As the end of the year comes barreling toward us with the new one on its heels, small business owners should consider drafting up a list of their New Year’s Business Resolutions for 2016, and including potential options like looking into obtaining a small business loan. With so many different distractions occupying small business owners’ day, it can be tough to find the time to sit back and ponder goals and resolutions for the New Year.
While there are many general resolutions business owners can set and follow, such as grow the business, invest wisely and network more, owners should be committed to these crucial tasks throughout every year – these are a fundamental part of running a small business. However, with these tasks in the back of an owner’s mind, it can also be wise to consider resolutions specifically for 2016. As the economic landscape constantly shifts and the business environment evolves, owners need to keep their enterprises flexible so they pivot and quickly respond to any changes. Simply setting goals of growing the business, investing wisely and networking more won’t be sufficient enough to truly address the more pressing issues weighing on companies in the new year.
Nothing can be more important than ensuring the company has up-to-date technology and a strong cybersecurity system in place. Having the latest and greatest technology can contribute to optimizing the company’s overall efficiency, whether by streamlining operations, reducing downtime, providing better access to customer data or coordinating communications – all of which can ultimately lead to a boost in profit margins.
While having the latest and greatest in technological upgrades bodes well for the company’s future, implementing a robust and powerful cybersecurity system protects the enterprise’s current operations. Currently, Forbes noted that cyberattacks cost U.S. businesses $400 to $500 billion a year, and that’s not including the large number of unreported hacks.
By protecting the current operations with a sound cybersecurity system, and by implementing the latest technology to meet the demands of tomorrow, business owners can position their companies to truly corner and capture their market share.
By now every small business – whether B2B or B2C – should have a website. These are vital for attracting new customers and retaining long-time ones. A company having a web page in this day and age is almost a no brainer, since if a customer or client cannot find a business online, chances are the individual will not put more thought into the company.
However, while every enterprise might already have a website, it’s going to be absolutely critical for businesses to ensure their websites are mobile ready. According to Statista, mobile phone Internet penetration in the U.S. reached 75.1 percent in 2015, and experts forecast this number to continue rising. Further, current B2C m-commerce sales in the U.S. are estimated to surpass $113.18 billion this year, with predictions of this sum nearing $170 billion in 2017.
As more consumers opt to use their mobile devices for browsing, shopping and reviewing, business owners need to ensure their companies have mobile-friendly websites sooner rather than later.
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Often a business will make enough money to keep the doors open and the employees paid, but not enough to truly grow the company. Without the right kind of working capital injection, the owner will find the business spinning its wheels in a deep rut. This can make it difficult, if not downright impossible, to invest the capital necessary to truly grow the business, whether that involves purchasing new inventory or upgrading the company’s technology.
One of the best ways to overcome this hurdle and truly grow the business can be obtaining a small business loan. Unfortunately, many small business owners have some misconceptions about the benefits of a business loan or working capital loan. While dealing with traditional lenders like big banks or financial institutions might carry some of these misconceptions, working with an alternative lender is a different story.
For instance, an owner might think they need to have stellar credit if they have any chance of successfully obtaining a small business loan. However, owners with no credit, or even those with bad credit, can still potentially qualify for a working capital loan.
Another misconception stems from owners who might not want to go through the long, drawn-out process of compiling all the financial statements and profit and loss reports, filling out a complicated application and then waiting for an extended period of time before hearing any feedback or determinations from the lender. While this might be the case with traditional banks, online lenders make the application process as easy and quick as possible, with most providing 24-hour turnaround times for the loan.
In today’s rapidly fluctuating marketplace, business owners can’t stand around waiting on the possibility of receiving funding. They need to be able to make snap decisions and put new processes and systems into operation as soon as possible, and luckily alternative lenders provide the immediate turnaround business owners need to succeed.