A Handful of Ways to Improve Your Business in 2017

Date: December 13, 2016

Have you started business preparations for the new year?

A lot has happened for small businesses in 2016, from minimum wage hikes to taxes, and as the year nears a close, it’s time to start thinking ahead to 2017. What lessons did business owners learn, and what can they improve on for next year? Entrepreneur lists 25 ways to help business owners prepare for 2017, but we will examine the first five points.

1. Revisit your business plan

Whether your business is currently thriving or stuck in a slump, it’s important to take time to revisit your original business plan, which includes a summary, a company and products description, a market analysis of competitors, organization structure, marketing, and financial projections. This way, you’ll be prepared for any surprises that may pop up.

2. Gather necessary information for a business loan

Loans are important for every small business owner, even those not currently in the process of searching for a lender. To save you future stress, here’s the information lenders will look for:

  • Detailed financial projections

  • Personal and business tax information

  • Personal and business bank statements

  • Business licenses, if applicable

  • Income statement and revenue information

3. Focus on profitability

Creating a solid financial model—one that examines expenses, marketing plans, and projections—not only will help boost your business’ profits, but it also will save you a headache further down the line.

4. Set a savings goal

Jan. 1 is only days away, so the time is now to start developing a savings plan for 2017. Entrepreneur suggests creating one that establishes an emergency fund “that can keep your business operational for three to six months if need be.”

5. Evaluate your business processes

Finally, take the time to look over your plan as a whole. See what’s good and what could use more work. Try to stay with the times and adapt to the changing environment. For example, if your invoicing system is still paper-based, switch to a cloud-based one for faster and more efficient transactions.

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