A brand new year is the perfect time to sit down and reassess the way you do things as a small business. Your finances should be first on the list for a makeover, as this affects every other part of the business. If your cashflow keeps you up at night or your accountant is furious at you, now is the time to make some crucial changes.
Whether you’d like to lower expenses, boost savings or improve the way you bank, here are some of the New Year’s resolutions you may want to look into in 2017:
- Plan a budget for the year. Sit down with an experienced accountant and plan your finances for the coming year. You need to know important payment dates and ensure you have enough in your account to cover them. You also need to build up a healthy contingency for unexpected costs. Both of these may require cuts to your expenses and new strategies for boosting income. Remember – proper planning is the key to financial success.
- Do a cash flow projection. An important part of creating your budget for the year ahead is to do a cashflow projection. If you can clearly see there will be a gap in your finances, you can even plan ahead by researching solutions – for example, a cash advance FSB loan based on cashflow.
- Consider switching banks. Just because you’ve been with the same bank for years, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit for your business. Your needs, or its terms and features, may have changed over the year. Make a list of the must-have features you’re looking for in a business bank account and provider. You can then research the market to compare charges, features and terms. If there’s a better option out there, get it all set up before the start of 2017.
- Set goals and strategies for increasing revenue. Using the figures from the previous 12 months, you can see whether you achieved last year’s goals for increasing sales and revenue. Now is the time to set next year’s goals, along with a clear, realistic strategy and deadlines for achieving them. (Further Reading : Making your goals SMART)
- Update your systems. Is your payroll up-to-date, and do you know the current status of all employees? If you use accounting software, do you have the latest version? You also need to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest deadlines and rules relating to your tax responsibilities. Consider going paperless you can save a lot of money by not printing and filing stuff online.
- Trim your expenses. It can be hugely satisfying to sit down at the end of a year with a list of expenses and highlight where cuts can be made. You could save hundreds or even thousands by switching suppliers, ordering in bulk or in advance or cutting out spending altogether. Can you reduce energy costs by making changes around the office? Do you spend a lot on travel to meetings, when you could meet virtually instead? These are the kinds of small practical changes that add up to big savings. (Further Reading : Spring Clean your Finances)
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