Small business owners might want to put two important items at the top of their new year to-do lists: get a financial checkup and do more networking.
September is a good time for owners to plan for the new year. Even though the recession has chilled many plans to expand or make big capital expenditures and many owners have already done as much cost-cutting as they could to weather the poor economy, savvy owners are scheduling financial checkup appointments with accountants or business advisors and are likely to be seeking other kinds of guidance as well, such as finding ways to bring in more sales.
Certainly, there are financial issues to discuss, such as ways to reduce quarterly estimated tax payments, which would help with cash flow. But a thorough new year checkup will always go beyond taxes and cutting expenses, and touch on your business strategy. Work with your accountant or business adviser to brainstorm ways to bring in new business, improve your marketing and your sales strategy.
Financial advisers are a natural place for owners to begin networking. Those who specialize in working with small businesses are often able to bring together clients who need each other’s products or services. Your local chamber of commerce is also a good place to go.
A networking group will bring together owners from diverse industries. They’re not hard to find — talk to a handful of business owners, and at least one is sure to be part of a networking group. Searching the Internet will also quickly yield the names of groups that are either nearby or online.
Networking doesn’t have to be through an organized group. Owners taking their children to junior footy and other sports can get leads or customers through casual conversations with other parents. Some business owners make connections while waiting in the queue at the supermarket.
Don’t delay! Make an appointment with your favourite adviser now.
Thanks to Joyce Rosenberg for the basis of this article.