New Year Trends: 10 Best Business Resolutions
Written by Team 365 finance
The New Year is always associated with New Year’s resolutions, both personal and professional. For small business owners, these resolutions provide a great opportunity to rethink how to sustain revenue and retain customers throughout the coming year.
While you’ll also want to incorporate the various small business trends that will emerge through 2024, we’ve listed ten New Year resolutions that should apply to almost every small business regardless of your industry. Read on to learn more.
1. Start Off Strong
January can be a difficult month for SMEs. Retail sales suffer as consumers recover from their Christmas spending, while hospitality businesses will see less income due to events like Dry January. However, these challenging conditions can serve as valuable inspiration for resolutions.
Try setting yourself special sales or revenue targets for January. Should you achieve them, they can provide the momentum you need to stay on top of your February and March targets. Remember to be ambitious but realistic with these goals — while you do want January to be a notable success, it’s still likely to be a tough month.
2. Engage With Your Audience
If you’re entirely happy with your marketing efforts, this might not be the resolution for you. On the other hand, this task may have consistently been on your to-do list. So, why not achieve it in 2024
Each new year brings new social media trends and platforms that are great for business use. At the start of the year, resolve to engage with your target audience more, and make the effort to use any new social media tools that emerge in 2024 to achieve this goal. Improving your audience engagement helps increase your customer retention, which is a key factor in maintaining or increasing your revenue.
3. Invest in Accounting Services
A new year also means a new tax year — although it technically won’t arrive until April. However, don’t let that stop you from setting new rules and goals for how you’ll handle your business finances.
While it’s definitely an option to do your own accounting as a small business owner, it’s unlikely that you will be able to complete all your bookkeeping to the same standard as a professional chartered accountant if you don’t have significant accounting training. Additionally, bookkeeping is a very time-consuming task.
So, as we enter 2024, consider hiring an accountant (or at least using the services of one) to ensure your tax documents and other financial matters are squared away.
4. Remember to Ask for Help
As a small business owner, you are likely an independent person with a strong personality. In fact, this may even be the core reason that you went off on your own to create an independent SME.
That said, there are heights of success that are impossible to accomplish without help. If you find that your business is struggling to expand past a certain level, or that your recent endeavours haven’t gone how you wanted them to, make it a resolution to ask for more help in 2024.
Help can come in many forms: you might have contacts who can help you learn more about your industry, investors who can help build your business, or even new employees who can help divide your workload.
5. Explore New Revenue Streams
“Make more money” isn’t a great resolution, because it’s vague and a bit obvious. If you want to develop your business, making more money will be part of the process. Instead, consider how your business makes money. Look at the revenue streams that bring money into your company, and think of what you could do in 2024 to add to those revenue streams.
For retail businesses, this might mean developing new products or branching out into a different kind of product. More service-based businesses can diversify in a similar manner. Be as creative as you can, and remember that if you’re struggling to afford to create a new revenue stream, you can always look into SME funding options and what they can do for you.
6. Adopt New Technology
Each new year comes with new technological developments for small businesses to take advantage of. However, every year, SMEs shy away from these new technologies. This reluctance is typically because they don’t have the time to learn how to use new systems, they can’t afford to buy them, or because they want to stick to ’the way it’s always been done.’
The recent rise of open banking and its related technologies is a good example of this. Open banking is set to become even more common in 2024, and your small business could enjoy considerable advantages by using open banking for your financial needs. Resolve to adopt more new technologies in the new year, so you don’t miss out on the benefits.
7. Learn New Skills
As a small business owner, you may need to become a jack of all trades in order to keep your business going. You’ll need to have a lot of industry knowledge, as well as a decent understanding of accounting, marketing, and sales. While learning new skills is time-consuming, it’s rarely a bad thing. As such, you may want to resolve to learn a new skill in 2024.
Your new skill could be one of the four points we’ve listed above, or something entirely different, such as logistics. If there’s a particular aspect of your business you’ve never known much about (i.e. it’s been handled by a partner or employee), the new year might be a good time to learn about it.
8. Make the Most of Special Occasions
There are annual events all across the UK that offer an excellent opportunity for you to increase the revenue of your SME or display your brand to a bigger audience. If you’ve not attended one of these events before or incorporated them into your business tactics, the new year offers a great chance to start planning for how you’ll take part this year.
9. Set Metrics
All of the resolutions we’ve mentioned above can help your business succeed, but measuring that success is crucial. Otherwise, you won’t be able to understand exactly what you did right, and how you should do it again next year to maintain your success.
Look into appropriate KPIs for whatever resolution (or resolutions) you choose to adopt, set yourself some targets, and then carefully track your progress throughout 2024. These KPIs might simply be sales numbers, or they might be things like social media engagement levels or your progression on the training course for a new skill.
10. Set Some Personal Boundaries
Finally, take some time for personal matters in 2024. Small business owners can often put the success of their business before all else, which has a significant negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
If you’ve been feeling stressed, overworked, or burned out in 2023, make sure you resolve to set personal boundaries in 2024. Clearly divide your work and your personal life — if you work from home, you can do this by physically marking out a workspace instead of working throughout your home from a laptop.
Achieve Your New Years Goals With 365 finance
Some of the resolutions we’ve listed above may require some level of investment in order to get them off the ground. If you’ve had a difficult 2023 and don’t have the necessary capital, consider looking for alternative means of funding, such as 365 finance.
Our revenue-based finance is a great low-risk SME funding option if you’re looking to start your year off with a bang. Our simple application process only takes minutes to complete, and once you’re approved, you can receive funding within 24 hours.
Additionally, the repayments are based entirely on your monthly revenue — the finance is repaid using a percentage of every credit or debit card payment you process. If you’re having a difficult month, there will be a smaller repayment due. This makes 365 finance a much less stressful alternative to traditional bank loans, which often require a large lump sum at the end of each month, regardless of your circumstances.
At 365 finance, we can provide both long and short-term financial solutions, with revenue-based funding available from £10,000 to £400,000 in capital. Apply for funding today without affecting your credit score, or speak to our team to find out how we can help your business. To find out more, head to our website.