Small business planning tips for 2024

The recent years have been difficult for small business owners due to the pandemic and rising inflation costs. However, whether previously you had a successful or bad financial year or are starting a business, 2024 presents a new potential for expansion and growth.

To grow, you should have a business plan in place. Therefore, it is a critical and essential tool for any company. It will not only assist in focusing on the precise processes required to make ideas successful, but also assists in achieving short- and long-term goals.

When it comes to growing a small business, a little initiative pays off in the long run. So here are some small business planning tips in 2024.


Revisit your small business planning strategy

Even in the best of circumstances, the economic and competitive conditions affecting your business can shift quickly. Therefore, you must constantly adapt to new situations and keep up with industry trends. And an intelligent company strategy is the first step.

It’s a good idea to examine your strategy frequently because it serves as a road map that explains where you’re going. Begin by reviewing how your current method may or may not still be applicable.

The events and developments that occur throughout the world impact your business. Keep up with the newest trends and problems in business and the community.

Even seemingly trivial details can impact what you do, so think about everything.

Just because it is working now does not mean that it will continue to work in the future. One of the most common issues small businesses face is getting left behind and only understanding when too late.

Review your small business planning UK

In a year when the market is still stabilising, continuous planning is vital.

For example, is your company strategy still viable in the light of your new objectives? If you currently have a business, evaluating your system regularly will:

  • Keep you on track to achieving your goals.
  • As you make crucial business decisions, assist you in prioritising your work.
  • Allow you to compare your progress against a standard.

Consider doing a comprehensive evaluation at the start of the year. Then, every three to six months, do a check-in.

Develop a budgeting process

For small firms, cash flow is always a major worry. But, because of recent market and workplace developments, you’ll need to pay extra attention to it in 2024. A budgeting approach provides you with a snapshot of your income and spending.

Once you know where you stand, apply your new business goals to figure out how to spend your money most effectively. Next, consider the high costs you expect to incur this year and budget accordingly.

For example, your organisation may be experiencing lower revenues and more expenditures. To keep prices down, you’ll need a budgeting method that helps you make decisions and focus on cost. For example, if one of your objectives is to break into a new market, you may want to allocate a larger budget to advertising in that area.

Create a calendar of important dates

Getting organised for the new year will aid in keeping things going smoothly. Making a calendar of all your critical events is one of the most crucial methods to achieve this.

Establishing timings for frequent administrative events is an excellent place to start. New customer calls, regular team meetings, and recurrent operations duties are examples of these. Find convenient times for each and add them to your calendar as repeated occurrences.

Next, think about important dates that you don’t want to forget. These might be crucial investor meetings, media appearances, conferences, or networking opportunities. Please make sure they’re on the calendar and that they’re noticeable, so you don’t miss them.

Finally, maintain track of your money by marking important tax and accounting dates on your calendar (with reminders!). Knowing actual dates can assist you in planning and maintaining a healthy financial flow. You’ll avoid fines for late files or payments as well. Make sure to include stuff like:

1. Tax registration deadlines

Depending on the type of business, you’ll have to register with HMRC for either Self Assessment tax or Corporation tax.

2. Tax return due dates and payment deadlines

Self-assessment and Corporation returns, as well as payments, are required once a year.

3. VAT reporting and payment deadlines

As they usually happen every three months, you’ll want to be sure you’re keeping track of them.

4. PAYE registration and remittance deadlines

You are responsible for enrolling for the PAYE programme each year if you pay employees through payroll. You’ll also need to budget for monthly reporting and paying taxes and perks.

Checkout our blogpost on: Key dates for small businesses 2022/2023: Keep your accounts on track.

Expand your product range

Expansion is an excellent strategy to get your company up and running rapidly. You’ll most likely add new products or services to your portfolio, grow into new areas of expertise, or open a new location.

Taking the risk today could lead to prospects for growth and a higher profit margin for your company. But, understandably, you’d want to take additional precautions.

It could also lead to new opportunities for your company in the future.

Evaluating, pivoting, or developing a new marketing plan

It’s a good idea to assess your marketing strategy frequently, much like your company plan. Going into 2024, you’ll want to determine what’s working with your current approach and make adjustments to account for market developments. Consider the following questions, even if you’re beginning from scratch:

  • For the new year, how will you attract new and existing customers?
  • How can your marketing strategy assist you in achieving your objectives?

Continue to use the tactics that worked well for your firm and make changes as needed. The actions below can assist you in adjusting items that aren’t functioning and preparing for future market adjustments.

1.   Keep an eye on what customers want

Do your research and learn about the new economy’s general customer service tendencies. Optimising your website and online products for mobile use will become increasingly critical as businesses are handled remotely.

What additional technological improvements may lead to improved customer service? You may also stay relevant to your audience by communicating directly to your clients.

In 2024, figure out what they require and how you can meet their needs. To determine your demographics, do a customer survey. For example, has your target audience’s age, geographic location, or corporate job shifted? To find out how they’re struggling, conduct surveys or test groups.

2.   Prioritise the appropriate channels

Examine what worked and what didn’t in 2021. Is it true that specific initiatives performed as expected? Or perhaps go above and beyond? For example, although your video marketing may not have been as effective as you had intended, guest writing in industry magazines generated positive discussion for your company.

Perhaps you’ve seen competitors gain market share by creating podcasts on themes that your target audience is interested in regularly.

Investigate the best-performing channels in your sector. Then, decide which marketing initiatives you’ll focus on this year and which you’ll try out for the first time.

3.   Make a content calendar for your marketing efforts

Once you’ve decided which channels to target, plan out how and when you’ll use them, determine when and where your best unique material will be released. Consider how you may reuse the material to fill in gaps in other channels.

Make a plan for what kind of material you’ll share. Then mark your calendar for when you’ll publish articles, send out social media messages, or sponsor material in essential magazines.

Make a calendar of your dates once you’ve decided on a priority for content development. That might entail adding the due dates to your Google calendar and setting reminders for them.

Cultivate a Strong Company Culture

Businesses have faced large waves of resignations in what has been dubbed “the Great Resignation,” in addition to facing financial difficulties and implementing Covid-19 safety standards.

Developing a solid business culture is one of the most excellent methods to retain outstanding personnel.

Make an effort to bring the whole business together for events – as securely as possible – to establish trusting connections via transparency, have an open-door policy so workers can voice their concerns, and be as flexible with scheduling as possible.

Wrapping up

Many companies are approaching 2024 with greater caution or using different strategies than they anticipated a year ago. However, unexpected events don’t mean you can’t confidently enter 2024 to succeed this year.

You can maintain your company’s approach agile if you start preparing today. As a result, you’ll be better equipped to service your clients and expand your market share. In addition, thinking forward can help you make the most of this year and position your company for future success in 2024 and beyond.

Experlu Editorial Team
The editorial team at Experlu is comprised of seasoned financial professionals dedicated to providing high-quality content on accounting and finance. With a wealth of experience and diverse expertise, the team produces insightful articles that have established the Experlu blog as the UK's leading financial and accounting resource. The team includes accountants, auditors, and business advisors who stay updated with the latest industry developments. Their commitment to excellence ensures that Experlu remains a trusted source of information, helping readers stay informed about audit, business, finance, and tax matters.