A new year means a new beginning. And after the chaos and uncertainty that was 2020, this reset is more than welcome!
While most people consider making resolutions as a way to improve their personal lives and circumstances, there is no reason that you cannot, and should not, apply the same thinking to your business.
To set yourself up for success in 2021, here are some helpful tips and New Year’s resolutions that can be applied to your business in the year ahead!
New Year’s Resolutions For Your Business in 2021
- Review Your Financials
Reviewing your finances doesn’t have to be limited to preparing for your year-end. Frequently exploring the numbers can help you grow your business by providing valuable insights and data on operations.
Plan to sit down and go over the numbers once a month. Set time in your calendar to update your books and then you can look at your performance and see where you should make changes or identify areas that require more focus or spend.
If bookkeeping is outside of your comfort zone, or you do not have time to do it yourself, consider hiring an outside firm to help.
- Review Your Goals for Growth, Sales, and Revenue
A new calendar year is the perfect time for reflection. Think back on 2020 and consider what transpired. Ask yourself some important questions about your business.
Remember, this has been a strange year and few, if any, were prepared for the economic fallout that came with the global pandemic. If your goals went right out the window, you are not alone!
But just because things were different, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about the goals you had set for 2020.
Were you able to shift your business and find success despite COVID-19? If so, congratulations! Now, what can you do to keep moving in that direction?
If your business slowed to a crawl because of the ongoing pandemic, think about the first few months of the year or how you performed when not in a lockdown order. Was there something more you could have done? Was there a marketing or sales channel you missed?
Asking yourself these important questions enables you to better understand your business and your customer base. If you can figure these things out, you can better prepare yourself to meet the continued economic uncertainty and hopefully find a way to grow your revenues.
- Stay Up to Date with Tax Regulations
While taxes are one of life’s few certainties, tax regulations change frequently. Not all of the changes will impact your business, but others will not only affect your business but you as a business owner.
Talk to your accountant on a regular basis so you are fully up to date and understand the ways that these regulations are connected to your business decisions.
- Stay Up to Date on COVID Relief
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is going to be with us a while longer. Even if you have been forced to close your doors as a non-essential business or have dramatically reduced hours or operations and shifted your available services, it does mean that you are completely on your own, financially.
The Canadian government has continued to support business owners during this complicated economic period. Take the time to study the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to see if you qualify.
And even if you do not qualify at this moment, make it a resolution to continue to check in on these and other government support programs as they are updated and changed to meet growing and changing needs.
- Check Tax Compliance Status
Running a business may mean having multiple registered accounts with the CRA. You may have one for corporate income tax, one for payroll, and one for GST/HST, for example. Take a moment to review each of these accounts to ensure that you do not have any outstanding balances or overdue filings.
If you find that you do, reconcile these accounts immediately. Talk to your accountant to make sure you understand what is required for your business to be tax compliant.
Once you know when you need to file and pay your taxes, set up a calendar with appropriate dates and notifications so you can prepare documents in advance.
Taking these steps at the beginning of the year will set you up for success and help you to avoid becoming overwhelmed at tax time or having to pay late penalties.
- Improve Internal Accounting and Payroll
Sometimes, a long hard look at your internal processes will provide great avenues for improvement.
Look at your recordkeeping practices. Are you still using desktop software and keeping paper receipts? Now might be the perfect time to move to cloud bookkeeping and keeping digital receipts.
Making this shift will ensure that all you need to access your business accounts is an internet connection. This ease of use means that you can stay on top of your numbers with ease.
Cloud accounting uses powerful encryption and remote backups to ensure that your data always remains safe and secure.
When it comes to cloud accounting software, we recommend Quickbooks Online and Xero.
Payroll is a constant and recurring process. Try to automate payroll as much as you can to improve accuracy and efficiency. If you are not entirely sure how to do this, consider outsourcing your payroll to a cloud accounting firm like WTC.
- Set Goals for 2021
We understand that COVID-19 has put many businesses into basic survival mode so making goals may not seem like a priority. But, if you take the time to set goals, even small ones, you will have some direction and purpose during these uncertain times.
Set goals that are attainable. Make a list, and post somewhere you can see each day.
Even when you are forced to close your doors to in-person business, you can still set goals for your business. Are you able to do delivery or curbside pick up? Set yourself some sales goals. Do you need to roll out an e-commerce platform? Set goals around online sales, online traffic, and engagement.
Once the goals are set, you can start working on your budget. For example, if you’ve just launched online sales, you may need to add money to your marketing budget so your customer base knows this option is available.
Don’t be afraid to set sales and growth goals. While survival is obviously your top priority, setting goals can help you maintain focus and better navigate any obstacles that come your way.
- Collect Customer Feedback
One of the best things you can do to improve your business is to ask your customers what they think of your products or service.
In general, ask them:
- What are the 3 main things that we do well?
- Why did you choose our product or service?
- Would you recommend our product or service?
Consider asking questions about your COVID response, as well:
- Did you feel comfortable with the safety protocols we put in place?
- How can we make you feel more comfortable when accessing our services?
- Were you aware of our online shopping options?
The answers to these questions will help you identify gaps in your services or issues with your products. Use this feedback to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that will indicate improvement. Monitor these KPIs consistently throughout the year to track your progress.
- Develop Your Financial Literacy
If you want to be financially successful in your business, you need to understand what you are talking about. How can you make the right decisions if you don’t understand what you are trying to decide?
Devote a little time to reading financial blogs and resources so you can better understand the markets, your industry, and any tax regulations or COVID benefits that may be applicable to you.
Let WTC Support Your Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are yours to make but you do not need to go on the journey alone!
No matter your business, industry, or goals for the year, WTC can help. From streamlining your payroll processes to accounting set up and cloud bookkeeping, we provide businesses across Canada with expert advice and services.
Contact us today to take your business practices to the next level!