Once the holiday season is behind you it’s time to focus all your attention to the year ahead. If you started making plans in December, you’re ahead of the game. For those of us who didn’t finalize our business planning last year, it’s not too late to begin planning for a successful year.

Financial Planning for a Successful Year

Although it’s hard to anticipate what the financial markets might have in store for your money over the next year, now is an excellent time to think about your business’s financial goals during the next 12 months. Questions to ask might include:

  • Am I prepared for a decline in revenues?
  • Can my cash on hand cover if customers take longer to pay invoices?
  • Do I have excess cash on hand month over month that could be earning a higher return?
  • Is my use of corporate credit prudent?

After you review of your finances, it’s time to let someone versed in financial planning give you a second opinion. You could turn to your banker, CPA or investment professional , bearing in mind that each may have a bias based on their own products and compensation plans. If you work with multiple financial professionals, try to set up appointments with each as early in the year as possible so you can compare their recommendations for your company’s money.

Relationship Planning for a Successful Year

Client relationships are often the life’s blood of business. In order to plan for a successful year, it’s critical to identify your key clients and develop a plan to retain and grow their business with you over the coming year. You can achieve this through a combination of:

  • Offering premier customer service
  • Providing key clients value on every transaction
  • Showing how much you appreciate their business

Although your goal may be to offer top-notch customer service to all your clients, there are always things you can do to take your key client service to the next level. It can be as simple as personally placing a follow-up call to your key clients after a sale to ensure there were no issues with the transaction, or to find out if you can answer any questions. Not only is this enhanced customer service, it shows how much you value their business.