Advice from business leaders and industry experts
Business Victoria | 24 June 2022
There may be fewer fireworks, but the new financial year still presents exciting opportunities for your small business.
Taking time to think about the position of your business and the areas you’d like to focus on will help you prioritise and plan for the year ahead.
Here are 6 things you can do to help you and your business to thrive in 2022–23.
Having a business plan that you review regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your business on track. And now is the perfect time to get yours up to date.
A good plan is like a handrail – it guides you along and can offer support when unexpected bumps come along. Plans don’t prevent unexpected things from happening and (sadly) none of us can predict the future, so plan ahead to avoid or minimise any risks.
Set some time aside to read through your business plan.
When did you write it?
How has your business changed?
How have you changed?
Work through the plan and update the different sections as you go.
If you don’t already have a business plan or are writing one for the first time, Business Victoria’s How to write a business plan guide is just what you need.
Here are some things to consider while you’re updating your plan:
For more help in planning your year ahead, Business Victoria’s free Business Planning Tool offers a whole range of information, resources and tools for every stage of your business journey. You can even find opportunities to build new skills.
Now that your business plan is nice and shiny, it’s time to make sure your financial plan looks just as good.
After you’ve updated your business plan, set time aside to prepare a budget for the year ahead and review your financial strategy. Making sure your business planning and financial planning are aligned is essential for reaching your goals and building your business.
Now it’s time to organise your financial tasks for the coming 12 months.
An online presence is a key part of any small business – in fact, it can be your best salesperson. Whether you’re selling goods or services, attracting and connecting with clients or providing important information about your business, a strong website makes a big difference.
Here are some things to think about:
Business Victoria has a guide with 10 tips to make your small business website a success.
While you’re at it, you can also familiarise yourself with the new ‘.au’ domain names that may be available for your business.
Once your website it up to date, do the same for your Google Business Profile. Keeping your profile up to date will help you be found in local searchers and ensure that customer can connect with your business.
Check your listing and make sure the information is complete and correct. Be sure to check:
Once your Google profile is up to date, make sure you have a plan to respond to feedback or reviews. This can be a great way to show current or future customers that you genuinely care about their experience.
Get your social media ready for a strong year by taking some time to refresh your accounts and think about your content.
To start things off, make a list of the platforms you’re currently using. Visit each of them.
Are the details up to date? Is there information you could add? How frequently can you change the photos for a bright new look?
Things to check include:
Once your accounts are up to date, you can start thinking about refreshing the content you post to them.
To help you think of new content ideas that will hit the spot with your audience, try these 7 undercover ways to find fresh new content ideas from a leading content strategist.
Another way to switch up your social media this year is through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a form of word-of-mouth advertising that relies on engaging people with large followings to refer their audience to your business … and it’s a strategy that can work for businesses of any size. Read the ultimate small business guide to influencer marketing and get started today.
Once you’ve got great ideas for what to post, you need to plan when you’ll be posting – and where.
It’s always good to coordinate things like social media posts, posts on your website and emails to your customers so that you get the best bang for your buck.
A content plan lets you organise when things will go live and helps you identify good opportunities to post things – such as to coincide with a sale, a special event or a new product.
Planning things out takes away the day-to-day stress of thinking about what to post and will make it easier to keep your accounts active, without taking up too much of your time.
Business Victoria offers a free content marketing plan template, and this list from Hubspot offers a range of free and paid options for tools you can use to keep on top of things.
‘Networking’ may be one of those words that send shivers up your spine, with mental images of awkward conversations and handing out business cards. But in reality, they’re very different – and can be a great benefit to you, and your business.
Not all networking has to be done in person. There are great online and virtual options you can try, as well as face-to-face opportunities.
At its core, networking is all about building relationships with people in your industry or with other areas of common ground, and these relationships can be a great way to get new ideas, share your insights and find support.
Your local area
Try searching for virtual or in-person business networking events in your area or within your industry. Some good event websites include options like Eventbrite, TryBooking or MeetUp.
You can also speak to your local council about local networks and events.
Chambers of commerce
You can often find networking events and other opportunities to connect with other business owners through a chamber of commerce or an industry association.
Chambers of commerce exist at local levels, as well as state, federal and international – so search for some options that are relevant to your location, business and industry. You can also ask other business owners or contacts if they have any suggestions.
Most industries in Australia are represented by industry associations, who can provide valuable support and guidance to businesses, as well as opportunities to connect with others. Search online for industry associations relevant to your business and find out about the free and paid opportunities they offer, and what events they have coming up.
Face-to-face isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t always possible – especially with people who live interstate or overseas.
Social media groups also offer great opportunities to network with other small business owners.
If you’d like to connect with them directly, reach out via a direct message or email to introduce yourself and your business. Let them know what you admire about their work – a compliment always makes for a good introduction.
You’re the most important part of your small business, so it’s important to take time to look after yourself.
Investing some time in ourselves helps us stay mentally and physically healthier and it’s good to make this a regular part of your day – rather than a luxury.
Here are some simple things you can do to look after yourself:
There is also a wide range of services and resources available to support you.