A Guest Post by Katie Alteri, Content Marketing Manager at Fora Financial.

As a small business owner, it’s important to always be thinking ahead. Above all else, before you start making plans and building strategies, you need to ensure that your small business finances are in order.

Maybe in the next quarter you’d like to expand a business location, purchase more inventory or hire additional employees. These are great goals to set, and they will likely benefit your business. Unfortunately, without knowing whether or not you can afford these plans, it will be difficult to execute them. In this post, we’ll offer seven strategies for ensuring that your finances are bigger and better in the year to come!

1.  Reassess your budget. 

As you prepare your business for another year, you should review your budget and see if any revisions need to be made. Frequently updating your business budget will allow you to responsibly manage your finances, and confirm that you’re putting them towards things that your business needs. Plus, it will likely keep you from overspending!

 2. Cut back on unnecessary costs.

After going through your small business’s budget, determine areas that you are overspending on. This could be marketing initiatives that aren’t generating leads, or purchasing excess inventory that is going to waste. Whatever these costs are, it is likely that your business’s money could be put to better use.

3. Get ready for tax season.

We hate to put a damper on your holiday cheer; but tax season will be here before you know it. Why not get a head start by compiling all of the necessary forms and information you’ll need to file your business’s taxes? Review deadlines, make sure financial reports are up-to-date and keep business and personal filings separate. If you get a head start now, you’ll be stress-free when April comes around.

4. Don’t forget about discounts. 

There are plenty of discounts and programs that small business owners can take advantage of! Make saving easy by using websites like Ebates, which has a wide range of deals to choose from. 

Joining a business organization for professionals in your industry can also be beneficial. Many of these associations provide their members with discounted rates for office supplies, travel sites and other business-related expenses. You’ll gain valuable networking opportunities, and save money in the process; it’s a win-win!

5. Set goals, and tackle them. 

Almost everyone vows to accomplish goals at the start of the New Year. Unfortunately, many people lose sight of the rewards that come with finishing what they started within weeks or months. It can be difficult to keep yourself honest when working towards something, and this is no exception for small business owners. Maybe you want to save up to open an additional location, or you want to double your sales revenue from the previous year.

In order to bring these ideas to fruition, you’ll need the finances to make it happen. Write down your financial objectives, and devise a plan. Then, share it with a few trusted colleagues! They can keep you accountable and encourage you along the way.

6. Reflect on seasonal changes. 

If you run a seasonal business, it is especially imperative that you account for the off-season when you’re not producing sales. Start brainstorming ways that you can make extra cash during the off season, keep a list of tasks you need to complete before opening for the next season and consider what costs will factor into these preparations. You’ll thank yourself when opening day arrives and you’re feeling financially safe.

7. Consider applying for working capital.

If you have projects you’d like to start in the New Year, or simply want to have extra cash flow available, your business could benefit from applying for additional working capital. Make sure to have your monthly sales volume and other important financial information ready to supply to a lender. Again, being organized will certainly help speed up this process, and it will be less hectic than pursuing a bank loan!

It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean you should fall into previous bad habits. By taking control of your small business’s finances now, you’ll be able to set the tone for a strong 2017.

About the Author

Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides working capital solutions to small businesses across the U.S. Fora Financial can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.