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Updated: Dec 21, 2015
How long does it take for your shiny new running shoes to gather dust at the back of your closet—and your small business New Year’s resolution to be driven to the back of your mind?
At this point, we all know the drill: make a dozen ambitious long-term goals for what you want to do better next year, and forget all about them as more urgent, day-to-day matters quickly fill up your headspace.
Luckily, willpower isn’t an innate quality of steely reserve that you either do or don’t have (thanks, gene pool!). It’s a muscle that gets stronger the more regularly we use it. Our suggestion? Pick just 1 or 2 goals for maximum impact—and stick to them by finding an accountability partner, whether that’s a friend or financial advisor.
Here are our top four picks for your small business New Year’s resolution.
Your business finances will never be perfect, but it is goal-worthy to be less marbled steak and more tenderloin—and that starts with committing yourself to stronger financial literacy. Many entrepreneurs fail because they have great ideas but don’t know how to analyze their financial statements: the difference between success and closing up shop is often cost control, not sales volume.
Review your profit and loss statement to determine the least painful ways you could slim down your spending, whether that’s cutting your utility costs, switching to a more affordable manufacturer, or negotiating better contracts with outsourced employees. Tip: ask your bookkeeper, CFO or accounting professional for help making sense of your financial statements, and be more hands-on in 2017!
Calculate the amount of interest you are paying each payment period on your current credit card or loan: if the APR or frequency of payments is too burdensome on your cash flow, then it’s time to set a goal of reducing your debt.
With a plethora of refinancing options available at your fingertips, consolidating your business debt into one simple, lower monthly payment may be one of the easiest ways to get your business in better financial shape.
Refinancing your debt may even help you strengthen your credit score, qualify for more credit in the future, and save (a lot of) money with lower interest rates. Check your eligibility for a Funding Circle loan, and see if you qualify for more favorable financing terms by converting to our term loan product with one fixed monthly payment.
Have you figured out your business model to the T? It’s deeply rewarding when your day-to-day operations run like a finely tuned machine—but you may hit a point where the status quo of your success isn’t enough, and you may wish to take your business to the next level.
If you have an opportunity that would take your business to the next level, such as opening a new store location, taking on a large new account, or adding a new product line, benchmark your goals for growth by figuring out how much new revenue the opportunity would generate for you. This will help you decide whether the opportunity is worth pursuing—and how much capital you may need to survive the growing pains before the larger profit margins start rolling in.
Will you need a huge bulk order of inventory to meet a rapid increase in demand? Will you need to hire more staff to accommodate an influx in sales? Do you have enough cash flow to cover the increased costs of production? Keep these expenses in mind to set reasonable goals and evaluate what type of financing is the best fit for your expansion plans. Learn how to use a business loan to recruit phenomenal talent to take your business to the next level.
As an entrepreneur, you are the epicenter of your small business: all of its successes, challenges, and growth potential are tied to your skill set, tenacity, and ability to evolve over time. That’s why one of the greatest investments you could make on behalf of your business is in yourself!
Be honest and identify your greatest possible area of improvement as a business owner. If you find yourself frequently feeling burnt out (and less productive than you were two years ago!), your business might benefit from a focus on a more sustainable work-life balance—so sign up for that golf class you’ve always wanted to take, or treat your spouse to a well-deserved couple’s vacation. If you fear you’re falling behind the times on topics like digital marketing, research affordably-priced courses at your local community college or online at Udemy to sharpen your skills.
Whether you decide to learn a new skill, put time aside every month to meet with a business strategy mentor, or go for that major account you’ve been eyeing for the last year, we wish you success in defining and sticking to your goals for 2018! If affordable financing could help you make your small business New Year’s resolution a reality, check your eligibility for a Funding Circle business loan today.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.