The start of a new year is prime time for reassessing your small business goals, evaluating last year’s metrics, and putting plans in place for continued growth throughout the year.
There are many facets to analyzing business success, and one of the primary ways to do so is by examining your financial position. Here are several tips and tasks you can bookmark to start the year off strong and find continued success as the year progresses.
Celebrate successes and learn from low points
It’s always important to recognize and celebrate the financial successes of your business from the previous year, where certain ventures and investments brought growth, and which check points were met in order to help you meet your goals. When you take a broad look at things that went well financially, it provides an outline of ventures you may want to continue and the best ways to invest, manage cash flow, and secure capital.
With that, it’s also critical to take a hard look at where things may have gone wrong or did not help you meet your financial goals. If some plans didn’t turn out as you expected, it may be smart to consider cutting your losses and investing your time and money in another avenue that has the potential to bring more growth.
With both your successes and failures in mind, you can build a refreshed plan and may even feel willing to take more risks with higher returns.
Gather all your reports, documents and statements
When you have all your reports in order — such as the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement — you can use these resources to analyze financial health, track key performance indicators, and measure annual performance. This is how you can determine whether your numbers are trending up or down, identify the reasons why, and make any necessary adjustments to meet the ongoing objectives of the year.
Consider investing in digital marketing
This is not a new phenomenon, but it continues to grow exponentially in importance for the success of small businesses. A digital presence and marketing strategy are increasingly necessary in the eyes of today’s client or consumer. This means taking a fresh look at your website, social media presence, thought leadership content, email marketing, and more — all dependent on your audience and where their needs lie.
It often takes six to seven engagement touch points with a prospective company before people are ready to make any purchase decisions, and the more they can find about you, your business, and how you help solve their pain points, the more top of mind you will be when it comes to decision making.
Refresh your budget
You can’t set financial goals without knowing how much money you’re able to spend and when. By regularly monitoring your budget, you may find areas where you need to adjust in order to make your financial goals possible — or you may find you need to adjust your goals to align with your budget.
Whichever it may be, be sure not to make too many adjustments for small things that may impact your ability to spend or invest in the long term.
If you’re looking for additional assistance with financial planning and setting up your business for success throughout the year, now is the perfect time to reach out to a professional. At Republic Bank of Chicago, we partner with financial advisers to help you make sure your savings and investments are preparing you for the future you want.
For more information, reach out to our team at (800) 526-9127.
• Mark Wojack is SVP/Head of Business Banking at Republic Bank.