4 Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for 2019

Where do you see your small business going in the next year? As companies begin wrapping up the year in Q4, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past and start setting up a 2019 plan for success. Many businesses choose to begin preparing for the new year in January, and they miss valuable time to develop their business resolutions and goals for growth. If you start now, you'll be ahead of the game, and the competition.

To help you get started, we've put together some suggestions for how you can get your small business ready for a prosperous new year.

Reflect on last year's learnings

Small business owners often learn by doing because they don't have the resources to engage in testing different strategies. They approach failure as a learning experience, and they're fearless when it comes to trying new things  all great characteristics that build resiliency and allow for innovation. The best part of this approach is that small businesses stay dynamic, constantly evolving to stay competitive and meet customer needs. But these learnings are less valuable if no time is spent to reflect on why certain tactics didn't work.

As the year closes out, take a pause to look back on what worked for your business and what didn't. Is there room for improvement? Evaluate the decisions you made and their outcomes and survey your staff to see what they've learned. Asking for their input on what they think could be done better next year empowers them to be part of that improvement.

Ensure your finances are in order

It can be very stressful at the end of the year to balance the books, if time hasn't been put in to keep finances in order.

Whether you do it yourself, work with a bookkeeper, or use an app to manage your cash flow and business expenses, staying on top of your books is critical for success. By getting ahead if it before end of year, you're also giving yourself time to review the budget buckets that required the most spend for 2018, so that these can be updated if priorities change for the new year.

Consider upgrading your technology

Digital Solutions can transform the way you work and connect with customers. While it can be overwhelming to understand what steps to take on the path to digital transformation there are a few simple ways to understand your options. One way is to survey the competition to see what they're using and compare it to your approach to understand what's the most effective. Another way is to bring on a technology partner to help review your digital strategy and suggest any solutions to boost efficiency for your business for the new year.

While upgrading technology may require an initial investment, the savings and impact later on could be significant. The key is to make changes that are simple and effective such as ditching your spreadsheets and piles of receipts for a money management app. This small change may result in dollars and time saved for 2019.

Set new goals

Achieving goals is exciting, but it's just as important to take a step back and understand why a goal was not achieved by the end of the year. Learn from the year's setbacks and apply them as you set realistic, attainable goals for the new year. After all, goals provide you and your team with the direction and motivation to achieve more and keep your business growing. The SMART goal setting method is a great place to start when putting together new goals for the year.

We hope you've found these tips helpful as you prepare your business for success in 2019. Here's to a prosperous New Year!