticipating at the moment. Here they are:

Take Stock of What’s Been Done So Far

First, you need to know how far you’ve come. And you have to gain a view of what this means in terms of your finances and other key growth metrics. So, work through your books, request performance data from your team(s) and departments, and use them to paint a picture of your business’s journey up until this point.

Assess Your Strong and Weak Points

Next, ask questions like: “What does the data before me say about how well or poorly we’ve done, as units and as a whole?”, “Where have the outstanding performances come from?”, “Where are our weak links?”, What can we do to raise our game where we’ve fallen short?”, and “How do we go even further on fronts where we’ve excelled?” The answers to these questions should inform how you proceed with the rest of the year.

Track KPIs More Closely

If your business has been subpar at monitoring its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), now’s the time to sit up on this. Make it mandatory for your team(s) to keep tabs on how well they’re doing. They should maintain output records for relatively shorter periods (e.g. daily, weekly, and monthly). Let them know that there will be consequences for failing to reach assigned quotas for given time spans.

Incentivize Exceptional Performance

Wielding the stick has to be just one side of your strategy for pumping up your business’s metrics. The other side is to reward great work—especially the sort that brings visible benefits to your enterprise. When you and your employees know that there will be rewards for better-than-expected productivity, everyone will be eager to give their absolute best at their jobs. And that’ll bode well for your business.
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Implement Measures to Raise Efficiency Levels

Often, this will mean intentionally cutting running costs and eliminating administrative and process waste. In practice, this could range from using power only when it’s really necessary, to reimagining your production process so that it takes less to achieve just as much.

Devise Strategies to Increase Sales

At the end of the day, you’re striving for one thing: lots of profit. One way to make this happen is to sell more. There are creative ways to do this: encouraging referrals, upselling and cross-selling, offering complementary products in single bundles, introducing economy (read: smaller) packs, and implementing subscriptions instead of one-off sales.

Stay Cash-Flow Positive

Cash is the lubricant that oils the wheels of business. If there isn’t enough of it at your disposal, you’ll be running at a much slower pace. This isn’t just about raising sales. It’s about collecting customer payments faster, and renegotiating terms with your vendors so that they allow you more time to pay them for their supplies.

Boost Your Brand’s Visibility

A great way to drive up your sales in the last few months of the year is to get your brand in front of more people. This could either mean utilizing organic means such as email marketing campaigns, or paid advertisements on Google search result pages and social media platforms. Also, make sure your messaging is on-point (i.e. speaks to the needs of your target market) so that you’ll raise your chances of sparking widespread interest in your products.

Ramp Up Your Networking Efforts

Are you seeking new business partners, customers, or investors? You can find them by intensifying your efforts at networking. Attend business meet-ups (an example would be Connect Nigeria’s Business Mixer), and be ready to pitch to anyone whose profile fits your wants, wherever you cross paths with them. Having an elevator pitch that you’ve mastered will make it easier for you to start off conversations on such occasions.
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Use Customer Testimonials in Your Marketing

Your marketing will generate a lot more leads if it includes testimonials from satisfied customers. At least, that’s what anecdotal evidence suggests. Do this across all of your marketing assets, communication channels and anywhere you have a web presence: leaflets and brochures, web pages, blogs, email newsletters, and social media. You should also encourage your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on review sites. That’ll build up to a formidable collection of user-generated content that nudges prospective clients towards your business.

Final Words

It’s natural to feel the pressure to close out on a high as the year comes to an end. But there’s a better strategy for achieving your aims than just panic-driven action. With intelligent planning and measured execution, you can set your business on a path to winning big. Featured Image Source: HBS Online
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This article was first published on 29th September 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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