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I know. You don’t want to think about the C-word. But it’s coming. Fast. And there are 5 things small businesses should do between now and Christmas to make sure they’re ready for the next year.
Check on your tax situation
First I mention the C-word and now I want to talk about taxes?! I’m sorry! But we’re nearly halfway through the tax season, so it’s a great time to just check in on your tax situation and see where you’re at. Do you have anything to pay at the beginning of 2022? Have you been putting enough aside? If you’re like me and run your business as a sole trader alongside full-time employment, have you looked at your whole tax picture with both PAYE and Self Assessment? Just have a little check-in to make sure you’re on track to please the taxman.
Review your pricing
The new year is a great time to raise your prices. We all know that inflation is going up, up, and away like a hot air balloon as the years go by. If you’re a renter, chances are that your rent increases each year. You have 12 more months of experience under your belt*. There are so many reasons to look at your pricing and plan for an increase.
The new year is when everyone announces their intentions and goals, so your clients or potential clients won’t be surprised when you do the same!
*Not that you can’t raise your prices throughout the year. You can, you should, and show them on your website too, while you’re at it.
Think about a rebrand
New year, new look, new brand! We all want to start fresh in 2022, it’s been a rough couple of years, after all! Take the time to look at your current brand and consider if it is still serving yourself, your business…. but most importantly, does it still serve your audience?
If not, you will want to start the process of reaching out to a designer and get the ball rolling NOW. It can take several weeks or even a few months to rebrand your business. So if you’re after a January 2022 launch you should be booking your project in September. Obviously, I can help you out with this – I offer my Not Just a Pretty Face branding package which is specifically targeted to creatives and creative small businesses. I also offer a branding and website bundle for a discounted rate. I’m now booking projects from September 2021, so get in touch to kickstart your 2022 rebrand!
Update your website (and make it accessible)
You might not need a whole rebrand, but chances are that your website could be in need of a bit of TLC. Although you should be working on your website throughout the year, many people make the mistake of focusing more on social media allowing their website to become a tad outdated.
I’ve probably done enough gushing about my website design packages for creatives and creative small businesses. You get the point. But this is probably a good time to mention that I also have a one-off website review service. For £25, I will record myself giving you my first impression of your website so that you can have an idea of where to start focusing your efforts before the new year.
I will focus not only on the look and feel of your website but also on the user experience and accessibility, so you can make sure that everybody can use your website in 2022.
Set your goals for 2022
The last of the 5 things small businesses should do between now and Christmas is a bit obvious, but I cannot resist some goal setting. I want to challenge you to start thinking of your goals early this year, though. A lot of us start thinking of goals late in the year or right when January kicks off. But I think it’s nice to do them gradually and ease into them.
Once December rolls around, there’s a lot of chat about goals, and that can bring comparison and anxiety. But if you set your goals on your own terms, away from this pressure, and take the time to reflect on them, I think you can see better results.
Things to think about might be:
- How do you want your brand and your audience to feel in 2022?
- What are your financial goals for 2022, and how can your brand support them? (E.g. are your goals luxurious but your branding isn’t?)
- What does your potential client or audience want from you and your brand?
- How might I improve the internal working and processes of my business?
More Things Small Businesses Should Do Between Now and Christmas
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list! There are so many things small business owners need to do to prepare for a new year. And while it can feel silly to start thinking about it when we’re supposed to be sipping cocktails on the beach, your future self will thank you when it’s dark at 4 pm and all you want to do is curl up in pyjamas and watch Netflix!