At this time of year, making New Year’s Resolutions are in full force—some are probably going remarkably well—others have been presented with some barriers. The question is—how many businesses make New Year’s Resolutions for the business aspect of their life in addition to their personal resolutions.
Small businesses are often referred to the engine driving the economy and job growth. In order for new ventures to become successful — and for existing ones to grow — they need capital. There is no time for procrastination if you are working toward financial solubility for 2012. Make the resolution to improve your financial practices and ensure success! The return on investment with this will make for a happier and prosperous new year.
Some financial advice: improve your personal credit scores. Lenders can access your personal credit history from credit score companies and can make lending decisions based on a combination of both personal and business credit history.
Keep sound financial records. It is not only crucial for a successful operation, it is good practice. Sales revenues, tax statements, and other proof of financial stability are necessary in order to obtain potential funding. Opportunities may present themselves but without financial documentation, it could hinder these opportunities.
Pay your estimated taxes quarterly versus paying a lump sum on the infamous April 15. There are several tax planners who specialize in small businesses that would be willing to assist in establishing a system to prevent procrastination on those annual returns.
Watch those interest rates — they are at an all time low. Look for the banks or lending firms that make it a priority to lend to minority owned, or companies that are in designated areas such as woman-owned.
Look into the future — be a planner not a procrastinator. Stay abreast of what is developing around you, what opportunities are presenting themselves, stay within your budget, and set realistic goals. The year end is behind us if working on a calendar year versus fiscal year, therefore it is an opportune time to reflect back to see what the shortfalls were and how to make the most out of future investments. Set attainable goals but ensure you have a mechanism for tracking to make certain you are meeting the goals.
And as you plan to move forward into a financially successful year, don’t forget to back up all your files that you worked so hard on in 2011. One small accident can erase years of data and hard work!
Combine professional and personal resolutions. A day in the life — can mean so many things to so many people. Prioritizing is a successful ingredient to all aspects of life. Along with prioritizing it is important to get organized to kick off a new year. File your 2011 paperwork for easier access, update customer records for accuracy, and stay focused. Take a chance and learn something new! Regardless of the business you are in or the hobbies you enjoy there is always the opportunity to learn. Pick something exciting, affordable, and convenient that takes you outside of your comfort zone, but will help you in the business aspect of your life as well as something you enjoy.
Ramp up your customer service and give more of yourself to your community. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, remember that your business is part of a community. The benefits in doing this will be endless. You never know what you may need something.
Last but certainly not least—celebrate your accomplishments in both your personal and professional lives.