A new year is on the horizon, and that means new opportunities and the chance at a fresh start. For all of the motivated small business owners out there, 2015 is a perfect time to evaluate your enterprise from head to toe and make improvements as necessary.
Here are 7 ways to improve your small business in 2015:
1. Evaluate your efforts as a small business owner.
Look yourself in the mirror and evaluate your performance as a business owner. What are you best at doing? What do you struggle with most? How can you streamline certain processes to make them run more efficiently? How can you get more customers and increase revenue? These are tough questions to answer. But if you really take the time to sit down and think about them, you should be able to come up with many strategies on how you specifically do things that can help improve your small business.
2. Beef up your sales skills.
Entrepreneurs are often very adept at certain skills, but they rarely have a substantial background in sales. This is why now is a great time to work on your abilities as a salesperson. Consider reading books, looking at websites, attending seminars, and talking to fellow business owners in order to increase your know-how in this area. Look closer than you ever have at your products or services. What are their benefits? What selling points are attached to them? Think creatively.
3. Set up a formal business entity.
If you currently operate a business with no formal legal structure, 2015 is a great time to press “Go” on an LLC or corporate entity. Having a formal business in place comes with added credibility, asset protection, increased opportunities, and even tax savings when filing your business taxes with Uncle Sam. When customers, investors, or even potential employees encounter a formally registered business entity, there’s a good chance they will contact you more often rather than those who have informal sole proprietorships or partnerships.
4. Evaluate and modify your business budget, if necessary.
Entrepreneurs who do not use an appropriate business budget tend to be those who suffer financial consequences. Because of this, a new year means you should carefully examine your budget for the year ahead. Look at what you’re spending most of your money on, and determine if it’s worth every penny. Find ways to save on expenses that are not 100% necessary. Make reasonable 2015 profit projections as well based on your 2014 results.
5. Hire an assistant.
Is your workload getting to the point where it’s too much? Is there a particular need your company should be covering that you simply don’t have the chops to handle? If so, you may want to invest in one or more employees to assist you in your efforts. Yes, it can be a big investment, but having a team around you is a phenomenal way to improve your small business in 2015. Nothing is comparable to collaboration. And you could always hire someone to work remotely or as a 1099 independent contractor to reduce your responsibility of such an individual.
6. Hire an accountant and legal professional.
Don’t bother messing around with business taxes and legal issues involved in operating a small business. It’s critical to stay compliant with the IRS, along with other local and state agencies. If you run an LLC, S corporation, or C corporation, there are numerous obligations you must fulfill. So consider hiring an accountant and a legal professional to assist you on these fronts. Shop around, but make sure you get quality service, even if you have to pay some extra dollars.
7. Use more technology.
The 21st century has brought entrepreneurs some incredible pieces of technology. Open the doors to more of it if you aren’t using it to your full advantage. Invest in cloud solutions. Create a mobile app for your business. Arm yourself with the latest and greatest security measures to protect your business information and assets, and utilize many of the web-based service providers who can make your life so much easier – and free up your time to focus on growing your business.
Turn to 1-800Accountant for all of your small business accounting needs. Call 1-800-222-6868 or visit the “Services” page on www.1-800Accountant.
Image credit: The image included in this blog post is used with permission via the Creative Commons license through Flickr.