In today's hypercompetitive business world, financial planning is a critical function -- whether you own a small business, franchise or large company. It is often overlooked by business owners because they are simply too busy dealing with their day-to-day responsibilities. This article features five finance-related strategies designed to help your business succeed in 2014 and beyond. As you will see, they are easy to implement and can greatly benefit your company.
#1: Revisit Your Business Plan and Establish Goals for 2014
When making plans for your business for an upcoming year, one of the best things to do is take a step back and evaluate your previous 12 months' performance. This will give you a chance to look at the procedures that you currently follow and determine what changes and adjustments might be necessary, and also note what is working well for your business. Analyze your current marketing strategy and consider which efforts have led to new business and clientele. Getting a good grasp on your current state of business will allow you to establish realistic goals for the coming year. Be specific when you set goals, and create mile markers of achievements to reach along the way. Doing this will make attaining your goals more reasonable and will keep you and your employees motivated as you celebrate the 'mini' accomplishments. Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are in order to keep you focused on your key objectives.
#2: Check Your Business Credit Score
As a business owner, your credit score, as well as your business score, plays an important role in your ability to acquire financing for your business. Maintaining a high score is one of the most significant aspects of your company's financial stability, therefore it is very important to monitor your personal and business credit scores periodically to identify and address any possible inaccuracies. By checking your business credit score, you can confirm that payments are being debited correct, and remove any falsely reported accounts. Discrepancies on your credit score can have a negative impact on how lenders determine your creditworthiness. Making payments on time and avoiding overdrafts are things that will keep your accounts in good standing, maintaining the integrity of your score.
#3: Limit How Much You Borrow and Maintain Positive Cash Flow
Insufficient cash can be detrimental to a business, making it necessary to borrow in order to keep it running smoothly. However, borrowing too much can prevent your business from getting financial assistance when you need it most. Finding ways to consolidate and reduce the amount of debt that your business or franchise is carrying can significantly free up your finances. As the New Year approaches, it is important for you to understand the status of your company's finances. Take the time to learn about the cash that is moving in and out of the business and stay aware of what is owed to you, and how much you owe. A good way to stay up to speed with your company's cash flow is to monitor it on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
Related: Maintain your cash flow in 2014 with a merchant cash advance.
#4: Don't Exhaust your Business Cash or Credit Line
In addition to large banks and credit unions, there are a number of independent lenders that offer financing to fit the unique needs of your business. Pick a financing solution that enables you to save your capital and credit lines for the future. If you need equipment for your business, leasing is an option that lets you acquire new or used equipment with a manageable monthly payment. You can choose between various lease structures and terms. Cash advance loans are also available through various financing companies; they allow you to keep your business going in exchange for a percentage of future credit and/or debit card sales.
#5: Expand Your Online Marketing Efforts
Marketing your business with traditional offline strategies such as television, radio and print advertising can be costly. So, look at the various online marketing efforts to see which ones might build awareness of your company's brand without burning through your marketing budget. Online marketing will continue to grow in 2014 as consumers increase their mobile and tablet usage, so plan accordingly. Update your website regularly; make sure it is supported on all mobile devices, add fresh content, and check that all links and online forms are working accurately. Reach out to your loyal customers and offer incentives for them to write reviews and rank services, remember to show gratitude to long-time supportive customers. Ramp up your social media strategy and utilize all appropriate networks that are beneficial for your business. You may not be using the right tools, or using them the best way to maximize effectiveness, consider hiring an online marketing agency or specialist.
Biography: This article was contributed by Balboa Capital, an independent financing company that offers small business loans to companies throughout the United States. (Image via freedigitalphotos.net