Many people wait until January to start business planning, however if you do that, you are already 30 to 45 days behind the competition.
As 2013 comes to an end we hope that this year was a huge success for you and your firm. Why not start now and have a plan in place for 2014? Make changes now so that you’re ahead of the game next year and prepare to dominate in business.
First, it may be a good idea to understand the economic conditions we all will be working with in 2014. While there are a variety of opinions, we recommend taking a moderate approach. We are not economic forecasters but have taken our information from Forbes.com.
- Inflation- CPI should increase at a 2.1% rate.
- Interest Rates- Long term rates may increase slightly while short term rates should remain stable until late 2014 or 2015.
- Economic Growth- Could be classified as stable. The economy is expected to grow by 2.6%.
Here are a few items to consider for 2014:
- Healthcare– This will be a big issue for employers in 2014. Get on top of this early. If you don’t have a health insurance broker, get one. Request a meeting with a broker to review your options and design a strategy for 2014.
- Taxes– Tax complexity and frequently changing tax laws are among the top tax issues small businesses face. Meet with your tax accountant and review any tax code changes that might affect your business.
- Capital– Are you considering making any capital improvements, using your LOC, or borrowing funds in 2014? Get the process started early.
- Build Partnerships- Creating the right partnerships takes time and requires multiple conversations before formalizing. Why not use the rest of this year to solidify at least three new partnerships that can help grow your business in 2014? These partnerships might include joining an association or developing a relationship with a key vendor or someone in government.
- Set Goals- Now is the time to set new goals and design strategies on how you will plan to meet your goals.
- SWAT analysis- Complete a SWAT analysis; you may find this a great resource.
- Strengths: Where have you succeeded in 2013?
- Weaknesses: Where have you not done well in 2013?
- Opportunities: Things that you haven’t explored in 2013 that can be to your advantage in 2014.
- Threats: Potential issues that might cause problems for your business.