Many small business owners like to prepare for the new year by creating financial goals and resolutions. After all, looking to expand and strengthen your small business with financial goals is a great way to start the year. But finding the motivation to get started on these goals can be difficult.
Start by taking a step back and evaluating your small business. Take a look at your finances, including investments, debts, and ways to save time and money. As your business makes financial resolutions for the new year, be sure to set realistic goals that will help set your business up for success.
Here are five realistic resolutions that small business owners can set and achieve in preparation for the new year.
1. Grow your network
Schedule networking events on your calendar, meet with local businesses, or set aside time each week to search for new business leads. By scheduling this kind of time, even just a few minutes a week, you are effectively setting up your business to make new connections. This is a one-year goal. It may not have immediate results but it will be of great value to your company in the long run. A small effort to make new connections every now and then can lead to higher business connections, leads, business intel, revenue and more without much of a time commitment.
2. Review and improve your budget
Set up a budget tracker to control costs and expenses. Not only will this show you what your business is spending each month, it will also help you identify areas where your business is falling short and find savings.
Automating recurring invoices and payments can help eliminate late payments and human error. It also gives you more control over your finances and the freedom to reclaim your time to invest in other areas of your career.
Take a close look at your budget and your spending from the previous year. What has worked and is not worth the money and effort? Use these findings to update how you manage your budget for the coming year.
Be realistic with your budgeting decisions. The more attainable your goals are, the easier it will be to pursue them. Try implementing new budget goals at once each month for a smooth and easy transition.
3. Update your marketing plan
Deciding to take a closer look at your business’s marketing efforts can help identify wins and losses throughout the year. Analyze what worked, what didn’t, and where your business can set its focus for next year.
Once you’ve identified the most helpful marketing efforts, you can use these insights to update your marketing plan for next year.
Your business should avoid any marketing strategies or campaigns that are not profitable or creating a positive impact for your company. This is also an ideal time to come up with new marketing ideas to replace the ones your business is getting rid of.
Your business should research the latest marketing channels and social media trends to ensure that the most popular strategies and channels are used for optimal reach.
More and more businesses are entering the online market, so making a mark in digital marketing and online services for small businesses is critical to setting themselves up for future success. The online business space is constantly growing and evolving, so even start-up businesses have many exciting opportunities to evolve with new technology and innovations as they emerge.
Converting to an online space allows small businesses to reach new customers/clients and get their business found easily. Investing in digital marketing, updating your website, selling products online and building an email list are great ways to increase your company’s online presence.
In addition to revamping marketing strategies and increasing their online presence, small businesses should seriously consider investing in SEO best practices. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This process is used to optimize the quality and quantity of traffic to your business website or blog by using organic traffic through search engines like Google.
This strategy helps make your website easier to find and more relevant to search queries. The more searches and clicks your site has, the higher it will rank in searches.
Many ways to improve your business SEO strategy and ranking are by publishing high-quality and authoritative content, using high-ranking and relevant keywords tailored to your business, regularly updating your business content, using alt tags, and using metadata.
4. Prepare for the future
Investing in money and technology to ensure your company’s success and longevity is another important New Year’s resolution. Looking ahead is a great way to prepare your business financially for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
One way to do this is to invest in digital tools and software to increase your productivity and ultimately grow your business.
Find ways to use technology to its full potential for your business. This means finding areas where your business can be automated. Menial tasks such as invoicing, inventory management, accounting and more are all perfect opportunities to implement software to help automate them. Automating these processes frees up employees’ time to prioritize more important work that leads to growth and profits by eliminating costly human errors.
5. Secure flexible financing
If your small business is looking to be in a healthy financial position by this time next year, finding a flexible source of financing that will give your business the working capital it needs to grow should be at the top of your to-do list.
There are many business financing options to choose from, the key is finding the one that best suits your business needs. Here are a few examples of flexible financing solutions for your business.
Term loans are financing options that provide companies with total working capital with fixed payment amounts and dates. Once approved for a short term loan, the funds will be deposited into your commercial bank account for immediate use.
Short-term loans can provide your business with the working capital it needs more quickly than traditional loans, plus the ability to repay quickly.
A business line of credit is flexible financing that provides small businesses with access to working capital as needed.
Once your company is approved for a certain amount, your business can draw on that amount as needed, paying only fees on the remaining balance. This is great for companies that need access to working capital during the year to meet financial goals.
Merchant cash is convenient for short-term financing. Many small businesses turn to merchant cash advances when looking for an alternative financing solution that can provide them with working capital when they need it most.
Merchant cash advances provide small businesses with one-time cash in return for a percentage of future credit or debit card receipts. Merchant cash advances are useful for businesses with short-term needs.
Business credit cards are another tool to consider when getting flexible financing. Business credit cards can provide short-term financing while helping you build your business credit by offering flexible payment options.
A business credit card is one of the most flexible short-term loan options for startups and small businesses, but it comes with higher requirements and can have a higher cost.
Setting and sticking to financial decisions for your small business will help ensure that your company ends up in a more profitable place next year than it started. Use this list as a starting point to create realistic financial goals for your small business this year.
Cheers to making financial decisions to help your small business achieve its goals next year and every year thereafter!