With a tumultuous year fading into the background and fresh challenges ahead, it’s time to take stock of what just happened and what’s to come. As we launch headlong into another year you need to ensure your practice is well prepared for 2022.
1. Staff requirements and hiring parameters
What will your practice’s staffing requirements look like in 2022? According to research by KPMG, hiring and retaining staff will be a key concern for the next few years.
The AFR announced the results of the recent KPMG survey noting that,
“Hundreds of Australian business leaders cite crippling labour shortages as their biggest challenge going into 2022 and warn they will remain a concern for the next three to five years.”
After polling over 400 business leaders across Australia, KPMG found that 70% pinpointed acquiring and retaining talent as their key worry. This of course has two implications – your own staffing issues as well as those of your business clients who may require advice around these areas of concern.
There’s another issue at play here too, the skillsets that are required to run a future proofed practice has shifted. You now require to hire for a wider variety of roles with specialty focus.
2. Take stock of last year’s performance and absorb data-based lessons
How thoroughly have you evaluated the year previous? It was likely a strange anomaly as compared to your previous year’s data and performance, so taking stock is of the utmost importance.
You may be inclined to charge directly into the new year to reinvigorate your practice, but do so with a cool head.
Ruthlessly interrogate the data in your systems such as CRM and practice management to:
- Determine your financial trajectory and projections
- Document client behavioural changes, including ebbs and flows
- Determine your high / low performing services
- success / failure of remote services or measures
- Understand your high value and repeat clients
- What was the effectiveness (or lack thereof) for your of marketing campaigns (ROI)
- Staff performance metrics
You can easily extrapolate crucial lessons on how to adjust course this year with a thorough evaluation of your firm’s data.
3. Spring clean your online presence
Your online presence is an ongoing project that will endure in perpetuity.
Websites are never ‘done’, social media efforts can always be maximised and SEO can always be improved.
Things you can achieve:
- Do a review of your website – include branding, menu review, site structure, contact methods, and calls to action.
- SEO – bring in an expert to do an SEO review. They can advise on website tagging, content SEO, keyword research, link building, and improving site speeds and efficiency.
- Social page review – ensure you have up to date details, polished branding, well articulated purpose and quality content.
4. Re-evaluate your marketing
New year, new marketing plan.
Rejigging and correcting course in your marketing efforts should be a regular event. In a tumultuous business environment, adjusting your approach may be more necessary than usual.
Log into your social media accounts, website backend, Google analytics and EDM tools. Pull out some reports from these tools and solutions to understand the true value of your marketing efforts over the last year or more.
- Social media performance – what worked well and what didn’t?
- Your EDM campaigns – how can you improve open rates and click throughs? Have you tried A/B testing to home in on the best approach?
- Your advertising – Which of your ads performed the best? What was the better platform?
- You marketing ROI? Are there clear winning strategies and losing avenues?
- Do you have a content calendar ready to go that hits on current pain points?
Once you’ve taken stock of the winners and losers in your marketing strategy from last year, the impetus is clear – double down on what performed favorably and ditch the rest.
5. Look to digitalise your work
You should also be spending some time looking at your tools and workflows – seeking refreshment for the new year. Are there better, more efficient solutions out there? Can you consolidate disparate workspaces? What kind of headaches or blockages do you have in your workflows?
APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best Accounting Firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.