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Small Business New Year's Resolutions

By Townes Haas   |    January 4, 2016   |    9:05 AM

A New Year Means New Goals for Your Business. What Should Your Small Business Goals be for 2016?

1. Face your fears

View 2016 as an opportunity to finally do all those things you put off in 2015, especially those you were afraid to do. It could be small things you need to accomplish or perhaps now is the the time to take those next big steps, whether it is expanding your business overseas, getting set up with ecommerce, developing an internal training system, or evaluating staff production, 2016 is the time to stop making excuses and to bite the bullet.

2. Stop complaining

When you find yourself complaining about the economy, an employee or some other business-related issue, just stop. See 2016 as a year to focus on the positive things you can do to improve your small business. The economy may not be moving in the direction you like, perhaps your last quarter’s financial results weren’t as high as you wanted them to be, but do not be defeatist. There are plenty of opportunities to be found and numerous ways of improving your business. Instead of lamenting about inadequacies, brainstorm to see how you can make the best of your current situation.

3. Meet and greet

To take your small business to the next level you may need to get off the phone, fax and email and also out of the office. Even in a world increasingly focused on social media, meaningful and long lasting business relationships are forged in real life situations. In-person meetings. Attend conferences, trade shows and other business-related events to meet new people. These could create opportunities to find new customers, employees or business partners.

4. Increase your industry knowledge

Improving your industry knowledge ensures you always maintain a competitive advantage, plus, it will allow you to further grow your small business. You might make the rule of attending at least one major industry workshop or event every few months to stay up to speed in your field. You might choose to give yourself a deadline to read one new industry publication every month or just decide to conduct online research every lunch break. Whatever route you chose to increase your knowledge of your business area, make sure it becomes a regular part of your routine.

5. Study your business's financial statements each month

Many small business owners find it irksome and daunting to have to examine their financial statements. But make sense of your statements. Your financial statement is one of the most illuminating financial tools in your accounting arsenal. The balance sheet and the cash flow statement, when examined together with your income statement give an all-encompassing insight into your small business. For example, your balance sheet is an excellent indicator of your small business' stability and liquidity. These are both vital elements in assessing whether your company can fund its own growth without requiring outside financing.

Whatever new year's resolutions you make, remember they will not be effective unless you keep them!