The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of the past and project into the future. Whether you want to get your company off the ground, go in a new direction or become more profitable, setting goals is essential.
There are several things you can do with the help of your merchant card services provider to establish the blueprint that will help make 2018 the year you want it to be.
Invest in New Equipment
If your infrastructure is weak, you can’t run efficiently. Therefore, think about what needs to be repaired, replaced or upgraded. Check with your merchant provider to be sure that you are using the point of sale (POS) system that is up-to-date, economical and meets your business needs. Technology is changing constantly, meaning that what has worked for you in the past might need a facelift.
Evaluate Your Customer Base
With the help of your POS system and the account provider that sold it to you, it is possible to track sales trends and inventory as well as to reward existing customers and court new ones. An updated POS is capable of helping you build and store a database of customers that can be a marketing gold mine. If your system has mobile capabilities, you can also entice people via smartphone alerts when they get close to your location. It’s a great way to make flash sales and other promotions work for you.
Write a 5-Year Plan
You might be saying that annual goals are hard enough and that writing one that extends half a decade into the future is a silly waste of time. However, once you have a big plan, it becomes easier to divide it into yearly pieces that are more easily accomplished.
One part of this goal should involve your merchant card services provider. Take a look at any existing contracts that may be binding you to see if you should renew when the time comes. The financial landscape changes quickly, so try to avoid making commitments that could lock you in over the next five years.
Watch Your Finances
With your thumb on the pulse of your income and outflow, you can stay in control of your business. Doing so will allow you to regulate and minimize costs and determine appropriate salaries, including your own. To that end, track all of your business expenses. Set up a budget after reviewing the past three months of profits and losses. Never mix your company’s accounts with your personal ones. Perhaps most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for taxes.
Your POS solution can be an invaluable tool to keep you financially healthy. Ask your merchant account provider to show you the tools that you probably already have in place.
What do all winning teams have in common? Among other things, they all have an excellent coach, so why shouldn’t you? Consider hiring someone to help you set goals and to hold you accountable as you attempt to achieve them. Never forget that your merchant account provider can assist both you and your coach with information about the capabilities of your POS system in helping you to move forward.
After a careful financial assessment, you might come to the conclusion that you need additional capital if you are to move your company to the best level. There are numerous potential sources for monies: state and government resources, banks, other lenders and even your merchant account provider. Move carefully and deliberately through the process of obtaining loans, being sure that you can pay them back and that the lender is reputable. Only accept what is realistically manageable no matter how tempting the offer may be.
Taking the time to sit down and make plans for the future of your business is one of the best investments you can make in your future. Creating a clear roadmap helps you to forge your own path to success. Make the effort to chart your 2018 course today. When this time next year rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.