As we move into the fresh months of 2020, it’s time to forge new business plans. Remember your failures, celebrate your successes, and imagine your business’s future. We’re not just celebrating a new year, we’re celebrating a new decade. What will your business accomplish in the next 10 years? What are your short-term and long-term goals? How can you be a better, more thoughtful, and more holistic business owner in the new year?

Here are some steps business owners can take to create their 2020 strategies and position themselves in a positive, forward movement for the next decade.

What Did Your 2019 Data Look Like?

As we turn over a new green leaf, many small business owners are looking towards a different kind of green — the money green. Recapping 2019 isn’t always easy. You may have run face-first into a brick wall of regulatory red tape. Alternatively, you may have spent a little too much on marketing. Some business owners may even be staring at a red line. That’s ok! The only way you can fix a problem is to acknowledge it.

Start by pouring over your 2019 data. You may have data siloed up in various systems. Try to bring it all together into one pane of truth. What are the good, bad, and downright ugly figures that your business produced in 2019?

You should start with the easy stuff. What was your best and worst quarter? What days and months were you really killing it? Are there disappointing quarters? Once you figure out where you were weak, it’s time to figure out why. What’s eating your revenue? What was your marketing and sales ROI? What clients or customers are cannibalizing your time?

Solving these issues probably won’t be easy. You’ll need to dive deep into your business and your past projects to figure out where you have weaknesses, and then work towards solving them. The solution may be something simple. You may need a new credit line to help you roll out an idea or incubate an R&D strategy. But it may also be complicated. Did your digital marketing strategy pay off? Do you need to invest in new technology to help you become more agile in your space?

A great way to figure out your strengths and weaknesses is to use a SWOT analysis.

Doing a SWOT Analysis

Unlike its highly armored police counterpart, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is all about responding to threats. It may be challenging to keep up with the alphabet soup of acronyms that exist in the business planning space, but SWOT is one that should be on your radar. Whether you’re a corporate building with 5,000 employees or an entrepreneur with a credit line and a good idea, SWOT can help you navigate through 2020 with a plan — not just an idea.

Strengths

What makes your business tick? What do you have in your corner that makes people pick you — not your competitors? Strengths can be tangible (e.g., products, services, people, etc.) or intangible (e.g., processes, branding, etc.). For some businesses, their strength may be their brand reputation or presence. For others, their strengths may be their products or their HR department.

Weaknesses

What can you work on? Are you one of the 83% of businesses that are struggling to secure talent? Do you think your competitors outpace you on social media? Figure out what you’re not good at. Yes! It’s not always fun to look at your faults. But you need to know them if you’re going to move forward successfully. Here’s an important caveat. You don’t have to fix your weaknesses. They may be intrinsic to your business model. But you need to know what they are.

Opportunities

What are the areas you should be looking to capitalize on as-soon-as-possible? Is your product in an area with very few competitors? Is there a great product you’re rolling out soon? Analyze your opportunities so you can build on them this year. Believe it or not, merely writing opportunities down can lead to executing smart strategies to capitalize on them.

Threats

Your business is probably going to have more threats than opportunities. These are all of the things preventing you from growing as fast as you should be growing. Maybe new regulations looming on the horizon are threatening your profit margin. Or perhaps you have some hyper-competitive rivals who have a more significant chunk of the market share. Again, you don’t have to fix these today. But you have to be aware of them if you want to create a successful 2020 business plan.

Pay Attention to Global Trends that Could Shape Your Decade

Global trends are currently impacting almost every business on the planet. US and Iran’s current friction-filled sociopolitical climate could create havoc for oil and gas companies. New trade deals with China may be eating away at players in your supply chain. 5G, AI, IoT, and machine learning are almost certainly poised to make an impact on your industry and change the way you do day-to-day business. At the same time, GDPR and CCPA are likely changing how you interact, consume, and analyze data on a larger scale.

Keep your eyes on global trends that may impact you in 2020!

Treat Yourself

So far, we’ve talked business. But what about you? As a business owner, your successes and failures make an impact on your employees, profits, and brand. If you want to grow in 2020, start with yourself — not your business. How can you be a happier, healthier version of yourself that’s dedicated to your company and employees?

Set personal goals. Start going to the gym. Go on that diet. Monitor your health more closely and take the time to go in for annual checkups. Running a business can be stressful. If you let that stress buildup, it can quickly impact your on-the-job decision-making skills. Be there for yourself if you want to be there for your business.

Acquiring New Capital

Building a successful company isn’t only about sweat equity. You will access to capital. Chances are, your 2020 growth plans are going to require an investment. We can help your company grow faster with business credit. CreditHub® provides small businesses access to critical financial education and business capital. Whether your credit is cloudy and you’re having trouble securing viable credit lines and loans or you’re not getting the best rates or just low approvals at traditional banks, CreditHub® will get your business funded in 2020 with higher amounts and with better rates than you would be able to do on your own. This way you can focus on what you do best and what really matters – growing your brand

Contact us to learn more!