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 through financial goals is a great way to start the year. But it can be challenging to find the motivation to get started on these goals.
Start by taking a step back and evaluating your small business. Take stock of the financial situation, 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 to help set your business up for success.
Here are five realistic resolutions that small business owners can set and achieve to prepare for the New Year.
1. Grow Your Network
Schedule networking events on your calendar, reach out to fellow local businesses or even carve out time to search for new business leads each week. By scheduling time like this, even just a few minutes a week, you’re setting your business up successfully to generate new relationships. This is a year-long goal. It may not have immediate results but will be highly valuable to your company in the long run. A small effort made consistently to create new connections can lead to increased business relationships, leads, business intel, revenue, and more without much of a time commitment.
2. Review and Optimize Your Budget
Set up a budget tracker to monitor spending and expenses. Not only will this show what your business is spending each month, but it can help identify areas where your business can make cuts and find savings.
Automating recurring bills and payments can help avoid late fees and human error. It will also give you more control over your finances and the freedom to reclaim your time to invest in other areas of operations.
Review your budget and spending from the previous year closely. What worked and what wasn’t worth the money and effort? Use these findings to update how you manage your budget for next year.
Be realistic with your budgeting resolutions. The more attainable your goals, the easier they will be to follow through on. Try implementing new budgeting goals each month instead of all at once for a smoother and easier transition.
3. Refresh 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 update your marketing plan for the following year using these insights.
Your business should remove any marketing strategies or campaigns that didn’t produce a profit or create a positive impact for your company. This would also be a suitable time to brainstorm new marketing ideas to replace the ones your business is eliminating.
Your business should also research the newest marketing channels and social media trends to make sure it’s capitalizing on the most popular tactics and channels for optimal reach.
More and more businesses are entering the online market, so it’s crucial for small businesses to make their mark in digital marketing and online services to set themselves up for success in the future. The online business space is constantly growing and evolving, so even businesses that have started going virtual will still have many exciting opportunities to keep evolving with new technology and innovations as they pop up.
Shifting to the online space can help small businesses reach new customers/clients and make it easier for their business to be found virtually. Investing in digital marketing, updating your website, selling products online, and creating an email list are all great ways to boost your company’s online presence.
In addition to revamping marketing strategies and boosting 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 magnitude of traffic to your business’s website or blog through search engines like Google using organic traffic.
This strategy can help make your website easier to find and more relevant to search queries. The more your site is searched and clicked on, the higher it will rank in searches.
Several ways you can help to improve your business’s SEO strategy and ranking are by publishing high-quality and authoritative content, using high-ranking and relevant keywords tailored to your business, updating your business content regularly, using alt tags, and utilizing metadata.
4. Prepare for the Future
Investing in money and technology to secure the success and longevity of your company is another valuable resolution for the new year. Looking to the future is a great way to financially prepare your business for any unexpected circumstances that may come up.
One way to do this is by investing in digital tools and software to help increase your productivity and ultimately grow your business.
Look for ways to use technology to its full potential for your business. This means finding areas your business can automate. Menial tasks such as invoicing, managing inventory, bookkeeping, and more are all perfect opportunities to implement software to help with automation. Making these processes automatic frees employees’ time to prioritize more significant work that can lead to growth and profit while eliminating human error that can lead to financial losses.
5. Secure Flexible Financing
If your small business is looking to be in a healthier financial position this time next year, securing a flexible source of financing that allows your business access to the working capital it needs to grow should be at the top of your to-do list.
There are plenty of business financing options to choose the key is finding the one that best fits your business needs. Here are a few examples of flexible financing solutions for your business.
Term loans are financing options that provide companies with a lump sum of working capital with set payment amounts and dates. Once approved for a small business term loan, the funds will be deposited into your business bank account for immediate use.
Short term loans provide your business with the working capital it needs faster than a traditional loan, plus offers the ability to pay it off quickly.
A business line of credit is a flexible funding solution that provides small businesses with access to working capital on an as-needed basis.
Once your company has been approved for a set amount, your business can draw on that amount whenever necessary, only paying fees on the outstanding balance. This is excellent for companies that need access to working capital throughout the year to help achieve financial goals.
A merchant cash advance is a convenient form of short-term funding. 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 give small businesses a lump sum of cash in return for a percentage of their future credit or debit card receivables. Merchant cash advances are helpful to businesses with immediate short-term needs.
Business credit cards are another tool to consider when securing flexible financing. Business credit cards can help provide short-term funding while helping to build your business credit by offering flexible payment options.
A business credit card is one of the best flexible short-term loan options for startups and small businesses, but it does come with higher requirements and can have higher rates.
Setting and sticking to financial resolutions for your small business can help ensure that your company rounds out next year in a more advantageous place 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 resolutions to help your small business achieve its goals next year and every year after that!