Mid-Year Business Growth Plan

As amazing as it sounds, we just hit the halfway point of 2024. I might be aging myself, but this year seems to have flown by so far and there is so much I still want to do! 

If you’re like me, you made goals for 2024 before the year even rolled over and have been tracking them diligently. If you’re not like me, then now is a great time to start – goals aren’t just for January anymore. 

If you don’t have any goals in mind, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered there, too. You can still this list I am about to give you. Then, grade yourself on each one and set a goal for where you want it to be by the end of the year. 

If you don’t want to use my list then by all means come up with your own. But definitely set some goals and then make it a habit to track them, adjust as needed, and continue making more. 

Not only is it a rewarding feeling to be able to see your business achieve these goals but it’s also much more likely that you do make progress when you have a goal and monitor it than when you just wait to see how things evolve.

Take charge of your business growth and you will actually then get the growth you want! 

OK, here are five goals for your business that you can use to ramp up the remainder of your 2024 business year and set yourself on a rising path of success: 

  1. Get at least 24 positive reviews for your business by the end of the year
  2. Increase your revenue by 15% over the same period last year
  3. Review your recurring subscription expenses and eliminate any you no longer need
  4. Increase your prices by at least the rate of inflation this year
  5. Do a competition analysis matrix to see where you can and should improve

Any one of these things is going to help you grow your business and make it more valuable to you now and if and when you ever sell it. 

But none of these things is especially hard or time-consuming if you spread it out over the next six months and done altogether, they should have a significant positive impact on your business. Some of these may not quite apply or the numbers I picked don’t work exactly for your business so modify as makes sense. 

But I guarantee doing them will benefit you in more ways than you may even realize just from looking at the list.

Let’s go into a bit more detail on each one so you know exactly how to put it in motion: 

1. Get at least 24 positive reviews for your business by the end of the year

If you aren’t already getting reviews as part of running your business, now is a great time to start. I suggest creating a profile on both Google and Yelp. Having reviews is a great way for new customers to find you and these factor into online search results pretty heavily. If you already have reviews, then all you need to do is work on adding more. For most businesses, they will have only a few, and many of them will be negative if the only time someone leaves one is when they are mad. Business owners need to actively solicit reviews and ideally right after someone just had a positive experience with you. Getting 24 over the next 26 weeks is one a week. 

If you regularly interact with many customers per week, one per week should be easy to get. If your business works differently, you can adjust the number up or down as makes sense. But nothing helps build positive word of mouth and bring in new customers like tons of great, honest reviews. 

Bonus– the things you need to do to make sure when you ask for a review it is in fact honest and positive are actually more important to growing your business than getting the actual reviews! Good reviews are a sign of a well-run business and a well-run business will have an easy time getting good reviews. Makes sense, right? 

2. Increase your revenue by 15% over the same period last year

You are carefully tracking revenue by month and know exactly how much you made last July through December, right? If not, you need to be! How else are you setting targets and ensuring your business is growing? 

Assuming you are, then you can easily do the math to see how much each month needs to increase in actual dollars to hit 15% growth vs last year. This will be partly helped by #4 (pricing increase) but should also be helped by growing your customer base, adding more products or services, and upselling and cross selling. 

If you aren’t targeting growth, it won’t happen on its own. If 15% for the year is too low, feel free to adjust it higher to suit your trajectory. There is really no case where 15% growth is too high of a goal for almost any business I can think of right now. Let me know if you feel differently and what’s special about your case! 

3. Review your recurring subscription expenses and eliminate any you no longer need

This is pretty simple – go through all the things you are currently spending on – especially anything that is a monthly or recurring subscription. As you find ones you no longer use, or you are paying more than you need, or you can’t even remember why you have it, cancel them. Make a recurring calendar reminder to do this at least once every six months. For some businesses, I’ve seen this save $10K or more per year! 

4. Increase your prices by at least the rate of inflation this year

For 2024, based on the first six months and forecast for the next six, the inflation this year is going to be about 3.1%. I know it feels like way more than that! Part of that is that it’s cumulative, so this is prices going up on top of what they’ve already risen in the last few years. 

The other part is there are lots of ways to measure this. Regardless, as a business owner, the point is things cost more for you to run your business – rent, insurance, marketing, payroll, etc. If your sales stayed exactly the same, you’d lose money because your costs increase while income doesn’t. 

Some of this effect can be hidden if your sales are growing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The solution is to review the prices you currently charge and make sure you’re adjusting them up to at minimum cover this increase. Or, adjust what you are delivering down a bit. Or some combination of those two. 

What you don’t want to do is not raise prices for years and years and then finally have one year where everything goes up by 20-30%. That’s when customers get upset. But if each year you increase just a few percent, the pain is less for the customer and you aren’t losing out all those years before you raise prices and you don’t give your loyal customers a big sticker shock with the overnight large jump. 

Like with reviewing expenses, put a regular calendar reminder at least once a year to review all your pricing and adjust accordingly. 

5. Do a competition analysis matrix to see where you can and should improve

Are there things your competition is doing that you aren’t, but should be? This is a great way to not only understand who else you are sharing your customers with but also why they may sometimes pick other options over you. 

The process is simple – create a grid (spreadsheets are great for this) and down the first left-hand column list the businesses you compete with – the ones your same customers or people who could be your customers are buying from. Then across the top row, put one attribute about the business in each cell. These are things like the services you offer, the options they get, and anything you can compare across businesses. For example, a plumbing business might list: 24-hour service, drain cleaning, water heater replacement, quotes over the phone, a 2-hour service window, etc. 

You can also include things like how many reviews they have, website quality, picking up on the first ring (yes, you can try calling each one and see how they are on the phone!), and service areas, etc. Each business will be a little different. Then compare what each of your competitors offers with what you offer. 

Try to really put yourself in the customers’ shoes and ask yourself who you would pick to call for various things you would want to buy from them. Be brutally honest. Does your business clearly dominate? 

If not, which ones do and what are they doing better than you? Make a priority list of things you can work on improving. You don’t have to copy anyone, but you should be able to see where you can improve and give yourself a better chance of winning more business that is currently going to the competition. 

The fewer places you can find where your business is the clear choice over the competition, the more work you must do. But that’s OK – at least now you have a plan! 

Alright, there’s a lot here to work on to accomplish these five goals but think how great your business will be if you can get all these done over the next six months! And then set new goals before we get to 2025 because it will be here before you know it! 

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