10 Common New Year’s Financial Resolutions

The new year is a great time to think about financial affairs. While financial New Year’s resolutions vary, 10 of the most common ones include:

1. Save More Money. Many people resolve to save a percentage of their income. The same resolve applies to business savings.

2. Pay Off Debt. This often involves paying down credit card debt, student loans, or other outstanding loans. Do you know your debt-to-income ratio — how much are your debt payments compared to your income during the same time period?

3. Create a Budget. Establishing a budget helps individuals and businesses track spending, identify areas for improvement, and allocate resources wisely. A budget creates a measuring stick against which you can compare your financial decisions throughout the year.

4. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses. Cutting back on non-essential expenses can free up money for more important goals. Expenses are only half of the equation, however. And often, you need to spend money to make money, which is why the next item can be even more impactful.

5. Increase Income. Whether it’s negotiating a raise, taking on a side gig, or pursuing a new opportunity, many people aim to boost their income in the new year. Can you take on a new client? Deliver services through a new channel? Create a new market?

6. Build an Emergency Fund. People typically aim to set aside three to six months’ worth of living expenses. For businesses, a good benchmark is being able to cover at least the next two payrolls to keep your team working and earning.

7. Improve Credit Score. People or businesses with lower credit scores can often improve their creditworthiness by paying bills on time, reducing credit card and loan balances, and disputing errors on their credit reports. Poor credit can increase your costs of financing, insurance, and rent.

8. Review and Update Insurance. Reevaluating insurance coverages can help ensure adequate protection without overpaying. Does your business insurance cover the loss of key personnel, data breaches, or closures due to issues out of your control, such as the COVID-19 shutdowns?

9. Track Financial Progress. Regularly monitoring and evaluating progress can help individuals stay on track with their goals.

10. Contribute to Retirement Accounts. Increasing contributions to retirement accounts can help secure your financial future. Whenever possible, maximize contributions that are matched by an employer.

If financial matters aren’t your specialty, you may want to consult with a financial advisor or accountant. Getting expert and unbiased advice can help you weigh options to choose what’s best for you, your family, and your business.

Remember that the key to successful financial New Year’s resolutions is setting specific, achievable goals and creating a plan to work toward them. Follow up throughout the year by tracking progress and making adjustments to support your short and long-term goals.

11 ways to position your business for success in the New Year

11 Ways to Position your Business for Success this Year

If you are one of the many business owners looking for ways to build business in the New Year, you are not alone. Here are eleven steps you can take to position your business for growth right now.

Top 11 Ways to Position Your Business to Succeed in the New Year

The devil is in the details when it comes to growing any type of business. The little things that you do now can have big effects later on. Put these eleven ideas to work in your business in order to set the stage for business success and growth in the New Year.

1. Get on Top of New Year Marketing and Industry Trends

Taking the time to research new technologies, consumer buying behaviors and marketing trends can help you identify improvements to your business that could help you gain an edge over competitors or keep you from being out-maneuvered by them. Emerging trends in your industry, marketing and the buying patterns of your customers (or consumers in general) can be used to shape – or at least tweak – your business and marketing plans for the coming year.

Where to start: Industry trade magazines and websites often feature preview and trend articles at this time of year. You can also glean inspiration from sites like, find out about new tech from sites like, or explore all kinds of 2020 business trends on sites like

2. Improve your Communication Skills to Succeed in the New Year

No doubt about it, effective communication skills – whether verbal or written – can make the difference when it comes to breaking through the clutter with consumers, employees, investors and other stakeholders. identified eighteen communication trends leaders need to be aware of in 2020.

3. Why Wait? Spring-Clean Your Business Now

Be all you can be! Now is the perfect time to identify inefficiencies, ineffective policies and just plain bad practices that are keeping your business from becoming the best version of itself. This article suggests seven specific ways for you to improve your business in 2020. You might also like this article with five budgeting tips for small businesses in 2020.

4. Identify Financial Resources

Very few growth initiatives can be completed without working capital. Your plan for growth needs to be supported by adequate working capital for day to day operations as well as capital that can be used for marketing, expansion, new technology, new product or service launches, and so on. Your business may already have working capital that can be unlocked using receivables invoice factoring or with a real estate commission advance. These assets “on the books” can be unlocked to free up working capital when needed, instead of waiting weeks, or even months, for customers to pay or real estate transactions to close.

5. Stop Generalizing Already!

If your marketing messages are one-size-fits-all, it might mean they are closer to one-size-fits-none. Get smart about members of your target markets using sites like Nielsen’s Prizm zip code look up tool (where you can find out what types of people live in your local area) or with its overview on generational trends.

6. Refine or Retool Your Value Proposition

Stop rambling! Refining the way that you deliver your value proposition could impact your conversion rate in a big way. Sales strategy expert Jill Konrath offers up two ways you can create sales messages that convert in Examples of What to Say When Prospecting. We also recently published an article with five buying signs real estate prospects give when they are ready to sign on the bottom line.

7. Speaking of Customers, Reboot Your Retention Strategy

Many businesses have detailed plans for attracting customers but only a few, somewhat vague strategies laid out to keep them. Now is the perfect time for you to identify the rate of customer turnover (or “churn”) that is present within your organization, decide what constitutes a reasonable level of turnover and create a warning system that triggers actions when unacceptable levels are reached.

7. Craft an Employee-Experience Strategy

Churn and turnover isn’t just a problem when it comes to customers; employee turnover can keep your business from reaching its full potential as well. Much attention is paid in marketing to designing a customer experience that sets a business apart, but few businesses go so far as to design and implement a purposeful employee experience plan.

Since employee satisfaction is critical to customer care, efficiency, productivity, profitability and nearly every other area of your business, thinking through the experience in your business from the employee’s point of view could be helpful.

From recruiting, hiring and orientation through to the break and lunch areas, benefits, time off and other perks, design an employee experience within your business that makes employees believe you feel they are as important to your organization’s success as you say they are! To help you get started, check out this article six practical ways to improve employee retention.

9. Stop Believing You Can Read Minds

Whether it’s gauging customer or employee satisfaction, looking for ways to cut costs, becoming more productive or making any other number of improvements to a business, many business leaders act as though they can read minds; or worse, they act as though everyone thinks just like they do.

Let go of the notion that you are a mind reader and start asking questions of your customers and employees – and start listening to the answers. Make it safe for people to give you constructive criticism and you may well discover a treasure-trove of ideas that you can use to grow your business faster in the months ahead.

This article with 10 Questions to Ask Your Team Every Week on can be a starting point to better team dialogue. In addition, be sure that you are soliciting customer feedback using surveys, post-sale customer ratings and reviews and encourage customers to engage with you on social networks.

10. Get Everyone on the Same Page

If everyone is pulling – but everyone is pulling in a different direction – you are unlikely to achieve your business goals. Don’t assume that investors, board members, employees or customers share your vision! Take some time to ensure that everyone is on the same page as is laid out in this article by:

  1. Defining the mission
  2. Setting priorities, goals and targets
  3. Encouraging bottom-up planning
  4. Facilitating transparent information sharing and rigorous debate
  5. Ensuring that your organization is aligned appropriately

11. Send a State of the Business Message

Inspire customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders to enter the New Year feeling more connected to you and your brand. Talk about the way your business has impacted the lives of customers, staff and the community for the better. Tell how your business will transform and improve in the New Year. Point out benchmarks and achievements, and recognize and thank those who contributed.