The new year can mean many things for your business. What will the next 12 months look like? Do you have goals for your business and how you plan to get there? Now is the time to review your past financial performance and make plans for 2018.
With this in mind, we’ve put together five financial New Year’s resolutions to help your business make this one of the best years yet.
1. Review Last Year’s Financial Highlights
How did your business perform in 2017? At the most basic level, you should review your business income, expenses, profit and sales.
In addition, ask yourself these questions:
- How do these numbers compare to last year? Are they better or worse and by how much?
- Do these numbers align with my business projections for 2017? Why or why not? Are there new income or expenses that should be accounted for in 2018?
- In what area(s) of my business did I see the most growth?
- What lessons can I learn from my 2017 business data?
2. Set New Goals
Goal setting does not have to be complicated, especially now that you’ve taken the time to review key numbers from 2017.
It’s as simple as writing down 2 or 3 things you’d like to see your business achieve this year. It could be a goal to reduce expenses in a certain area, to produce a new product or hire additional expertise.
The most important part about goal setting is to be specific so you can measure your success throughout the year. Attaching time frames, numbers, steps it will take to meet your goal and other details can help you know if you’re on track or not.
Once you’ve established your 2018 goals, here’s a fun way to keep them top of mind from the SCORE business blog.
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3. Update Software and Processes
Payroll and other business processes can be affected by the change to a new year. Make sure your systems are up-to-date and ready for 2018. It’s also a great time to review your security protocol and procedures, especially if your business collects personal information from your customers.
4. Check in With Your Business Team
Catch up with your accountant, tax advisor, lawyer and banker at the beginning of the new year. Communication between you and your team of expert advisors can be crucial to your business’s success. After all, they want your business to succeed just as much as you do.
“During this time of the year, I like to check in with my business customers and see how they felt about 2017 performance and what’s on tap for 2018,” said Mike Swanson, Commercial Banking Officer in Hastings. “For example, what went well for them in 2017 and what didn’t? Are there any new opportunities or internal changes coming? It’s about keeping the lines of communication open, so I can provide the best solutions going forward.”
As you share your business plans for 2018, your team can also provide updates on things that may affect your business. For example, there may be new taxes or loan programs, changes to business laws and much more.
5. Celebrate Small Successes
We’ve saved this resolution for last, but it’s certainly one of the most important – you deserve to celebrate your business’s successes. Being a small business owner can feel like a never-ending job, so take a minute to give yourself (and your team) some kudos. Celebrating small successes are the steps to celebrating larger ones!
Our team of Commercial & Ag Bankers and Cash Management Specialists are ready to talk about your business plans for 2018. Visit our website to meet our local experts.