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Fire up your small business in 2018

The holidays are upon us and with a bit of luck you will be able to take time out to recharge your batteries and celebrate the festive season. But what about the batteries fuelling your small business? Even if you’re working ‘in’ the business over the holiday season, it’s worth carving out some time to work ‘on’ your business. So why not make some New Year’s resolutions for your business?

Take a business snapshot – Before you start setting goals for the year ahead, you need a clear picture of where your business is right now. What have you achieved in the last 12 months? Were there areas of concern? Are there areas of potential to be tapped? To do this, it may be helpful to examine the key elements of your business. This could include such areas as employees, financials, clients, premises, innovation and marketing.

Set SMART goals – Goals are central to your business success, but the goals need to be SMART. In management circles this stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. There’s no point in creating some fanciful goal that your business has no chance of achieving.

Update your business plan – The goals you set should become part of your business plan. Most businesses would have made a business plan at some stage, as it is the cornerstone to getting a bank loan. However, don’t just think of it as something you have to do to keep the bank happy. Make it a plan that you can really work with and use to grow your business.

Get a jump on tax planning – While you’re reviewing your financials, it’s a good idea to go over your accounts to make sure they are all up to date. Plan to touch base with your accountant between February and May. Doing this will give you an idea of what your tax bill might be for the year and plan for any problems that may arise. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.

Harness technology – Small businesses are often slow to take up technology due to the time pressures of running a business. New technology can be particularly helpful in setting and tracking your goals, monitoring your cash flow and even motivating your team.

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Megan Moran

About the author

Senior Accountant, Megan Moran joined BMO in July 2016, attracted to the holistic way BMO’s offers of a full range of financial and business services to clients (not just taxation).  Megan’s 17 years tax experience is backed up with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and CPA status. Having worked locally as a Client Manager and Senior Accountant, Megan’s focus has always been on READ MORE

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