11 Financial resolutions for your Business in 2017

January is the traditional time for making New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or spending time with your family. But in addition to your personal goals, what do you want to achieve in 2017 for your business?

How can a business owner get started with making financial resolutions for their business?

I’ve come up with 11 New Year’s Resolutions that you can consider for your Business.

1. Create a budget for 2017. Managing a business without a clear financial plan is hard. A budget is simply a plan of how you intend to make and use your money. The process may be time consuming but is time well spent.

2. Focus on repeat revenue. The best kind of customers? Repeat customers. If most of your customers or clients are one-time buyers, figure out how to find and secure customers who have the need and capacity to buy repeatedly.

3. Send out invoices. No money comes in if your invoices don’t go out. Yet many small businesses fail to get their invoices out on time.

4. Manage your expenses. If you are spending more than you are making, then cut those expenses and focus on making more money. A budget is great tool to help you monitor your expenses.

5. Intensify your sales & marketing. Most business owners think that if they create a better product or service, customers will naturally come. They won’t. You have to go out there and sell. If you’re afraid of making sales because you think you’re either bothering people or are afraid of being rejected, get over it.

6. Turn off social media. Social media eats up time. Even if you’re using it for business, establish a time limit — say 30 minutes a day

7. Manage your money. What’s happening with your money? Go beyond checking your bank balance, and regularly evaluate your profit and loss, cash flow and aging accounts receivable and payable.

8. Develop a strategic plan. If you want to survive, let alone grow, every year  evaluate what’s going on with your business, your customers, competition, finances and operations. Planning gets everyone moving in the same direction.

9. Move to the cloud. Switch from desk top software to cloud-based applications, so you can be mobile. Start with cloud accounting software such as Xero, Sage online or QB online

10. Get help. You may be trying to do much yourself. Examine your operations for routine tasks that take too much of your time, and hire a consultant or employee.

11. Listen to & Participant on NdalamaInsights business show. The Ndalama Insights Business show is a radio programme on ZNBC radio 4, 88.1. It covers key issues affecting SME business owners in Zambia. Practical advice is offered by business experts, and other successful business owners. The show is aired live every Tuesdays 07:15 and Wednesdays 17:30. Participant by texting to 095-4593233.

It’s easy to create a list of resolutions such as the ones we have looked at. However, keeping resolutions is not easy, especially if they are financial resolutions. How can you keep your financial Resolutions?

  1. Write your resolutions down. You are more likely to be more successful in following through on your resolutions if you have written them down.
  2. Be practical and realistic, for example, in working out how to achieve your goals. If you have multiple financial goals, it can be useful to try to prioritise them.
  3. Start small by making resolutions that you can keep and adding new ones at a time, rather than trying to achieve all the financial goals at once.
  4. Track your progress and implement controls to bring you back in line if you get off track.

The key to financial success, as experts have found, is to make financial resolutions that matter and stick to them. By making a small number of realistic resolutions, writing them down and tracking them, you can be on your way to a better financial future in 2017.

Please add on to the list, what other financial resolutions can a business make to make 2017 a better year? http://smeaccountingservices.com/resources/

About Mukonki Mukonkela

Mukonki Mukonkela is co-founder and director of SME Accounting Services Ltd, a local firm of chartered accountants, business advisors and financial trainers. She has worked in senior management positions in companies operating in industry sectors ranging from banking, mining, audit and international development. She is a member of ACCA and ZICA and has over 12 years’ experience. Mukonki has written business articles in the business journal magazine and has facilitated several financial management workshops. She is passionate about transforming start-ups, growing and expanding businesses into world class corporations that can compete with large multi nationals.

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