(StatePoint) It's not just individuals who can benefit from New Year's resolutions. Businesses can also use the new year as an opportunity to reflect on how to improve in the year to come.
With that in mind, here is a resolution checklist for small business owners:
Get your books in order: Make sure to update balance sheets, compile income statements and assemble cash flow statements.
Evaluate goals: Did you meet your goals this year? What helped you achieve success? How can you improve the following year?
Clearly documenting your goals and making them accessible to your staff will keep them top-of-mind. This can be anything, from bringing on a certain number of new employees to hitting a sales goal or expanding product offerings. Once you`ve set your goals, devise a plan that will get you there, with monthly or quarterly checkpoints, so you can ensure you`re on track.
Protect data: Small businesses say that data is their most valuable asset. Are you adequately protecting it? Many small businesses only back up files once or twice a month, which can result in a tremendous loss. Cloud backup is the best way to ensure you get all your files back easily in the event of a disaster.
Save yourself a headache and protect your files automatically. A secure and affordable service, such as Carbonite for example, will continually create copies of all your files and store them in the cloud. Once the files are backed up, you can remotely access them from nearly any Internet-connected device -- which can help keep you connected in an emergency or when you're traveling.
Make sure data protection is a key component of your end-of-year planning -- it will help set up your business for success in the new year. More information about small business backup can be found at www.Carbonite.com.
Mitigate your current tax burden: Understand your tax deductions and book all deductions before the end of the year. Implement new tax strategies to mitigate your 2014 tax burden. Remember, all business models are different. Consider consulting an expert tax analyst to find out what's best for your business.
Be social: Explore new avenues for advertising. Social media provides an easy and inexpensive platform for gauging your customer's desires, branding and getting the word out about your product or service.
There's no time like the new year to reassess what's working for your company and what isn't. Take the opportunity to set your company up for a successful 2014.