It’s that time of year again. We’ve renewed our gym memberships, quit bad habits, started keeping a journal… That’s right, it’s New Year’s resolution time. Most of us have at least one personal goal when the old year comes to a close and the new one dawns. But, if you’re a business owner, solopreneur or side gigger, do you also set new goals for your business? Perhaps you’re just hoping to survive the holidays and get back to work as usual. Your business, though, is your bread and butter, and if the cash isn’t flowing quite the way you’d like it to, things could get stale or worse. Why not sit down and make a few New Year’s resolutions to increase and stabilize your business’s cash flow?
This means more than just cleaning up your work area. Take a look at your business e-mail. How full is your inbox? Take the time to go through and cleanse that inbox: delete anything that’s not necessary and save things that are, like photos or important documents. The new year is also a great time to officially take the paperless plunge. To get you started, check out tools like Evernote, Trello and Wunderlist for all your project management and note-taking needs. For storing files or creating documents, our favorites are Google Drive and Dropbox (learn more here on how to go paper free and stay paper free).
Prepare for Next Tax Season Now
Nobody likes dealing with taxes, but if you’ve had trouble keeping track of expenses, income and deductions, resolve now to keep better track all those important things, so next year’s tax time goes smoother. Be sure you’re up-to-date on new tax laws so you know what is deductible and what isn’t. With Invoice2go’s expense tracking, say goodbye to the hours of digging through files, folders and boxes for receipts. Just take a snap and your receipt is safely stored and ready for export at tax time. Getting an early start on your taxes means when April rolls around you’re prepared and way ahead of the game.
Get a Handle on Invoices
New year, new you and that includes your invoices. It’s time to rein in unpaid invoices so you’re paid on time and keep the cash flowing. Unpaid invoices can be a huge disrupter to cash flow but the good news is there are ways to minimize this. First of all, if you’re sending paper invoices, consider a digital solution like Invoice2go that allows you to send professional-looking invoices with just a few taps on your mobile device. It’s also just as important to accept as many forms of payment as possible, particularly debit and credit card. This makes it more convenient for your customers so they’re much more likely to pay on time.
Check out all your vendors and suppliers to make sure you’re getting the best deals on office supplies, materials, rent, phone, internet, etc. Like you, all these businesses want to draw in new customers, so the new year is often a great time to find discounted services and supplies. Don’t forget to look into your business banking and credit cards to see if they’re still the best bang for your buck.
Make Money on the Side
Several ways to bring in extra cash are probably sitting right under your nose. Sell any unused or gently used equipment or furniture on sites like eBay. Do you have any extra business space or storage space you could rent? Even your website can be a money-maker with Google Adsense and affiliate links to Amazon and other online retailers. If your income is stable and predictable, now might also be a good time to invest in stocks or an interest-earning savings account.
If you’re one of the 45% of Americans that make personal New Year’s resolutions such as getting healthy and prioritizing time with family, those are fantastic goals. Just remember to include goals for your small business this new year. When your business succeeds, you succeed, and what’s a better goal than that?