Small Business Financial Article
Rich Best has spent 28 years in the financial services industry, as an advisor, a managing partner, directors of training and marketing, and now as a consultant to the industry. Rich has written extensively on a broad range of personal finance topics and is published on several top financial sites. Recent books include The American Family Survival Bible and Annuity Facts Revealed: What You MUST Know Before You Invest.

5 Tips for Making 2021 Your Best Year Ever

5 Tips for Making 2021 Your Best Year Ever

It won’t be long before we can all turn the page on this extraordinary year. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, there are still some critical steps you can take right now to prepare yourself and your business for next year. For many business owners, 2021 represents a fresh slate and a real opportunity to get back on track. Here are five things you can do right now to ensure great things happen for your business in 2021.

Get Back to "Why" You are in Business

It is not uncommon for business owners to lose sight of why they went through the pain and hardship to start their business. The mundane tasks of running a business tend to numb the passion that once drove you. If you expect to get your business to the next level, you need to rediscover that passion and then find ways to exercise it.

Very few people go into business simply to make money. There is always something beyond money that makes people take risks and make sacrifices to create a business. When your passion drives you, you become capable of great things. When your business drives you, you can lose sight of all the great things you wanted to happen. Find time each day to focus on what drives you and share it with the people around you.

Spend More Time Working on Your Business than in Your Business

By refocusing on your passion, you will be drawn to the big picture aspects of growing your business. But, that doesn’t happen without some changes in the way you run your business. The more time you spend running your business, the less opportunity you have to guide it. You first need to find the time to devote to strategic thinking and then lead the efforts to implement your strategies. At a minimum, you should schedule one day a week to focus on nothing but your vision for the business and the strategies to achieve it. When you can expand that to the full week, you will know your business is hitting its stride.

Where do you find the time? It starts with outsourcing. Consider all of the functions you currently perform. Which ones can be performed less expensively and more efficiently by someone earning a fraction of your salary? If you are at all involved in record-keeping, cash flow management, personnel, or sales, you may be wasting valuable time. Which ones could be performed by a part-time employee or outsourced to a virtual administrator? Are you using available technology to increase efficiency? Are you working with your business bank to modernize your cash management processes? If you rely more heavily on outsourcing to independent contractors, you can keep your fixed costs down.

Stop Being Invisible to Your Market

Business owners need to know that anything less than a modern digital strategy that links their website to a deliberate social media strategy is very likely to render their businesses invisible to their market, which can lead to a long, slow death.

As your business’s marketing leader, your primary focus this year should be to increase your brand visibility. You need to be in charge of your digital marketing strategy, which is vital to getting your message out, generating incoming leads, and cultivating contacts and relationships. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost a fortune to create a dynamic, responsive website. You could hire a college student to help you create one using a free or affordable website creator, like The real work involves creating content that will engage customers and develop a sense of urgency. That might be the one area in which you should invest a little bit of money.

Upgrade Your Financial Management

Many business owners also wear the hat of CFO even though financial management is not their forte. Considering the time it takes away from your ability to work on your business and the strong likelihood of costly mistakes, any financial functions you can offload will probably be an upgrade for your business. At the very least, business owners should enlist the help of a CPA to prepare their taxes; but the smart ones will also hire a part-time person or virtual assistant to keep the books.

By linking your accounting software with an online business bank account, all of your transactions will be synced and reconciled automatically. All bank reporting can be downloaded to your accounting software, so you always have a real-time status of your cash flow. You could also offload most of your cash management functions to your bank, including the management of payables and receivables. Your bank can also handle your payroll. Any additional cost for these upgrades will be offset quickly through lower fixed costs and increased efficiency, and you will be left with much more time to work on your business.

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