All of us start the New Year wanting better for ourselves and our business. Here are some quick tips for how to get your business off on the right foot in 2015 and get your mind set on growth!
Organize your desk – a clean workspace makes you much more productive
Purge your paper files that are piling up. And you know they are!
Clean up your email
Tidy up your books:
Total up your income, expenses, loan payments, etc. Prepare your Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet reports. Instead of printing out your financial reports this year, ask if you can email them to your CPA. Of course, this saves you paper, but it will save you time when you meet with your tax pro since he/she will have the information in advance.
Get a jump on your tax preparation and filing:
For me, each year doesn’t officially start until taxes are DONE. I always try to have them filed by the first few days in February so I can rid of that pressure as soon as possible. Contact your tax professional to set up a meeting by the end of January when you should have received most of your year-end documents.
Start preparing for tax documents you will need next January:
Start a new file folder or box labeled “Tax Prep 2015”. Throughout the year, you will put every document, business and personal, that you may need for filing taxes: business expense receipts, charitable deductions, medical costs, tuition paid, investments made, and any new loan information. Next January while you are waiting on year-end statements to arrive, you will pull out this folder or box and separate business and personal. You will be happy each year that you do not have to wonder if you have everything needed to maximize your tax deductions.
Tune up your marketing and advertising campaigns:
– Update your business website. Add or change content, links and images that are useful to your visitors in understanding your business. Help make it an easy decision to contact you for the work they need done. If you do not have a website, it should be Priority #1 this year. Having a website for your business is a must and if you do not have one, you are missing out on a ton of potential clients. In addition, owning a website and advertising it online is much more affordable than traditional print advertising in newspapers, phone books, etc. Check out sites like Squarespace to get started easily.
– Google Analytics – Review the performance for your website from the past year to see where the traffic is coming from, what pages were visited the most and for how long. This will help you make better decisions on what to add or change on your website to optimize for better results this year.
– Google Adwords – Adjust your bidding, add different keyword phrases to target, and try out some new ad structures. Adwords is a must-have for local advertising and works well to attract qualified leads to your website.
– Get your design on! Open up Photoshop and get to work. If you own a home services company, it might be time to finally do that door hanging campaign you’ve been thinking about forever. Or how about ordering some yard signs to leave at your client’s house after each service?
– Are your business cards up to date? If you added or changed any contact information or services you offer, it may be time to update your cards. Services like VistaPrint are easy and affordable, so don’t delay!
– Be more social. Marketing by engaging in social media is starting to dominate this day and age. If you don’t have a profile on the top social media sites, then you are missing out on networking with potential clients without high costs. Show off the latest project completed by your business, offer special promotions to your followers, share tips about the work you do for others to learn, or just let everybody know where you are treating your work crew to lunch that day! Whatever you do today will be more than you probably did yesterday if you are new to social media. Just think about this, it is highly likely that your potential clients all use social media today.
Lists, lists, lists:
If you own a service business, you have tools and equipment that need maintenance and eventually an upgrade. Make a list of repairs/maintenance items that need to be done and when you plan to do them. Decide if it is time to purchase that new pressure washer, mower, nail gun, or other critical piece equipment. Start planning for how and when you will pay, by starting with listing everything you can think of that needs attention.
Streamline your estimating, invoicing, and payments process:
If you are a little behind on how you create and send client estimates and bills, you will find relief using online invoicing software. Sign Up for services like GreenerBilling to make it a breeze sending professional invoices and estimates to your clients.
While this is not an all-encompassing list, it’s enough to get any business-minded professional a proper checklist to promote growth and an opportunity for more invoicing and moneymaking! Greenerbilling hopes to see you through a very successful year!
Tags: advertising, business planning, Business Tips, client estimates, equipment maintenance, marketing, online invoicing, professional invoices, quick tips, service business, tax prep 2015, tax preparation