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It’s the start of a new year and a new decade. People naturally look ahead as the new year arrives, thinking of what opportunities await them and what they’d like to change in the months to come; but moving into a new decade, this period of reflection takes on heightened meaning. If you’re ready to set new goals for growth, take the time now to reflect on your small business resolutions and commit to change through 2020 and beyond.

Why is the new year a good time to review your business strategy? 

The start of the calendar year (and often your company’s fiscal year) is a great time for new beginnings. Over the holiday season, you may have had some quiet time to reflect and recharge, and now that 2020 has begun, you’re probably feeling re-energized and ready to tackle what the new year brings. Now is the time to outline your plan for the year, taking into consideration all of the milestones you’d like to achieve. Whether you’re planning out a handful of critical projects or making your laundry list of to-dos for the year, kicking off your new plan in January means you’ll likely know other goal-setters who have been equally inspired by a fresh start. Among them, you may find an accountability partner to help you stick with your plan.

If you plan to make major business changes like incorporating your company or forming an LLC, implementing them at the beginning of the calendar year can also make it easier to manage your taxes later.

What small business resolutions should I consider for 2020?

The best resolutions are personalized to your business and designed to move you closer to success. If you’ve already adopted some of these resolutions, then congratulations: You’ve taken some positive steps towards growing your business. If you haven’t yet made these moves, consider adding them to your to-do list for 2020:

1. Incorporate or Form an LLC 

In the rush to launch a new venture, some entrepreneurs skip the business formation stage. If you aren’t incorporated or protected by an LLC, you could be missing out on a number of key benefits. Make 2020 the year you incorporate to increase your access to small business financing, open yourself to potential tax savings, and, perhaps most importantly, safeguard your personal assets. If your business ever gets sued, incorporation could help you avoid losing your family home or your retirement savings.

2. Connect with a lawyer and a CPA/accountant

If you aren’t already working with a lawyer regularly, make 2020 the year you have a lawyer look over your small business contracts. A lawyer can help you make sure that your business agreements are ironclad and that your employment practices are legally sound.

Many small business owners also manage their own company finances during the bootstrap phase. Once your business is up and running, it can be well worth it to have a CPA look over your accounting methods and suggest efficiencies, such as which accounting software to use or the best apps for tracking deductible business expenses.

3. Adjust your digital marketing plan 

Digital marketing, which includes your website, search engine optimization, social media, and blog, is constantly evolving, and if you don’t keep up with changes your business may be left behind. Survey the latest trends in digital marketing and see where your approach needs to shift. By resolving to stay updated, you can make adjustments throughout the year and ensure your continued relevance and discoverability.

While many people fall off the bandwagon with their resolutions weeks into the new year, there are ways to increase the odds that you’ll stay committed. For each resolution, you want to implement, break it down into small actions. Calendar the actions if you are taking responsibility or delegate them to team members. This way, you’ll actually get things done—and see an impact.

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