I know there’s nothing magical about January 1st.

But every time December rolls around, I can’t help but look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. 

As small business owners and entrepreneurs the end of the year marks an important milestone: We made it another year. We’re beating the odds!

Before you celebrate too much it’s important to make sure your business is in tip-top shape for the coming year. 

Two People Holding Black and Red Pens Writing on White Ruled NoteHere are seven things to do now to make next year even better!

First, or point zero you could say, is to give yourself some credit and a well-deserved pat on the back. This can go a long way in making you happier at work throughout the entire year—something we all strive for.

1. Refine your small business budget: Review your business’s financial statements from the previous year, and determine areas that you may be overspending on. Being organized when it comes to your business’s finances will trickle down into every area of your operations, which is why it is imperative that you follow a small business budget. If you neglect your business’s budget, your finances will suffer next year.

2. Brainstorm projects that will boost business: As a business owner, you should always be striving for bigger and better. This means coming up with initiatives that are going to increase your business’s revenue in 2020. Maybe you want to roll out a loyalty program, so that you can focus on your existing customers. Regardless of your business’s industry, you can determine business improvement ideas that will help you stand out.

3. Recognize employees for their hard work: At the beginning of a new year, take the time to thank employees for their dedication, while motivating them to set new goals. Having committed employees is an important facet of your business, and without them it will be difficult to succeed. Showing your employees that you appreciate them doesn’t have to break the bank either.

4. Review your goals: What do you want your business to achieve next year? Set goals rather than make resolutions. Especially in business, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution. Resolutions are things you keep, goals are things you attain. Nearly all successful business owners use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals to achieve their goals.

Need help crafting your goals? Join our 2020 Goal Getter Lightning Challenge,  starting in January.

5. Review your year: Look at your numbers (revenue, profit margins, and other KPIs), trends, and lessons learned. Document everything. Avoid having to re-learn the lessons by tracking evidence of what works, what doesn’t, and why. An impeccable record of your history is the best way to prepare for your future.

6. Get informed: New laws for small businesses take effect on January 1, is anything new going to impact yours? Avoid the penalties, and be compliant before you have to be. Contact your HR attorney, CPA, and your business attorney to get informed of any changes that will affect your business.

7. Clean house: A new calendar is a great reason to purge the junk off of your desk. Go through your files and e-mails; archive what you no longer need immediately at hand, deal with the things that need attention, and get rid of the rest.

Once you have goals for your business, it’s crucial to get your team on board. Schedule a planning and strategy meeting with your employees, colleagues, and support system to create the plans you need to reach those goals.

Get excited about the prospects that a new year can bring! By thinking of business improvement ideas that you can implement, you’ll go into 2020 feeling confident about the future of your small business.


Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. Have any business resolutions you want to share? Let Emily know by emailing her at emily.ladrig@excelerateamerica.com


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