No time like the present to set your business goals



Every New Year, we make plans and jot down resolutions that many of us tend to forget as January comes to an end.

Although we are quick to write down our personal goals, many small business owners shy away from outlining their business objectives or development plans.

Some of my entrepreneur friends believe that writing this year's business resolutions down will not aid much in developing their strategy, but will be only another time-wasting task. What they overlook is that without development plans, their businesses become stagnant.

Textbooks and websites are filled with numerous tips on how to boost your business. I picked up some that have aided me in running my small fashion business and writing career over the past three years.

A lot of businesses come down as their owners fail to properly plan their marketing goals for the year. A good tip is to have a master plan, which highlights where you want to see your business in three years, which you could then update regularly.

There is no specific time period when one should do this, but since we are at the beginning of the year, it is good to set a six-month marketing and development road map. This could include media and public relations goals, a projected sales figure and ideas on how to expand your business.

Revive your business website. Your website is your international brand face. Adding more modules, customer information, and changing the look and feel of it is always a good idea. This also applies to your business page on Facebook or Twitter. Update the content regularly, add more pictures, run a contest or post items that would engage your customers and fans.

This brings us over to the importance of social media use. If your business is not on the social media sphere, perhaps it is about time it was. My business and writing career would not have reached where they are today had I chosen to overlook this powerful medium.

Not only that, but at a time when businesses are on the lookout for ways to cut costs, social media can help reach a wider global audience and also helps you to establish a one on one relationship with your customer. It aids in brand awareness, helps to generate instant feedback from customers, is an excellent way to spread word of mouth and provides a great global reach.

If your finances went crazy last year, then it is time to tighten your belt and prepare a budget. A good plan would be to divide your finances to the following: prioritise your business spending, make sure you leave an amount dedicated to developing your business including your employees' packageand training if applicable.

If handling administrative tasks is taking up too much of your time and distracting you from focusing on your development plans, then perhaps it is a great idea to outsource. Many agencies provide competitive rates to handle your logistics, PR and administration. Perhaps you could also collaborate with a sister company to share those tasks.

Finally, if your main goal is to expand your business this year, then partnering with like-minded business owners can be very effective. Not only are two brains better than one, but you will be exposed to new potential clients, which is beneficial for both parties.

Look for companies or business people with whom you share an audience or customers. Team up, and you could find that both sides benefit from the partnership. Once you find a potential partner, draft an agreement outlining what both parties expect and wish to accomplish as well as a marketing plan.

There are countless tips on how to boost your business, excluding your own business goals for the year. We are still in the year's first quarter, and there is no time like the present to start implementing those goals.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati fashion designer and writer based in Abu Dhabi

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Louis Tomlinson

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(Syco Music/Arista Records)

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Favourite Quote: Prophet Mohammad's quotes There is reward for kindness to every living thing and A good man treats women with honour

Favourite Hobby: Serving poor people 

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Company name: Nomad Homes
Started: 2020
Founders: Helen Chen, Damien Drap, and Dan Piehler
Based: UAE and Europe
Industry: PropTech
Funds raised so far: $44m
Investors: Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, Potluck Ventures, Knollwood and several undisclosed hedge funds

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

ACC 2019: The winners in full

Best Actress Maha Alemi, Sofia

Best Actor Mohamed Dhrif, Weldi  

Best Screenplay Meryem Benm’Barek, Sofia  

Best Documentary Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki

Best Film Yomeddine by Abu Bakr Shawky

Best Director Nadine Labaki, Capernaum
 

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9.25pm: Handicap (TB) $65,000 (T) 1,000m, Winner: Motafaawit, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson

Building boom turning to bust as Turkey's economy slows

Deep in a provincial region of northwestern Turkey, it looks like a mirage - hundreds of luxury houses built in neat rows, their pointed towers somewhere between French chateau and Disney castle.

Meant to provide luxurious accommodations for foreign buyers, the houses are however standing empty in what is anything but a fairytale for their investors.

The ambitious development has been hit by regional turmoil as well as the slump in the Turkish construction industry - a key sector - as the country's economy heads towards what could be a hard landing in an intensifying downturn.

After a long period of solid growth, Turkey's economy contracted 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, and many economists expect it will enter into recession this year.

The country has been hit by high inflation and a currency crisis in August. The lira lost 28 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018 and markets are still unconvinced by the readiness of the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tackle underlying economic issues.

The villas close to the town centre of Mudurnu in the Bolu region are intended to resemble European architecture and are part of the Sarot Group's Burj Al Babas project.

But the development of 732 villas and a shopping centre - which began in 2014 - is now in limbo as Sarot Group has sought bankruptcy protection.

It is one of hundreds of Turkish companies that have done so as they seek cover from creditors and to restructure their debts.

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Company profile

Name: Maly Tech
Started: 2023
Founder: Mo Ibrahim
Based: Dubai International Financial Centre
Sector: FinTech
Funds raised: $1.6 million
Current number of staff: 15
Investment stage: Pre-seed, planning first seed round
Investors: GCC-based angel investors

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
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Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

Infobox

Western Region Asia Cup Qualifier, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the next stage of qualifying, in Malaysia in August

Results

UAE beat Iran by 10 wickets

Kuwait beat Saudi Arabia by eight wickets

Oman beat Bahrain by nine wickets

Qatar beat Maldives by 106 runs

Monday fixtures

UAE v Kuwait, Iran v Saudi Arabia, Oman v Qatar, Maldives v Bahrain

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now


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